The recipients of the Ivor Miller Award and the Oilman of the Year Award were quick to give credit to their families when presented with the awards on Saturday, June 9.
The awards are given to deserving members of the oil and gas community by the Fort St. John Petroleum Association during their annual Oilmen’s Golf Tournament, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary this spring.
This year, Mike Kosick won the Ivor Millar Award, while his old friend Darwin Pimm took home the Oilman of the Year Award.
When asked what it meant to them to receive the awards, both men were eager to talk about family, a word that encompasses their wives and children, as well as their extended families in the Petroleum Association, the oil and gas industry and the Fort St. John community.
“It was unexpected,” said Kosick. “I was awarded here a few years ago, the Oilman of the Year, and have been involved in this association since the early seventies. And it’s been really rewarding for us personally, family-wise, community-wise, business-wise. And it’s just an honour to be presented with this.”
Kosick enjoyed the extra honour of being presented with both awards by his son, Tyler, the current president of the Petroleum Association.
“I’m very proud of him,” said Kosick. “Proud of my family. Proud of my wife. Because, without them, I wouldn’t be here.”
“Obviously, you get a little choked up,” Tyler said of presenting the award to his father. “It is tough.”
He also understands the role family has in allowing a man to play an important part in the life of the Petroleum Association.
“You start to see the sacrifices,” said Tyler. “Not so much just for him, but my mother, which also goes for my wife now. Because, during the events, you’re up there with the microphone, and they’re sitting there by themselves. And you don’t get to enjoy the full event with them as much. So, it’s a lot of strain on both of them. But it’s a well-deserved award for him.”
Pimm has enjoyed a long relationship with the man who presented the award to him as well.
“He’s really got a lot of Mike in him,” he said. “The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree there.”
Pimm and Kosick first met when they played hockey together in the early seventies.
“I was playing some senior hockey and he was playing some commercial league hockey,” said Pimm.
“We burnt the arena down here – I think it was in 1972 or thereabouts. We had a year where we didn’t play much senior hockey. I played a year or two with Mike.
“We [had] become pretty good friends then,” he continued, “and remained good friends for a long time. And he sat on the executive of the Petroleum Association in the … eighties when I did. And he was president [and] I was vice president for many years. And we’re still good friends.”
Pimm said the honour of winning is really all about the men with whom he shares membership in the club and the men whose names are already on the trophy.
“It’s just an honour to have worked with guys for probably the best part of 35 or 40 years,” he said. “And to have your peers kind of congratulate you with a nice little trophy at the end of the day is pretty nice. And hopefully I’m not done. I think we’ve got a few years to go yet.
“It’s a great feeling to be in the company of the people that are on that trophy. And hopefully it goes on to many more really great people. Because there’s so many more in this community that you couldn’t begin to name them.”
Kosick suggested that it was extra special to win the award during the 50th Oilmen’s Golf Tournament.
“It really puts it in perspective,” he said. “Because we’ve been talking, a few of us, that [it’s time] to step aside, let the younger generation take over.”
Kosick echoed Pimm’s sentiments about the value of being recognized by the club and the community.
“We don’t do it for awards,” he said. “We’re part of the community. I’ve done all kinds of functions in this community. … Everywhere.
“And it’s just part of what we are. We were raised here. We live here. This is home here. Sure we go away now an odd few months a year. But this is still home.
“Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, the Peace River country – that’s what it’s all about,” he continued.
“And that’s why we have such a great community in every aspect. Not just the Petroleum Association. If you lived here for lifelong, you see it [in] every part of charitable organizations. It’s about the people. And everybody contributes.
“If you were down and out in Fort St. John, you needed a hand, people will give it to you.”