MCC President Graham Starmer (l) and MCC Chairman Jeff Zabudsky (r ) present MCC Legacy Award to George Dyck, picture by Lorraine Houston of The Boissevain Recorder

MCC President Graham Starmer (l) and MCC Chairman Jeff Zabudsky (r ) present MCC Legacy Award to George Dyck, picture by Lorraine Houston of The Boissevain Recorder

The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce was pleased to present its Legacy Award to George Dyck, a successful entrepreneur and dedicated supporter of Manitoba’s chamber movement (including over 50 years with the Boissevain Chamber and a stint as President of the MCC in 1982-1983).

MCCTV has George’s acceptance of the award here:

Here is how The Boissevain Recorder covered the proceedings:

Dyck given Manitoba Chamber Award

by PAUL RAYNER

One of the major forces in the Boissevain & District Chamber of Commerce for a half-century was awarded for his work by the provincial organization.

George Dyck was given the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce Legacy Award at the local Chamber meeting on February 13. Presented by organization chair Jeff Zabudsky and president Graham Starmer, the award was given to a former president of both the local and provincial Chambers, for a lifetime of service.

“George was always a strong supporter of the Chamber of Commerce,” Zabudsky stated. “Yes, you can help your business by helping others and George proved that.”

The award was initiated by the Manitoba Chamber. Zabudsky said the organization does not give it out on an annual or regular basis, but instead as the need arises. In Dyck’s case, it was awarded for a combination of efforts.

“It is because of his role locally and the role he has played up and down in the Manitoba Chamber. He raised the profile of the rural areas in the Manitoba Chamber and we wanted him to be recognized.”

Zabudsky gave a brief outline of Dyck’s career, including the fact, through Du-Rite Motors, he is currently running the longest ongoing private enterprise in Boissevain. He looked at the changes involved over the years, such as starting the trucking business NEWS out of the need to transport farmer’s grain in the area, and the long-running Ford dealership and the evolution into an all-parts shop. He also spoke of Dyck’s role in the community, including being one of the main forces behind the start of the 30-year running Canadian Turtle Derby.

Dyck has been involved in the Boissevain Chamber since the early 1950’s, when his then boss Eric Gowler, insisted he become involved. He served as president in 1974-75. He also took the reigns of the Manitoba Chamber in 1982-83, in a difficult time for the organization.

As Dyck recalled, prior to that, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce paid out money to the provincial chambers for operation expenses. That was beginning to be phased out when he took over, so there was a bit of a crisis to find the money. He said the first step, with the backing of the rest of the executive, was to go get a bank loan for $10,000.

“That was risky,” Dyck stated, “but we did put it all together.”

Putting it together meant a major drive to get more members. He said he traveled around the province to accomplish that, bringing in a number of groups, like the Flin Flon Chamber. This, in part, is what the Manitoba Chamber representatives meant by his increase of the rural profile in the organization. Dyck himself said not all the work has been completed, but considerable progress has been made.

“Getting rural Manitoba involved was one of my objectives, and I visited all of the communities. It is still ongoing, but most now belong. The things you do today, you might not see the results for many years.”

As for the award, it was one of the best-kept secrets in town, as Dyck was genuinely surprised to be presented with the honour.

“It really caught me by surprise,” he stated. “It is just one of the better moments of my life. You don’t realize you are doing anything, you just work away at it. Then one day you’re told you’ve done something. I have always enjoyed being involved, and I have thought it was important. A lot has happened in the past and I have a lot of good memories. This is a great honour and I will remember this for a long time.”

Boissevain Chamber President Donna Fraser too added her kudos.

“The Manitoba Chamber has recognized you today,” she stated, “and as your Chamber we thank you for keeping us on track and we appreciate the work you have always done.”

The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce once again congratulates George and thanks him for his continued dedication to the entrepreneurial spirit and community values that make the chamber movement so special.

A special thanks to The Boissevain Recorder for providing their article and the picture we have of George on our front page. The picture was taken by Lorraine Houston of The Boissevain Recorder. The paper is a great read and you can find out more about it at www.boissevainrecorder.mb.ca.