Glitzy ceremony honours 10 deserving volunteers with Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medals
It was a ceremony that had all the glitz and glitter of a Buckingham Palace Queen celebration.
Friday, at Nelson’s Hume Hotel, BC Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko joined the Regional District of Central Kootenay Board of Directors to recognize 10 outstanding individuals for years of contributions to communities and fellow citizens throughout the region with Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medals.
“I think the awards signify excellence in what you give back to your community,” said RDCK Board chair John Kettle, who served as the master of ceremonies for the afternoon event.
“The recipients today certainly personify that excellence. Every one of the recipients is more than deserving.”
The list of winners is a “who’s who” in local and provincial politics along with a few serving their respective community in volunteer roles.
The commemorative medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada.
The Diamond Jubilee Medal is a way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country while at the same time paying tribute to significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.
The politicians included former Nelson/Creston MLA Conrad “Corky” Evans, RDCK members Josh Smienk, John Voykin, Hans Cunningham, Gary Wright, who was also the Mayor of New Denver for more than 20 years, Nelson City Councilor Donna Macdonald and Castlegar School Trustee Beverly Maloff.
Volunteers were Geoff Yule of Castlegar, Rebecca McDonnell of Kaslo and longtime School Teacher Aya Higashi.
“You wish you could give out more because there’s a lot more people who probably deserve these medals,” Kettle explained.
“These men and women are the tip of the iceberg and I think the audience here understands, this kind of uniqueness doesn’t happen by accident, it happens by years and years of volunteerism . . . it happens by years and years of service and all of our communities are better for it.
“So I’m glad we were able to join Alex (Atamanenko) and participate.”
The medals are among 60,000 that will be awarded across Canada.