Posted on Nov 22, 2021
Delta’s highest community honour was presented posthumously to Tsawwassen Rotarian and Rotary District 5040 Governor 2020-21 Dave Hamilton, one of its beloved community champions and business leaders at the 70th Annual Hats Off to Excellence Awards, sponsored by the Delta Chamber of Commerce. -- courtesy of Ian Jacques, the Delta Optimist
 
Hamilton, who was a prominent member of the Delta community, lost his courageous battle with cancer in April.
 
Many knew him through his role at the Optimist, while others through his work with the Rotary Club of Tsawwassen, at the Beach Grove Golf Club, on the slo-pitch fields of Ladner or the curling rink.
 
He was a community champion for so many organizations and through his decades of work at the Optimist, as well as his dedicated work with the Chamber of Commerce, was a champion for the business community.
 
“Dave could solve problems by putting the right people in the room together,” said the Chamber. “It was amazing how connected Dave was in our community and how he used his connections at the City, Chamber, Rotary, Optimist and the many charities he supported to make Delta a better place.
 
“We lost Dave way too early in 2021, but tonight we celebrate Dave Hamilton as the 2021 Citizen of the Year. We thank Dave for all he did for our community of Delta. We all know that Dave is dancing in heaven – and can Dave dance.”
 
Ryan Thomas, Operations Manager at GCT Global Container Terminals, presented the award.
 
“Many in this room knew Dave. He spent over 30 years as general manager at the Delta Optimist, was a committed Rotarian and a consummate community builder,” he said. “Although missed by all, Dave’s legacy of ‘service above self’ and positivity is felt throughout the community.”
 
Tanya Hall, Dave’s partner, accepted the award following a tribute video, which highlighted photos and memories of all the great work that Hamilton was a part of in the community.
 
Hall spoke of Hamilton’s work with Rotary and the business community and how he was always “the eternal optimist,” even after his cancer diagnosis.
 
“Dave lived every day of his life to the end and smiled with his whole face and with his incredible blue eyes,” Hall said. “He loved to dance and he always had music in his heart. When he found out he had cancer he never dwelled on it. He carried on. He never let it define who he was. He continued to work and volunteer for all the organizations that he loved, just adding cancer to his fight list.
 
“Dave was the Delta Optimist – literally the optimist of Delta. Dave was a source of inspiration to all in Rotary and someone that Delta should be very proud of and clearly they are. His impact to business and community was clear in the hundreds of messages received when he passed. He was a gift to everyone in Delta. I thank you so much for this award.”