RCMP Constable Gail Starr is counted among those who are leaving a legacy with their police work.
And she’s not even done yet.
Starr was thrown a surprise ceremony, honouring the accomplishments she’s made since joining the police force in 1987. A Seabird Island resident growing up, Starr has ended up working back in this area.
The ceremony was held in the Seabird school gym, as a way for students to learn about the local role model.
“Without people like this, we wouldn’t see Seabird on the map,” Chief Clem Seymour said. “It’s commitment like that that gets us where we are today,” he said.
Starr started as a “special native constable” in August 1987, as was the usual procedure then. She has worked in New Hazelton but has spent the last 13 years in Sto:lo Territory, with the Upper Fraser Valley First Nation Policing Unit.
Colleague Constable Chris Gosselin said that Starr is “leaving a legacy” wherever she works.
“It’s in how she carries herself,” he told the large crowd that came to celebrate the event.
But the event, held April 14, wasn’t just about Starr, who wasn’t made aware of the event, for fear that her modesty would keep her from attending.
Her aunt, Evelyn Peters, was also celebrated. And for the same reasons, she was also not told she would be honoured.
Peters was being honoured for her close work with the RCMP and her niece, as Seabird’s cultural worker.
The two women stood at the front of the gym and listened to their accolades, sometimes smiling at anecdotes, other times closing their eyes and listening quietly.
Sgt. Mike McCarthy of the Agassiz RCMP said that it worked out really well that Starr was wearing her red serge.
“She just happened to be wearing it for an event earlier in the day,” he said.