Thirty Langley citizens received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal at a formal ceremony on Saturday morning.
The awards are being given to 60,000 Canadians in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s reign. While the number sounds large, MP Mark Warawa noted that these 60,000 are out of a total group of 34 million Canadians.
“The Queen has devoted her entire life to the service of others,” Warawa said.
He noted that there has only been one other diamond jubilee for a monarch of this country — Queen Victoria’s jubilee in 1897. Queen Victoria is the current Queen’s great-great-grandmother.
Warawa was able to recommend 30 people for the medal, and asked a committee of three to help him with the choices. On the panel were Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce executive director Lynn Whitehouse, John Aldag, historic sites manager for Park Canada, in charge of Fort Langley National Historic Park and Times editor Frank Bucholtz.
Warawa said that the 30 who were chosen are representative of many other Langley citizens who are deeply involved in many community activities and working to bettering Langley, the country and the world.
“They followed their civic and patriotic duty and did so because it was the right thing to do,” he said.
Receiving the awards were the following individuals.
Award recipients were: Peter Ash, Patricia Barker, Bays Blackhall, Helmut Boehm, Eric Bysouth, Barb Creighton, David Esworthy, Zofja Ettenberg, Peter Fassbender, Margaret Foster, Chief Marilyn Gabriel, Manjit Gill, Rhys Griffiths, Marlene Grinnell, Bruce Kilby, Tim Lounsbury, Peter Luongo, Sharla Mauger, Jim McGregor, Terry Metcalfe, Lloyde Plante, Elizabeth Pratt, Michael Pratt, Iris Ramsdale, Carla Robin, Marvyn Shore, Tanya Tait, Tara Teng, Toots Tucker and George Vandergugten.
At least three other Langley residents have also received the medals.
Former Township Mayor Kurt Alberts received one from Township council; Whitehouse received one from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Senator Gerry St. Germain awarded one to June Driediger.
Here are more details about the 30 recipients of medals on Saturday.
1. Recipient: Peter Ash Nominated by: MP Mark Warawa
Peter Ash is a passionate philanthropist and entrepreneur known worldwide for his work in fighting discrimination, dismemberment and murder of people with albinism, primarily in Africa. In 2008, Mr. Ash founded Under the Same Sun, a non-government organization that supports persons with albinism in Tanzania by providing them with resources, education and medical assistance.
2. Recipient: Patricia Barker Nominated by: Robert Scott
Currently a retired firefighter, Patricia Barker spends a large amount of time involved in supporting various charities through fundraising and active participation including work with Children's Burn Camp and Burn fund. She has coached youth canoeing, Dragon Boat racing for cancer survivors, and has worked with visually- and hearing-impaired persons. Her deeds occur locally and internationally and are worthy and deserving of recognition.
3. Recipient: Bays Blackhall Nominated by: Bob Rogers
Bays Blackhall has continued to contribute to many facets of BC society. Foremost was the saving of the 640 acre Bell cranberry bog, which was destined to be the GVRD garbage dump. She also saved the Fort Langley CNR station, commissioned the only statue of Sir James Douglas and founded several societies and foundations for the benefit of our community.
4. Recipient: Helmut Boehm Nominated by: MP Mark Warawa
Helmut Boehm is a passionate visionary who has served as Executive Director of Wagner Hills Farm Society in Langley since September 1981 when he moved from Alberta to the 45 acre farm in northeast Langley. In that time, Mr. Boehm has counselled and supported over 4000 men who arrived from all over Canada and the US seeking healing from drug, alcohol, gambling and sexual addictions.
5. Recipient: Eric Bysouth Nominated by: Don Woode
The late Eric Bysouth was one of Langley’s most devoted volunteers. From the 1970s, when the Bysouths settled in Langley, Mr. Bysouth took an active role in the community. He was instrumental in the development of McLeod Athletic Park, the creation of the Rotary field house and Rotary Park. Mr. Bysouth was also named Langley’s Senior of the Year and the H.D. Stafford Good Citizen of the Year.
6. Recipient: Barb Creighton Nominated by: Darren C. Cambell
Corporal Barb Creighton is a serving member of the RCMP. She has held many posts in her 12 year career including general duties, community policing and serving on the missing person's unit. As a community volunteer, Ms. Creighton was the team captain of a group which fundraised for women's cancers. In 2011, she raised over $41,000 towards cancer research. She is a cancer survivor, community leader and an example for others to follow.
7. Recipient: David Esworthy Nominated by: MP Mark Warawa
David Esworthy was recently inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame as Builder of the Equestrian sport in BC and throughout Canada. In addition to his equine activities, he was Chair of the Langley Spirit of BC community committee, President of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, and Director of the Justice Institute of BC. He was awarded the H.D. Stafford Langley Good Citizen award in 2008.
8. Recipient: Zofja Ettenberg Nominated by: Bella Vokes
Zofja Ettenberg is a community activist. She has served on 30 different community boards and committees, brought the HandyDart to Langley and created the Disability Pavilion. She founded the Langley Pos-Abilities Society, a non-profit agency that helps improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by providing equipment to those in need and educating the community. She has won multiple awards including Woman of the Year in 1999 and Courage to Come Back in 2008.
9. Recipient: Peter Fassbender Nominated by: Pamela Milburn
Peter Fassbender is the very popular Mayor of the City of Langley since 2005. He has chaired many committees including the Fraser Valley Regional Library Board, Emergency Planning Committee, Police Advisory Committee and Social Planning Committee. Mayor Fassbender is a former Trustee of the Langley School Board and a former member of the Langley Recreation Commission.
10. Recipient: Margaret Foster Nominated by: Janet Drapeau
Margaret Foster has more than 7000 hours of volunteer service with the Langley RCMP detachment. Ms. Foster is the Chief Volunteer who gives an incredible amount of her time and effort for the Aldergrove Community Police Office. She sets an excellent example by being a caring, giving citizen in our community.
11. Recipient: Chief Marilyn Gabriel Nominated by: MP Mark Warawa
Chief Marilyn Gabriel is the much respected leader of Kwantlen First Nation. Raised on the Kwantlen reserve in Fort Langley, she was appointed Council Member in 1989 and Chief in 1993. Chief Gabriel has made many contributions to our community, including reclaiming the traditional name of Kwantlen for her people. She leads within our community with honesty and wisdom.
12. Recipient: Manjit Gill Nominated by: Pardeep Sahota
Manjit Gill has lived in Langley since 1972. She has served on the Canadian Cancer Society Board for 15 years, on the Recreation, Culture, and Parks Advisory Committee in Langley Township, on the Fort Langley Museum Advisor Group and the Burnaby Multicultural Board. She is a Paul Harris Award winning Rotarian.
13. Recipient: Rhys Griffiths Nominated by: Robert Puls
Ryhs Griffiths is a timeless environmental advocate and community volunteer. He is the founding member of 'Pollution Probe' North Bay, director of Langley Environmental Partners Society, and past president of Langley Field Naturalists. He is a recipient of the Dorothy Walford Memorial, Legacy Stewardship and BC Nature's Service awards. He has been honoured as Langley Senior Citizen of the Year and Langley City Special Volunteer.
14. Recipient: Marlene Grinnell Nominated by: Pamela Milburn
Marlene Grinnell is an outstanding citizen of Langley. She is a board member for Fraser Health, former Mayor of the City of Langley and former Chair of the Langley School Board. She has served on the BC Transit Commission, TransLink and the Municipal Finance Authority. In her roles as Mayor and as Chair of the Langley School Board, Ms. Grinnell’s leadership was strong, steady and wise... and extremely popular.
15. Recipient: Bruce William Kilby Nominated by: Robert Scott
Bruce Kilby is a 32 year firefighter with Langley City Fire. He is involved in numerous charities through fundraising and active participation. Most noteworthy is his 17 year involvement with the BC Songwriters Showcase Association which supports local artists. He has been involved in the Cadet program for 13 years, holding the rank of Captain. Mr. Kilby has been awarded the C. D. Exemplary Service Medal and the BC Fire Service Medal.
16. Recipient: Tim Lounsbury Nominated by: MP Mark Warawa
Since moving to Langley with his family 40 years ago, Tim Lounsbury has been significantly involved in our community. In 1992, he was instrumental in expanding Big Brothers of Langley to include girls and women as well. His extensive volunteer work includes his involvement in the Rotary Club of Langley Central where he chaired many club committees. In 2004, Mr. Lounsbury was awarded the H.D. Stafford Good Citizen of the Year award.
17. Recipient: Peter Luongo Nominated by: MP Mark Warawa
Peter Luongo has been directing the internationally acclaimed Langley Ukulele Ensemble for over thirty years. Under his tutelage, many students have had the opportunity to develop strong leadership and showmanship skills. Mr. Luongo’s ensemble, made up of students aged 12-21, routinely performs across Canada and the world. In his pursuit of musical excellence, Mr. Luongo has helped establish Langley as the “Ukulele Capital” of Canada.
18. Recipient: Sharla Mauger Nominated by: MP Mark Warawa
Sharla Mauger has served as a City of Langley Councillor for over nine years. In addition to council duties, she has also been involved in a number of organizations including Special Olympics and Rotary International. During her time as Councillor, Ms. Mauger worked tirelessly on Langley’s successful 10 by 10 Challenge committee which sought to increase employment of persons with disabilities by 10%, or over 13,000 jobs by 2010.
19. Recipient: Jim McGregor Nominated by: MP Mark Warawa
Jim McGregor has worked in the fire service for over 36 years, including his position as Langley City’s Fire Chief. He is a devoted volunteer who has spent many years co-chairing the Langley Christmas Bureau which coordinates the distribution of gifts and donations to Langley residents in need. Mr. McGregor is also an accomplished writer and poet who contributes weekly to The Langley Times’ “At least that’s what McGregor says.”
20. Recipient: Terry J. Metcalfe Nominated by: Darrell M. Dean
Terry Metcalfe is a retired Township fire chief who has served his community, province and his country through timeless volunteer activities which include: Langley Animal Protection Society, Aldergrove Credit Union, Langley Lodge and the Aldergrove Rotarians. He is dedicated and loyal to the community and animals of the City and Township of Langley.
21. Recipient: Lloyde F.J. Plante Nominated by: Robinson J. Aubrey
Lloyde Plante has nearly 40 years of distinguished service with the RCMP. During his years of service, he worked as an Inspector for the Integrated National Security Enforcement team and has traveled abroad to work with the British Team of Special Air Service on a highly secret mission that helped free two Canadians and one foreign person held captive in Iraq. Mr. Plante was a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.
22. Recipient: Elizabeth Pratt Nominated by: Karen Bath
Elizabeth Pratt is a Langley resident who, with her brother Michael, co-founded a memorial grove of 158 trees and a cenotaph to commemorate the Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Their “Walk to Remember” is the only memorial of its kind in Canada. Ms. Pratt will graduate from UBC in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and hopes to attend law school thereafter.
23. Recipient: Michael Pratt Nominated by: Karen Bath
Michael Pratt is a Langley teenager who, with his older sister Elizabeth, envisioned a memorial that would pay homage to the Canadian soldiers killed on duty in Afghanistan. Embodying the Mohandas Gandhi quote “Be the change you want to see in the world”, the Pratt siblings were able to create the largest Afghanistan memorial of its kind in Canada. Michael attends Brookswood Secondary where he plays on the basketball team and volunteers as a peer mediator.
24. Recipient: Iris Ramsdale Nominated by: Donna Porter
For the past 25 years, Iris Ramsdale has devoted uncountable hours in large and small ways. With sensitivity and kindness, Ms. Ramsdale educates the senior Karen refugees who have settled in Langley, and has become their trusted friend as well as a devoted parish volunteer. As an events organizer, she finds no job too small or too onerous. Iris is also a long time volunteer at the Langley Christmas Bureau. Her cheerfulness puts smiles on the faces of many disadvantaged families.
25. Recipient: Carla Robin Nominated by: David Esworthy
Carla Robin has made a tremendous impact on the quality of life in the Langleys and beyond, often on a completely volunteer basis. With outstanding ability and integrity she has contributed to the Langley Arts Society, BC Games, United Way Senior’s Table, Langley Spirit of BC and the Langley Horse and Farm Federation. Ms. Robin is an active, energetic and knowledgeable force for good in our community.
26. Recipient: Marvyn Shore Nominated by: Frances MacKenzie
Marvyn Shore is an incredible volunteer in our community. Over the last 20 years of retirement, he has been involved with Hospice, Meals on Wheels, his Synagogue, Lawn Bowling, Seniors’ Center and Theatre. Additionally, Mr. Shore has served on eight Boards of Directors as President and/or Secretary.
27. Recipient: Tanya Tait Nominated by: Todd Hauptman
Tanya Tait has been a volunteer and advocacy worker in Langley for more than 20 years, including serving as the PR Director for Special Olympics BC 2013 Summer Games, Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life since 2004, 2010 Olympic Legacy Committee, and former Chair of Abbotsford Healthy Communities. Out of love and generosity, Ms. Tait donated one of her kidneys to save a friend’s life.
28. Recipient: Tara Teng Nominated by: Marika Siewert
Tara Teng is a human rights activist who is passionate about seeing people live in freedom. She has used her platforms as Miss BC 2010, Miss Canada 2011 and Miss World Canada 2012 to raise awareness for social justice issues, most specifically in human trafficking. Ms. Teng is a champion for many charities including World Vision, the Dalit Freedom Network, and the International Justice Mission. She continues to empower people every day.
29. Recipient: Toots Tucker Nominated by: Sheila Puls
With beaming smile and enthusiastic hugs, Toots Tucker spends all her days in service to others through about 20 different organizations. Her interests include helping seniors, the homeless, the sick, the environment, her church and the community at large. In 2012, Toots was recognized as the female Langley Senior of the Year.
30. Recipient: George Vandergugten Nominated by: Jared Campbell
George Vandergugten envisioned and opened the Langley Food Bank in 1989 to provide for those in need in our community. The Langley Food Bank provides food, builds relationships and aims to meet any other needs that may arise—physical, social or spiritual in nature. Mr. Vandergugten and his wife continue to serve over 1,000 Langley residents every week.