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Les Clay named H.D. Stafford Good Citizen

2013 H.D. Stafford Citizen of the Year Les Clay was recognized for his generous contribution to Rotary and also his expertise and donations of rhododendrons throughout parks and places in Langley.  - Monique TAMMINGA/Langley Times
2013 H.D. Stafford Citizen of the Year Les Clay was recognized for his generous contribution to Rotary and also his expertise and donations of rhododendrons throughout parks and places in Langley.
— image credit: Monique TAMMINGA/Langley Times

A Langley man known for his work with Rotary and rhododendrons has been named the 2013 HD Stafford Good Citizen of the Year.

Les Clay was awarded the prestigious title at the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce annual Christmas evening, held at Cascades Convention Centre on Tuesday night.

Past Citizens of the Year, Sylvia Anderson (1994), Dale Ball (2002) and Jim McGregor (2006) were on stage to pass the honour to Clay.

“All I have to say is, come to the garden in spring. We have planted 2,500 daffodils so you will see a good display at the arboretum,” said Clay as he accepted the award.

Clay was referring to the Derek Doubleday Memorial Arboretum, which he was instrumental in helping create.

In 2008, Clay shared his vision to establish a botanical garden for the community to enjoy.

Thanks to his vision and relentless work, he created the “Arboretum and Botanical Society of Langley” and then the arboretum and botanical garden for scientific, educational and ornamental purposes.

The arboretum now has two viewing decks, a parking area, landscaping and benches, a memorial to veterans of the Afghanistan conflict, a rain garden and hundreds of trees and rhododendrons.

Clay is a rhododendron cultivator and for years owned ‘Clay Nurseries’ in Langley.

In the midst of his busy business life, he has had a perfect attendance for 44 years as a Rotarian.

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