Pudge Bawa, left, and his son Rajin at Marpole Transport. Pudge Bawa is 2020’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner for the Black Tie Awards. (Alec Wheeler photo)

Business notes: Cowichan businesses team up to gift children with wheels

The kids were all smiles

For the third consecutive year, the folks at DLC Lighthouse Mortgage and Experience Cycling have combined to make Christmas a lot brighter for eight children and their families.

With the help of Chelsey Sweet-Coulter of CSweet Media who also sponsored one bicycle, the eight youngsters picked up their new bikes at Experience Cycling on Monday evening.

The kids were all smiles and so were Tracey Morrison and her team from DLC Lighthouse Mortgage who worked with Cowichan Intercultural Society to identify the families who could use a new bicycle.

“The community supports us all year so it is nice to be able to give something back,” explained Morrison, who added it is important to her to be able to source the bikes locally.

“Thanks to Will Arnold of Experience Cycling and Chelsey of CSweet Media who help make it all possible. As a group we stand strong to be able to provide a little more joy to the community during the holidays.

“Truly a time to be grateful and thankful to the community for supporting our local businesses,” Morrison said.

Will Arnold of Experience Cycling has been a great partner for the project and again this year his business sponsored one of the bicycles.

“Huge shout out to Will Arnold and team at Experience Cycling for helping us order, organize, custom fit, safety check, assemble and host this fun event every year,” Chelsey Sweet said.

“We appreciate your help, time and love for our community.”

• • •

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber has announced that Pudge Bawa will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at The Black Tie Awards in April.

Born and raised in Cowichan, Bawa’s many contributions to the community — both as a businessman and volunteer — are prolific.

His company, Marpole Transport Ltd., now managed by his son Rajin, is the largest Vancouver Island based trucking and transport operation. With a fleet of 135 trucks and more than 200 employees, the company has expanded over the years to include terminals in Delta and Abbotsford, serving the Western United States and Western Canada, all the way north to the Yukon.

Marpole Transport has not only been an economic driver in the region, but has been a consistent platform upon which Bawa has supported numerous local causes including: BC Forest Discovery Museum, Chesterfield Sportsplex, Cowichan Exhibition, Cobble Hill Fair, Heart and Stroke Foundation (Big Bike Ride), Heart House in Victoria, BC Summer Games, Cowichan Hospice and countless local youth sports teams.

Perhaps most notable of all his volunteer work, is Bawa’s service as a director with the Paldi Sikh Temple and the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation.

“Pudge Bawa has been an integral part of the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation for over 13 years,” says Executive Director Aimee Sherwood.

“During his tenure at the Foundation, Pudge was instrumental in helping to raise the profile of the Foundation, most notably through the use of a Marpole Transport trailer to highlight the Foundation’s new hospital campaign, displaying the support the forestry sector has for our local hospital. The Foundation is delighted to congratulate Pudge on receiving this Lifetime Achievement Award.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is selected by the Chamber president in consultation with the board of directors and the Lifetime Achievement Honouree from the previous Black Tie Awards year.

“Pudge’s contributions to the business community, as well as the lasting impact he’s created from a lifetime of philanthropy, exemplify a person who puts every effort forward to make the Cowichan better for everyone” says Chamber President Chris Duncan.

“Pudge is a true lifetime achiever and I cannot think of a more deserving recipient for the 2020 Black Tie Awards.”

In 2018, Stormin’ Norm Jackson received the prestigious award and will introduce this year’s recipient at the awards celebration in 2020.

“Pudge is a humble and kind-hearted man, whose integrity, compassion and positive energy have contributed greatly to the community,” says Jackson.

“It’s an honour to have a hand in recognizing this truly deserving Lifetime Achiever.”

Awards in nine other categories will also be announced and presented at the Oscars-style gala, which will take place at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, a first in the event’s 22 year history.

The Black Tie Awards will be held at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on the evening of Friday, April 17.

Tickets will go on sale March 2020.

Nominations for the nine Black Tie Award Categories will remain open until midnight on Jan. 31, 2020. Visit www.duncancc.bc.ca to submit a nomination.

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Staff from DLC Lighthouse Mortgage and Experience Cycling get together to give children a two-wheeled gift this Christmas. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)

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