Citizens awarded prestigious medal
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 12:08 pm
Being the mayor of a community boasting five Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal recipients is a great honour, particularly when you are a recipient as well.
Black Diamond Mayor Sharlene Brown, Michel Jackson, Jamie Campbell, Ken McIntosh and Anne Vale were each pinned with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Honourable Donald S. Ethell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta in a private ceremony at the Griffith’s Memorial Community Seniors Centre in Black Diamond on Feb. 9.
The commemorative medal was created to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada and to honour approximately 60,000 Canadians who have made significant contributions to their province, territory, region, community or abroad.
“It’s absolutely amazing having five from our community receiving this honour,” said Brown. “It shows the dedication and commitment to our community to volunteer. It’s a huge accomplishment and I’m very honoured to be included in that group of people.”
Brown’s commitments to the community include volunteering for the Oilfields Sports Association, Scouts Canada, Beneath the Arch Concert Series and the community garden.
“It’s a part of me as far as being involved,” she said of the community. “One of the philosophies I do have as my kids were growing up is it’s very important to partake in the community. There is not the availability of paid staff in a lot of these extra curricular activities so you need to have committed volunteers.”
Another contributor to the community is McIntosh, who is known for his work with Citizens on Patrol, Meals on Wheels and various other community programs.
McIntosh joked he was baptized a volunteer. With three sons and one daughter growing up in Calgary he was involved in their athletic pursuits which led to endless hours of volunteering in Calgary and later in Black Diamond.
“Once you get into volunteerism the reward as far as I’m concerned is getting to know people,” he said. “I think that’s really important.”
Organizations that benefited from his hours of dedication were the Calgary Minor Hockey Association, the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association and Scouts Canada.
“Sometimes I wore as many as three or four different hats,” he said. In 1975, McIntosh was awarded the Henry Biney Sportsman of the Year Award.
When Ken and his wife Betty moved to Black Diamond 18 years ago he brought his volunteer spirit with him.
“When we came out here I got involved with parks and recreation issues,” he said. “There were other doors open that needed volunteers.”
In addition to sitting on the Parks and Recreation Committee, McIntosh volunteered with the Family and Community Support Services, joined the group that started Citizens on Patrol and was president of Alberta Citizens on Patrol.
“I’ve done a lot of different things and it was certainly a challenge but it was a great pleasure to help people if they needed help,” he said. “I get really passionate about that.”
Being presented with such a prestigious award as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is icing on the cake for McIntosh.
“I recognize it as something very special,” he said. “It makes you very humble when you start recognizing it’s a pretty special award.”
Campbell was presented the medal for serving as a volunteer on the Black Diamond Fire Department for 25 years, 22 as fire chief. He was also presented with the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal in 2012.
Jackson served in different capacities as a town councillor in Black Diamond on numerous boards and committees. Prior to moving to Black Diamond he served in the Canadian Armed forces for 30 years earning the ranks of Chief Warrant Officer and Regimental Sergeant Major.
Vale served on town council for five years, was instrumental in establishing the Valley Neighbours’ Club and the Black Diamond Figure Skating Club, brought the Marigold Library System to the community and was the caretaker of the Foothills Cemetery.
After presenting the medals Ethell took time to visit with each recipient during the ceremony, reveling in the opportunity to spend some time in a small town.
“When you have events such as this it’s wonderful because a lot of people come out to celebrate,” he said.
Ethell said he was glad to see such a great group of volunteers in the community.
“It’s clear to me that the people of Black Diamond have something very unique,” he said. “People like that are held up as an icon within the community.”
Ethell said receiving the medal is a rare achievement and Her Majesty is a special part of who we are as a nation.