It was an evening designed to pay tribute to those who have contributed to their community.
On Friday night, Abbotsford MP Ed Fast presented more than 30 local residents with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. The medals, which commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th anniversary on the throne, are presented to Canadian citizens that have provided “significant contributions or achievements” to their communities.
“On this occasion, it gives me great pleasure to honour the achievements of our fellow Abbotsford residents who have dedicated themselves in service to their peers, their community and to their country,” said Fast during the ceremony held at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium.
“These remarkable people have strengthened our country through their steadfast commitment to public service.”
Fast called the recipients “eminent community leaders” adding they enrich every aspect of the community, including the arts, business, education, and service to the poor and vulnerable.
“In doing so, they re-affirm Abbotsford’s reputation as the most generous community in Canada,” said Fast.
Also on hand for the celebration was Abbotsford South MLA John van Dongen, who joined Fast in presenting four of the medals.
A standing ovation was given to former Abbotsford Mayor George Ferguson as he was presented his medal.
The first mayor of Abbotsford, Ferguson said it was an honour to be recognized.
“I appreciated it very much. It was a good selection of recipients and, of course, there are many others who deserve that recognition too.”
He said all of the people honoured have devoted much of their time to helping others.
“That’s what makes a community. Those type of people who come forward and put themselves in position to try and help and make a better community.”
The list of Queen’s Jubilee Medal recipients on Friday night included:
Gerri Charles, Dorothy Dyck, Rudy Baerg, Mitch Borrows, Capt. Ted Bowman, Deirdre DeGagne, Harry de Jong, Brian Doerksen, Nancy Dyck, Calvin Dyck, George Ferguson, Dalip Singh Gill, Manpreet Grewal, Lynne Harris, Stan Hindmarsh, Dave Holmberg, Dave Kandal, Lorna Keith, Freddy Latham, Dave Murray, Sgt. Mike Novakowski, Geoge Peary, Dr. Darryl Plecas, Andy Sidhu, Les Talvio, Pieter Vanderpol, John Vissers, Milt Walker and Menno Froese.
Joint presentations with van Dongen:
Chief Constable Bob Rich and Christine Wiebe.
In an earlier ceremony, Deb Lowell and John Smith were also presented awards by van Dongen.