Local residents receive Queen's Jubilee Medals - UPDATED
Two local residents, Ron Ross from Castlegar and Lawrence Bond from Salmo, have received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award for their outstanding service to their respective communities.
Ross was presented his award Monday at the Community Forum in Castlegar, while Bond received his at Castleview Care Centre also on Monday. Senator Nancy Greene Raine presented the awards to both.
Their are 60,000 Canadians across the country who will be recognized. They were chosen by senators, MP's, as well as Military and RCMP leaders.
"It's been an absolute thrill to be able to nominate people," said Green Raine. "It's great to see the mayors respond to my requests to nominate people. I really appreciate that. We didn't hear from all communities but we sure heard from the small communities and to me that's the heart and soul of Canada."
Bond was nominated by Salmo mayor Ann Henderson for his tireless work in the community.
"When I got the email from the senator's office - I had several names put forward by the Chamber of Commerce and various citizens - but Lawrence was right at the top of my list," she said. "He'd never had that recognition for anything and he had given so much to the community. Soon as I put his name forward everyone unanimously agreed that Lawrence deserved this."
Bond was a custodian for the local school district and worked on many projects to help children in the VIllage of Salmo. He was well known for getting up early and flooding ice rinks so the kids in the community could skate. In the summer, he helped build and maintain the local swimming pool.
"He would attend all meeting pertaining to the village," said Henderson. "He worked tirelessly both in groups and, in many cases, run recreation facilities for the local children. He never hesitated to pick up a shovel when that was required. He was a great neighbour and a devoted friend."
Ron Ross received his award for his work with his Castlegar Sunrise 2000 Rotary Club. Ron and his wife Elaine were integral in forming the morning club and continue to be very active members. Ross is also heavily involved with Help Honduras, a program that helps children in that country go to school when they wouldn't normally be able to.
"He's being recognized for contributions he's made not only in Canada but also outside Canada," said Green Raine about Ross. "He really does exemplify the fact that in our country we are so blessed. When people go beyond are borders and contribute it's also very worthy of recognition."
The award presentation for Ross was done at the Castlegar Community Forum in a small presentation attended by several city staff, acting mayor Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff, and his wife Elaine.
"I was quite overwhelmed," said Ross. "I can tell you this, it's extremely special that I have someone like Senator Nancy Green Raine to present it to me. The female athlete of the last century. I already sent an email to my friends in Honduras not just that I was receiving the medal but who was presenting it."
Ross remembers a trip he took with his wife to Honduras many years ago that started them off with the Help Honduras program.
"We thought we should go and find out where the money went," he said. "Once we met the Rotarians in Honduras, we were so impressed. They took us down and showed us the kids and the mothers. At that time, there were only 60 or 70 in the program and they were just starting. We thought, 'Wow, this is something we can really be proud to work on and really make a difference.'"
Today the program has more than 2,300 children attending school from kindergarten up to university.