Dr Peter Newbery to receive Good Citizenship Medal

John Crawford

One of the driving forces behind the new recreation centre project in the Hazeltons is being recognized with a provincial award.

Doctor Peter Newbery is one of 18 British Columbians who will receive the Province's Medal of Good Citizenship for their outstanding service and commitment to helping others in their communities.


Newbery was a long-time physician at Wrinch Memorial Hospital, and after his retirement, he agreed to chair the fundraising committee for a new rec centre to replace the Ken Trombley Memorial Arena, which was condemned and then demolished in 2015.

The Upper Skeena Recreation Centre, also known as the Heart of the Hazeltons, was officially opened last September, and has become the region’s centre for sport and cultural activities. .


Newbery also played a role in the formation of the University of Northern British Columbia, and the establishment of the Northern Medical Program.

Newbery has already received numerous awards, including the Order of Canada, the Order of British Columbia and the Queen's Golden Jubillee Medal.



Dr. Peter Newbery of New Hazelton biography


Dr. Peter Newbery is a long-time, much respected physician who serves in the northwestern area of British Columbia.


During his lifetime he has worked with kids at risk on the streets of downtown Toronto, served as a minister and physician for the United Church in small central-coastal communities in B.C., provided management support to five hospitals and eight clinics in rural and isolated communities in B.C., Alberta and Newfoundland, and served as a physician at Wrinch Memorial Hospital in Hazelton. Through his connection with UBC and the medical school there, Newbery influenced the formation of the University of Northern British Columbia. He subsequently worked with Dr. Charles Jago to establish the Northern Medical Program which now provides doctors, nurses and other health care providers to many northern communities.

Newbery is a man who exemplifies integrity, openness, compassion and creative leadership in a way that has inspired health care workers throughout this province and much of Canada.

For his contributions to society and his community Newbery has already received many awards including:


The Order of Canada

• The Order of British Columbia

• The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal

• UBC Faculty of Medicine Golden Jubilee Medal

• Doctor of Divinity from the Vancouver School of Theology


About seven years ago, in the early years of his retirement, Newbery was invited to work with the Upper Skeena community as chair of the fundraising committee for a new, much needed recreation centre.


Newbery accepted the role and was instrumental in raising over $5 million in community and philanthropic contributions. That resulted in a federal and provincial grant of $12 million towards the new $20 million recreation centre.


Thanks to Newbery’s tenacity and leadership the centre is now open. It includes a professional-sized indoor ice rink with seating for 500 spectators, a multi-purpose gym, fitness centre, meeting and social areas, and a kitchen.


The Upper Skeena Recreation Centre, also known as the Heart of the Hazelton’s, will serve as the region’s centre for sport and cultural activities. The facility will provide programs and services for all ages and abilities to address the educational, health and social needs of the surrounding communities.


Newbery’s community has nominated him for the 2019 Medal of Good Citizenship as a way of expressing their gratitude, and to pay special tribute for his many contributions that support individuals and families in the Northwest region.

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