South Asian Business Elite Ajay Dilwari And Ratana And Arran Stephens Among 16 British Columbians Being Appointed To Order Of BC


VICTORIA – Indo-Canadian businessman is among 16 exceptional people being appointed to the Order of British Columbia, the Province’s highest form of recognition, Lt. Gov. Janet Austin, chancellor of the order, announced Monday.

“As representative of the Crown in British Columbia and as Chancellor of the Order of British Columbia, I am delighted to welcome 16 new members to the order,” Austin said. “Their extraordinary leadership has been a source of strength for communities across the province. In difficult times, they have connected us through art, culture, public service and more. As we move with optimism toward the future, their achievements will be a foundation of success for future generations. It is with great honour I share congratulations to these remarkable individuals.”

South Asian business entrepreneur Ajay Dilawari of the automotive giant Dilawri Group and husband-wife Arran and Ratana Stephens, founders of Nature’s Path, one of the world’s leaders in organic food manufacturing and distributing companies, are among elite group that includes COVID-19 hero and leading health expert Dr. Bonnie Henry who are being honoured with the province’s highest honour.

This year, 257 British Columbians were nominated. Since its inception, 475 British Columbians have been appointed to the Order of B.C. Members have been appointed from all regions of the province and in numbers generally proportionate to a regions population.

“Each one of this year’s Order of British Columbia recipients has made tremendous contributions to their communities,” said Premier John Horgan. “I want to extend my congratulations and honour them for their leadership and dedication as community leaders. Trailblazers in medicine, that carried us through an incredibly difficult pandemic with expertise, grace, and, of course, kindness. Inspiring philanthropists, determined protectors of the environment and powerful Indigenous leaders. We are all truly grateful for your leadership.”

This year’s recipients are:

*Chief Joe Alphonse of Tsilhqot’in Nation

*Joe Average, MGC, of Vancouver

*Brenda Baptiste of Osoyoos

* Frances Belzberg, OC, of Vancouver

* Dr. Debra Braithwaite of Victoria

*Ajay Dilawri of Vancouver

* Debra Doucette (Hewson) of the District of North Vancouver

*Dr. Bonnie J. Fraser Henry of Victoria

*Carol A. Lee of Vancouver

*James McEwen, OC, of Vancouver

* Andrew Petter, CM, QC, of Victoria

* Dolph Schluter of Vancouver

*Dr. Poul Sorensen of Vancouver

* Arran and Ratana Stephens of Vancouver

*Marvin Storrow, QC, of Vancouver

Over the years, the B.C. government has worked to increase awareness of the Province’s highest honour to ensure that outstanding people from all walks of life and from all parts of the province have an opportunity to be honoured. The Province has received more than 6,200 public nominations for the Order of B.C. over the past 32 years.

The Order of B.C. investiture ceremony for 2020 and 2021 recipients and invited guests is tentatively scheduled to be held at Government House in Victoria in December 2021.

This year, the Province’s other honour, the Medal of Good Citizenship, will recognize people who have gone above and beyond to offer help and kindness to others during the COVID-19 pandemic without expectation of reward. Nominations must be received by Sept. 19, 2021, and must have a COVID-19 response focus to be considered for this year.