Canada 150 Medal puts spotlight on unsung heroes

More than 50 Canada 150 Medal winners prepare for a group photo following the presentation ceremony at Plaza 88 on Saturday. The group includes coaches, educators and volunteers from the Prince Albert area. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

It’s a group that contains coaches, educators and volunteers, and on Saturday they were on stage receiving recognition for their efforts.

More than 50 people were honoured for their community service on Saturday, as residents from across the federal riding of Prince Albert gathered at Plaza 88 for the Canada 150 Medal ceremony.

Prince Albert MP Randy Hoback was on hand to present the awards, which recognized non-partisan residents for their contributions. Hoback said the medal winners were the unsung heroes of the community, and added that he was surprised some had never been honoured before.

“I had a couple of them come to me and say, ‘this is the first time I’ve been acknowledged for the work that I’ve done,’ and they weren’t looking for it,” he explained. “They weren’t expecting it, and that’s what makes it so sweet, because here are people that genuinely care about our community.”

Preparations for Saturday’s medal ceremony began in 2015, but were thrown into jeopardy earlier this year. In September, the Ministry of Canadian Heritage announced they would not issue medals commemorating Canada’s sesquicentennial, despite strong

Hoback hesitated to criticize the federal government for that decision, but did say he respectfully disagreed.

“It just wasn’t what we thought was appropriate, so we said we’d step in and do it ourselves, and I’m sure glad we did,” he explained.

Prince Albert area residents weren’t the only people recognized with Canada 150 Medals. On Friday, Hoback presented another 30 medals during an awards ceremony in Tisdale.

More to come.