Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal Awards Ceremony

On Saturday, January 5th, 2013 in Householders

On February 6th, Queen Elizabeth marked the 60th anniversary of her accession to the Throne. Only once before have we celebrated such an occasion, with her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.

To celebrate Her Majesty’s 60 years as Canada’s Queen, the Governor General announced the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, to recognize outstanding Canadians of all ages and all walks of life. It’s an opportunity to honour exceptional Canadians for their contributions to their fellow citizens, their communities and their country. About 100 constituents from Saanich-Gulf Islands offered recommendations on who should receive this unique commemorative medal. These individuals have made exceptional contributions to our community and country, either in a volunteer capacity or as part of their career – public or private sector.

A committee of four had the difficult task of choosing 30 medal recipients from the 100 submissions:

  • John Treleaven, Past President of the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce;
  • Dr. Margaret Fulton, OC, Past President Mount St. Vincent University;
  • Dr. Ambrose Marsh, Chief of Medicine, Saanich Peninsula Hospital; and
  • myself.

An awards ceremony was held on September 13th at the Mary Winspear Centre, in honour of our valued medal recipients.

Anna Isabelle Allen is being awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medal for a lifetime of selfless dedication to mental health, child welfare reform, family and child counselling. A native British Columbian, she graduated from UBC, beginning her social work career, focussing on children in 1957. She and her late husband, Michael, had a long association with the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s). Anna remains active in St. John’s Ambulance and continues to mentor and support students, including financially, in the UVic School of Social Work.
Arthur Edgar Bernhoff is an exemplary member of the Canadian military, with a Master’s Degree in Terrorism and Asymmetrical Warfare. A graduate of Parkland, his undergraduate work focused on Islamic and Arabic Studies. He is currently at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland working on his PhD, but remains on active duty as a member of a Scottish military unit through the Reserve Force Foreign Service Arrangement. Arthur also has a long record of volunteer work to our community, including with Red Cross water safety courses and in wildlife rescue in North Saanich.
Kenneth H. Curry is a true Canadian hero. A veteran of World War II, he was captured at Dieppe and spent three long years in a German Concentration Camp. For those years, he was shackled and chained. He was nominated by his daughter Lillian, who spent nearly the first three years of her life without seeing her father. Lillian also noted the bravery of her mother Norma. Following the war, Kenneth Curry served as Major in charge of cadets at the Argyll and Sutherland Cadet Corps in Hamilton, Ontario.
Helen M. Evans is an exceptional woman whose nursing career began in Toronto in 1952, rising to the position of Vice-President, Nursing at Mount Sinai Hospital in 1980. She pioneered a number of important developments through research, including in neurosurgery under hypothermia, and teaching in the Faculty of Nursing at University of Toronto. Once in Victoria, she served as Chair of the Capital Health Region. As a volunteer in Sidney, she has made a huge impact in our community, including as chair of the Board of Beacon Community Services, and Board member of the Victoria Symphony Society and Broadmead Care Society.
Dr. Mary Hapgood earned her medical degree in the UK, moving to Canada to Frobisher Bay (now Iqaluit) to become the medical officer. She was responsible for the health care for six Inuit communities, and then was stationed for three years on Baffin Island – the base from which she provided medical care from a Coast Guard vessel that toured the coast. She also served in Inuvik where she was in charge of the hospital and local clinics. She moved to BC for the position of Zone Director for the First Nations Population for all the First Nations of Vancouver Island, and a portion of the mainland as well. In retirement, Dr. Hapgood has been a tireless volunteer working on the board of Beacon Community Services, the Mt. Newton Centre Society, and volunteer with the Island Breaststrokers Dragon Boat Team and Shoal Centre.
Michael Heppell is awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for a multi-faceted life of service. For 34 years, he served as a firefighter with the Victoria Fire Department, 17 years of which he was Fire Chief. His time was marked by innovative leadership, including earthquake preparedness and partnering with the B.C. Ambulance Service to create the First Responder Emergency Medical Response Programme. For 30 years, Michael has also served with the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) and now serves as Honourary Colonel. Those efforts benefitting from his volunteer work are too numerous to list in total, but include the Red Cross, Rotary, Meals on Wheels and Parish Council, Christ Church Cathedral.
Randy L’Heureux has saved thousands of lives through his work with the British Columbia Ambulance Service over the last 35 years. Now, serving as Director of Critical Care Operations, it was Brendan L’Heureux who championed the creation of the air ambulance service and extending its reach to the remotest parts of our province and into western Alberta. In 2007, he received both the Exemplary Service Medal from the Governor General in 2007 and the Excellence in BC Healthcare Award.
Alvin Donald Huffman was born in Ontario in 1924 and joined the RCAF in 1942. He piloted bombers in the Second World War, attached to 415 Squadron 6 Group, Bomber Command in East Moor, Yorkshire. Al was decorated for his war service. Once home in Canada, he obtained his degree in Chemical engineering from the University of Toronto and embarked on a busy and successful career with a number of industries, including Domtar and Prairie Malt Ltd. He served as director of a number of industry associations. In 1985 he joined CSP Foods Ltd as CEO. In retirement, Al has been active in Lions Clubs and the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada.
Cynthia Robinson is a mother of three and a dedicated Saanichton volunteer who does not let her own disability get in the way of enormous levels of community activity. She has volunteered for ten years as a Beaver, Cub and Scout leader and all three of her sons achieved gold in the Duke of Edinburgh award for excellence in scouting. Cynthia has been a paralympic torch bearer and is an inspiration to all who know her.
Danny Daniels has had a remarkable life, spanning professional achievement in the federal civil service (serving with CIDA in Nigeria for two years and for many years in Whitehorse, Yukon) and excellence in athletics. Born in the UK, in 1929 he took up Middle Distance Running. Moving to Canada, with his wife Marjorie in 1957, he never lost his passion for athletics – coaching, mentoring, leading athletic and fitness activities. In 2010, Danny was inducted into the BC Athletics Hall of Fame. Danny continues to compete internationally, breaking records in the Masters Age Group and winning medals in World Masters Decathalon and Pentathalon Championships in 2009 and 2010.
Lieutenant-Commander Gerry Pash, CD was until recently the Public Affairs Officer for the Maritime Pacific Headquarters in Victoria. In June, the Hon. Jason Kenney appointed him to be a citizenship judge. While associated since his teenage years with the Cadet Corps and then the Canadian Army Reserve, most of his professional career was non-military. Gerry worked in radio broadcasting, as a radio host, news reporter, as well as owner and manager in stations serving Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Hope, Penticton as well as Victoria. With volunteer service contributions too numerous to list, Gerry Pash is a worthy recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Jill M. Wheaton is a dedicated volunteer on Salt Spring Island. In fact, at 83, she is the longest-serving volunteer for the Salt Spring Library. She recently received a Certificate of Appreciation for 25 years of service as treasurer, board member, reference librarian and various other roles. Her innumerable volunteer hours helped the community develop and then build a new library serving the community.
Bob Paert is an unsung hero of the British Columbia conservation movement. Over forty years of volunteer and public service, Bob Paert, a registered professional biologist, has contributed to sound policy for parks, land use, First Nations and youth education. Bob has worked within government, with the Ministries for Aboriginal Affairs and the Ministry of the Environment, as well as in the conservation movement as Executive Director of the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, BC Chapter. He currently volunteers as Vice-Chair of the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada.
Kenny Podmore arrived in Canada from the UK 14 years ago, staying permanently after coming for a Town Crier contest. Now serving as Sidney Town Crier, as well as an elected member of Town Council, Kenny’s name is synonymous with community service. He has spearheaded fund-raising for good causes, from the Lions Food Bank, to Sidney-by-the Sea Rotary events, emergency relief following the Haiti Earthquake, to many individuals facing hard times. Among many other community awards, for his work to raise funds for a police officer stricken with cancer, Kenny received the RCMP Certificate of Appreciation.
Captain (retired) Harry Rice has served Canada and the Canadian Forces through a long and distinguished career in the Canadian Forces. Beginning in the 1950s in the Canadian Forces, he has served at home and overseas, achieving the rank of Chief Warrant Officer. He went on to accept the Queen’s Commission as a Captain. In retirement, Capt. Rice has become a mainstay of the Royal Canadian Artillery Regimental family. He has also volunteered with the Federal Superannuates National Association, as well as helping veterans receive health benefits and complete income tax returns, through his liaison work with Veterans Affairs Canada.
Gladys Otto is a stellar community volunteer. She moved from Moosejaw to Brentwood Bay in 1933 and made a huge impact on the community. She is a founder of the Central Saanich Senior Citizens Association (CSSCA) and played in key role in the creation of the Seniors’ Centre. Thanks to her leadership and the strong support of the community, CSSCA has invested over $1 million in operating, maintaining, expanding and improving the centre serving Central Saanich Seniors. On June 9, 2012, Gladys celebrated her 90th birthday.
Betty Wilson is a mainstay in the Sidney business community. For 30 years, she has owned and managed the Saanich Peninsula’s only bowling alley. Betty has donated countless hours to community services – bowling leagues for seniors, children and special efforts to create opportunities for the physically challenged. She has a smile for everyone and knows her customers by name. As her nominator said “she is always ready to go the extra mile to support her community.
Edward Russell Murphy CD is perhaps uniquely qualified among all Canadians receiving the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. On behalf of his regiment, he participated in the Queen’s Coronation in 1953. He served in Korea and was in the Battle of Kapyong, for which President Harry S. Truman awarded him the U.S. Presidential Citation. A resident of Pender Island, he has served his community through 30 years as a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 239, speaking to school groups as well as working on the annual Poppy campaign for two decades. He contributed time and energy to the Lions Club fundraising and the building of the local school, medical clinic and senior housing.
Elizabeth Joan Sparling has dedicated her life’s work to helping people with autism. She is currently the Clinical Director for Pivot Point Family Services, the largest provider of autism services in BC. Her earlier career involved work in the Saanich public school system, including coaching the Parkland Secondary School Girls’ Rowing Team. Many charities have benefitted from her volunteer work, including work overseas through CIDA. Elizabeth continues to run marathons and ultra marathons.
Karen Anne Morgan is a mainstay in the Saanich Peninsula. Past Chair of the Board of the Mary Winspear Centre, Past President of Sidney-by-the-Sea Rotary, current director of the Norgaard Foundation and Executive Director of the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation, Karen has made an indelible imprint on her community. Karen was appointed by the Prime Minister to the National Round Table on Environment and Economy in the early 1990s. Her drive and professionalism for the Saanich-Peninsula Hospital has enhanced our community through new emergency rooms, a new CT scan, development of the Palliative Care ward and the new multi-faith chapel, among many other services.
Patrick Lane is one of Canada’s most prolific and respected writers. A native of Saskatchewan, resident of North Saanich for many years, Patrick represents all that is outstanding in the arts, producing, over 50 years, 28 books of poetry, a novel, short stories and a memoir, earning national and international honours. He has been a writer-in-residence at universities in Manitoba, Alberta, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. He volunteers his time and talent to mentor emerging writers. In 2007, he received British Columbia’s highest literary honour, the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence.
Captain Denis Pettigrew is in a unique position. The Commissionaires themselves of Victoria, the Islands and the Yukon have recognized Captain Pettigrew as their nominee for all Commissionaires in this, their 75th anniversary year. Denis Pettigrew grew up on the Saanich Peninsula and joined the RCAF in 1965. He served as an air traffic controller, retiring with the rank of Sargeant in 1991. Captain Pettigrew was called to service to assist in the post September 11, 2001 revisions to security protocols. Since 1999, he continued to serve public safety and security as a Commissionaire in the Victoria Airport. In 2006, he was awarded the Commissionaires Distinguished Service Medal.
Richard Murakami of Salt Spring Island has a personal history that is the stuff of documentaries, chronicling injustice and the shameful chapters of history. His parents had a beautiful farm on Sale Spring Island, where they were raising xx children until the internment of Japanese Canadians in the Second World War. Surviving incredible hardships, at the end of the war, the family returned to Salt Spring and attempted to purchase their own farm. Not only was this not allowed, the family was met with rascism and rejection. Persevering, their father bought land in a new location. Despite many hardships, the family has offered much to their neighbours. Richard received the Order of British Columbia for an act of extraordinary generosity – donating his family land in the heart of Ganges to create low-income housing and a beautiful Japanese garden – the Muarakami peace garden.
Petty Officer Second Class (retired) Bobby Collins receives the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal not only for his long record of military service, including in with the Canadian Guards, the Canadian Airborne Regiment, and the US forces in Vietnam, but more particularly for his dedicated volunteer work for humanitarian causes. Bobby Collins has worked in the cause of children of war, aids orphans and child survivors of natural disasters. Bobby Collins is among those wonderful volunteers in the local work of the organization, International Canadians for the Relief of Starvation and Suffering (ICROSS).
Cyril Francis Lambert passed away on February 14, 2012 at the age of 87 after a remarkable life of service. Born in the UK, Cyril Lambert was called up in 1942 to serve in the British Army. He survived the assaults on the beach at Normandy, in Calais, France and served in Belgium, Holland and Germany. Following the war, he accompanied his parents as they moved to Canada, where he found employment in Trail, BC with Cominco. He worked for 35 years for the company. In that time, he married Bernice Elliott, and they had three children Cyril Lambert was a consummate community volunteer – for cubs, soccer teams, and his church. In retirement, the Lamberts moved to Brentwood and continued as active volunteers. Bernice Lambert will accept the medal in his name.
Constable Luc Beauvais, resident of North Saanich, has served as a police officer for over twenty years, currently with the Central Saanich Police Service. Prior to moving to British Columbia, he served with VIP operations with the Ottawa Police Service and on hit and run investigations with the Victoria Police Department. Even though he has given much to his community through policing, this award is primarily for his extraordinary work to raise funds for prostate cancer research. His efforts in Motorcycle Ride with Dad and the Westcoast Motorcycle Ride to live have raised more than a half million dollars.
Margaret Irene McDonald, 95 years young, continues in her indomitable fashion as Past President of the Canadian Club of Victoria, having served on two occasions as president. Born in Alberta, she made her way to the rank of Sargeant RCAF (WD) and served from 1943-45 in a highly skilled branch of intelligence, the “Enigma” “ultra” secret team, decoding messages. Following the war, she supported her husband in his work with a diplomatic posting to the RCAF. As a professional woman, she devoted herself to a career in teaching, while dedicating her volunteer energies to church and community.
Christine Hunt was born and raised in Alert Bay, BC. She has served the interests of the First Nations people and the wild salmon and other fisheries resources of British Columbia in multiple ways. Appointed by numerous ministers and different levels of government, Christine has served on the Fraser Panel Review, the Pacific Salmon Commission, the Agriculture and Forestry Land Reserve Commission, as well as currently on the World Fisheries Forum. She has worked tirelessly to protect the Broughton Archipelago in her traditional territory from the impacts of fish farms. Christine is also a mother and grandmother who has donated countless hours to work in family services, as well as as a foster parent to three aboriginal children. She currently lives on Salt Spring Island.
Richard Yoshio Nakamura was born in Comox, BC, but along with thousands of Japanese Canadians was interned in the war; his family losing everything. After the war, he dedicated himself to help the community in which he lived. He served in all three Canadian forces and is a veteran of the Korean War. He has been very involved, and recognized with many honours, for his work to achieve redress for the Japanese Canadian community. As well, he has volunteered with many service organizations, including Kiwanis Club (from which he received their service award), the Chamber of Commerce, the Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria and the Greater Victoria Japanese Cultural Association.
Lynda Farmer is an extraordinary philanthropist and volunteer. Professionally she has worked in the public service and in non-profit organizations. The range of her interests is eclectic, from equestrian facilities, to opera, to arthritis, the United Way and helping the Mary Winspear Centre. Most recently, she, along with her husband, Murray Farmer, Chancellor of University of Victoria, co-chaired the fundraising efforts to establish Sidney’s Ocean Discovery Centre. She has been active, including as chair, of the Camosun College Board of Governors. A resident of North Saanich, she has contributed in a deep and meaningful way to the life of her community.

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