It’s the highest civic honour the City of Vernon can bestow.
And the 21st person to receive the Freedom of the City of Vernon Award is NHL executive Ken Holland.
The general manager of the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers will be on hand to receive the honour on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 9 a.m. in Vernon council chambers.
Freedom of the City is the highest civic tribute bestowed by the City of Vernon, by unanimous decision of council. The honour is awarded to a distinguished person or a distinguished unit of the armed forces of Canada or another nation.
“I’m pleased to bestow this honour on Mr. Holland,” said Mayor Victor Cumming. “He has had a long and prestigious career as GM of the Detroit Red Wings and now GM of the Edmonton Oilers. He has won the Stanley Cup four times and Olympic gold twice.”
Holland, who grew up on East Hill, played goalie in minor hockey in Vernon and a year of Junior A with the Vernon Vikings before graduating to the Western Hockey League’s Medicine Hat Tigers. He played in goal in a handful of NHL games and began his executive career as a scout with the Red Wings.
He is a member of Okanagan, B.C. Sports and Hockey Halls of Fame.
“Throughout his career, Mr. Holland has kept roots in his hometown of Vernon and has supported the community through his generous contributions to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital, Vernon Kal Rotary Club and charitable organizations, too numerous to name,” said Cumming. “He has served as an outstanding ambassador, not only for hockey, but for the City of Vernon, placing it on the hockey map around the world.”
The last Freedom of the City was awarded in May 2011 to late Vernon Vipers hockey team owner Dr. Duncan Wray.