More than 30 deserving individuals were recognized for their contributions in the community with a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal at the EA Rawlinson Centre on Friday evening.
Prince Albert MP Randy Hoback presented the honourees with a federal version of the Medal, which is not the same as the provincial version. Hoback took nominations for the riding through social media and letters.
“This is a tribute evening to show appreciation to the people of my riding of Prince Albert,” Hoback said in his speech before the awards were handed out. “I know everybody here was nominated by somebody in the community, be it a co-worker, a friend, a neighbour. Somebody who has seen you give and give back to your community over and over again and thought it would be appropriate that you receive such a medal as this.”
Hoback said it was an honour to be able to recognize so many worthy candidates, and to honour Queen Elizabeth II at the same time.
“The Queen herself was a person that gave so much of her life,” he said. “Her entire life was giving back to the community. It was serving others.”
Among those receiving the honour were 2021 Prince Albert Citizen of the Year Marie Mathers and 2022 Prince Albert Citizen of the Year Marj Bodnarchuk.
Bodnarchuk said everyone who received a medal was a worthy recipient.
“(There are) all of these wonderful people who have been contributing for decades and decades and they are still hard at it,” she said. “No matter how up in years they get, they still have the energy and the mental drive to keep going even more. I don’t know where else in Canada you would have such a large percentage of the population dedicated to volunteering.”
Both Bodnarchuk and Mathers have also received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal at the provincial level. Mathers said all recipients deserved the recognition, and argued that many deserved it even more than she did.
“These other people are better qualified than me,” she said.
Mather is a long time Prince Albert Legion volunteer. She said it was special to see several Legion members receive recognition, including veteran Clarence Jackson and volunteer Pat Lunny. She said it was also a great way to honour the Queen’s reign.
“It’s just unbelievable not only what the Queen did for Canada but what she has left as a legacy,” Mathers said.
Lake Mathers, Bodnarchuk said there were countless others who could have received a medal. She’s grateful for their contributions too.
“There is dozens upon dozens of more Prince Albert and community citizens that have yet to be recognized and I’m certain they will in future years, but it’s a very, very busy community,” she said. “We have opportunities here to be involved in just about anything and everything, and it’s easy to become involved and it’s easy to help out.
“We have all of these wonderful people being recognized and I think it will inspire a lot of other people, especially the younger generations, to want to get involved in things and contribute,” she added.
Bodnarchuk’s friend and fellow board member at the Prince Albert Science Centre Jan Olekso also received a medal
“She is busy with the church and she is busy with the Exhibition Association and she’s busy with the retired teachers’ association and she just helps out in all sorts of situations in the community when asked,” Bodnarchuk said.
Bodnarchuk thought the Queen’s Jubilee Medal is a great way to remember Queen Elizabeth II.
“It’s a great celebration,” she said. “I was thinking about the Queen having a 70th Anniversary, a Platinum Anniversary of her reign. It is something that is really, really rare that you would get a world leader who has that many years of consistent reign and service and we are actually living to see this. We are enjoying so much recognition because of what she did, her work and her life.
“I’m so glad that we have now federal recognition through Randy Hoback and his efforts to acknowledge the Queen’s years of service and what an inspiration she was to all of us,” she added.
Also receiving a medal was 2020 Citizen of the Year winner Margaret Ferguson and former Citizen of the Year Malcolm Jenkins.
Hoback will be in Tisdale on Saturday to recognize deserving people from that section of his riding including residents of Melfort, Tisdale, Nipawin, Carrot River and other communities.
Receiving medals were
Richard Ahenakew, Prince Albert; Wayne Bacon, Kinistino; Mark Bergen, Prince Albert; Don Bernier, Prince Albert; Marjorie Bodnarchuk, Prince Albert; David Bodvarson, Shellbrook; Ralph Boychuk, Prince Albert; Robert Bratvold, Prince Albert; Gord Broda, Prince Albert; Chief Wally Burns, James Smith Cree Nation; Nancy Carruthers, Christopher Lake; Carol Churchill, Birch Hills; Russell Clunie, Prince Albert; Natalie Clyke, Prince Albert; Brennan Dupre, Prince Albert; Gordon Dupre, Prince Albert; Margaret Ferguson, Prince Albert; Isidore Gaudet, Bellevue; Evelyn Hagley, Prince Albert; Deborah Halverson, Weldon; John Herd, Birch Hills; Vern Hodgins, Prince Albert; Patricia Hughes, Prince Albert; Clarence Jackson, Prince Albert; Sonya Jahn, Prince Albert; Malcolm Jenkins, Prince Albert; Eldeen Johnson, Kinistino; Luciano Lauzon, Prince Albert; Patricia Lunny, Prince Albert; Gloria Mahussier, Prince Albert; Marie Mathers, Prince Albert; Doris McDougall, St. Louis; Sherry McLennan, Prince Albert; Dr Nnamdi Ndubuka, Prince Albert;Janis Olesko, Prince Albert; Annie Pistun, Snowden;Teena Polle, Prince Albert; Andrew Poulin, Prince Albert; Stephen Roberts, Prince Albert; Stella Rodwin, Prince Albert; Myron Schmalz, Prince Albert; Kam Singh, Prince Albert; Joan Sommerfeld, Shellbrook and Gail Syverson, Prince Albert.