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Citizen of the Year

Each year the Citizen of the Year Committee seeks nominations from the community of people who could be selected as Novato Citizen of the Year.

The Citizen of the Year is always a well kept Novato secret until the night of Novato’s Birthday Party. 

Novato Citizen of the Year 2021
Previous Novato Citizens of the Year
Citizen of the Year

Citizen of the Year 2021

Retired volunteer firefighter Ray Dwelly was the Citizen of the Year for 2021, an honor that duly noted his five decades of volunteer service to Novato. The almost-but-not-quite lifelong Novato resident easily qualified as a local all-time great.

Dwelly dedicated tens of thousands of volunteer hours to organizations such as the Novato Fire Protection District, the Novato Historical Guild, the Hamilton Field History Museum, the Sons in Retirement group, the United Ancient Order of Druids’ Grove 113, and the City of Novato. All that while earning a living in the air conditioning and refrigeration business for 25 years before moving into building maintenance management.

Dwelly’s dedication to local firefighters and public education about fire safety really stood out, starting with his service as a volunteer firefighter and auxiliary water tender engineer for the district from 1970 to 1980 and then becoming the district’s official photographer.

Converting the former Hamilton Air Force Base fire station into the Hamilton Field History Museum was a massive undertaking, He designed and assembled most of the exhibits, maintained the building and grounds, recruited museum docents, interacted with visitors, and addressed civic groups about the history of Hamilton Field.