The 30 recipients from Westman that were awarded the Canada 150 Service Medallion were recently announced. The awards ceremony was held at the Riverview Curling Club in Brandon and over 200 individuals came out to celebrate the recipients.
The Canada 150 Service Medallion was created to recognize outstanding Westman volunteers who have made significant contributions to their communities, in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Canada’s Confederation. Canada is a nation of volunteers who work hard to keep their communities alive and well. They deserve to be recognized for their work, which is why we put the Canada 150 Service Medallion together.
The full list of recipients for the Canada 150 Service Medallion were:
Darryl Andrews, Brandon - Darryl has always believed it is important to give back to the community where you live. He has been involved with Brandon Minor Baseball, Brandon Curling Club, United Way of Brandon and District and Brandon Community Builders, to name a few. Darryl is a dedicated volunteer in the community and is always committed to going the extra mile.
Adam Bajus, Kola - received the Medallion for his work as a tireless volunteer in the Kola community. Adam has volunteered on mission trips for youth to Kentucky and Nairobi, as well as volunteering at the local church and at Kenosee Lake Bible Camp. As well, he received the Medallion for his efforts on the Skating Rink Board, as a fundraiser for the Kola Community School, the Playground Committee, with the local Foodgrains Bank and as a leader when emergency sandbagging needed to take place in the community.
Charlene Claeys-Godard, Glenboro - selected for her work with tutoring students from Glenboro School outside of school hours in all subjects, for her work on the Ladies Night committee and for the countless hours she has donated to coach several different school basketball teams. Charlene has also volunteered for the local Festival of the Arts, coordinating two different festivals each spring, and she organized the UCT Christmas Cheer, Easter Cheer and Thanksgiving Cheer programs, to name a few.
Ann Clark, Brandon - Ann has been a faithful and committed volunteer at Canadian Blood Services for over 19 years. Whether it is making sure donors don’t leave without a snack or juice, changing ice trays with a passion that is second to none, or making sure the leftover treats go to those who are hungry, she goes above and beyond to help in any way she can. Her caring attitude and ability to engage people in conversation is a quality everyone should strive for.
Dorothy Coupland, Boissevain - received the Medallion for her work volunteering for Palliative Care in Boissevain. Her work has allowed many seniors to live in their own homes longer than they would have been able to without her. Dorothy also volunteers countless hours at the Boissevain Thrift Shop, as well as with the meals for seniors program from service for seniors. She has also served as a Director on the Fair Board in Boissevain for many years, and it has been a success in no small part due to her hard work.
Clare Couling, Oak Lake - recognized with the Medallion for his work in many areas of his community. Clare helped to found the Oak Lake & Area Donor’s Choice in 2005, serving as President and a canvasser until 2016. He was a founding member of the Oak Lake District Museum, an Oak Lake Lions Club member, Chair of the Oak Lake & Area Cemetery, and is a Life Member of the Oak Lake Agricultural Society to name just a few of the areas that he has contributed to in his community.
Jillan DeCosse, Brandon - received the Medallion because of her history of volunteering within her community. Jillian has created new opportunities for people to become involved, she has supported the efforts of others as a valuable team member, and she is a firm believer and contributor to making her community a great place to live and work. She is a founder of the Westman Ultimate Disc League, a performer at countless fundraising and entertainment events, a leader and role model among her peers and with youth. Whether as a Board member, fundraiser, leader or team member, Jillian's efforts continue to improve the quality of life for youth, disadvantaged citizens and individuals in the community and beyond.
Ferg Devins, Souris - Ferg was recognized for over sixty years of volunteerism in his community. To name a few of his contributions, Ferg has volunteered coaching both hockey and baseball, and has been involved with both the curling club and the golf course in Souris as well. His work with WCG-TV in Souris has kept that valuable community service functioning. His latest project, The Souris Railway Museum, has been a huge success and has showcased a valuable piece of the Towns’ history.
Trudy Dickson, Melita - received the Medallion for her work ensuring every community event is covered by the local access channel, including by attending many events on her free time and recruiting others to help get film onto the channel so it can be viewed. She has also been a tireless volunteer at events in the community such as the Santa Claus Parade, Banana Days, and Prairie Arts Council Plays to name a few. She also volunteers driving seniors who can no longer drive themselves to events in surrounding communities.
Brian Fowell, Brandon - Brian has had a passion for volunteering and helping others for over 40 years. From searching for missing people, teaching winter and summer survival, providing first aid at community events, delivering hampers, teaching first aid to northern communities, driving for Red Nose, making ice at the West End Community Centre to tilling over 400 gardens, Brian motivates people to do their best. Brian is a born teacher and mentor and many have been touched by his volunteer efforts.
Kerselin Fumier, Brandon - as the President of the Mauritius Cultural Association, Kerselin has always worked hard for the Mauritian community in Brandon. He has a passion for sharing the Mauritius culture with others and works diligently to improve the relationship and status of the Mauritian membership within Brandon and Manitoba. Kerselin organizes and plans many events for the Association to take part in, these include the Brandon Winter Festival, Brandon parades, annual picnics, traditional Mauritius holidays and events, as well as other activities in the community. Kerselin goes above and beyond volunteering his time to promote the Mauritian culture and bring people together.
Robert Gudnason, Glenboro - selected for his tireless work with the New Arena project in Glenboro, including his ongoing efforts as one of the founders of a charity golf tournament created to fundraise for the project. Robert also serves as a volunteer firefighter and has been the driving force behind many upgrades to the S.A. Oleson Field and other ball diamonds in Glenboro.
Dennis Gullett, Wawanesa - selected for his dedication as a member of the Oakland-Wawanesa Volunteer Fire Department, first as a firefighter and most recently as its chief. Dennis also coordinates the Oakland-Wawanesa Volunteer Ambulance Service as a fully trained attendant. As well, he is Chairman of the Wawanesa Water Park Board and volunteers as a coach for minor sports in the community.
Linda Gundrum, Clearwater - received the Medallion for her efforts volunteering in the community. Linda has been on the committee for the booth for the Annual Clearwater Ball Tournament for the last 50 years. Linda has been involved in making and serving food for almost every event in Clearwater, including serving meals at hockey games with all of her own equipment prior to the new rink being built in town. She has also served on the Clearwater Development Board and at the Harvest Moon Festival.
Alicia Hoemsen, Elkhorn - received the Medallion as the founder of Strays That Can’t Pay, a non-profit organization that seeks to help abandoned animals in our area. She volunteers in four First Nations communities in Manitoba, where she has spent many hours rescuing over 1,000 animals and helping to find them better homes.
Bryan Jackson, Minto - received the Medallion for his work as a volunteer fireman, on the Minto Rink Committee, on the Minto Community Hall Committee, on the local Co-op Board and on the committee for a local history book for Minto. Bryan has also spent time volunteering for events in the community such as Minto Sports Day, the Minto Bonspiel, the Minto Fall Supper, Minto Trivia Nights, the Minto Centennial and many more.
Mike Johnson, Baldur - Mike was selected for his work to improve the Baldur community. A need was heard to have a pharmacy within the hospital and Mike worked to form a group to ensure this project was completed. When the Royal Bank pulled out of the community, Mike was on the committee that brought a credit union to town. He was also the driving force behind creating a picnic shelter in Argyle Park, he has spearheaded many upgrades to the Baldur Hall and has volunteered coaching ball and hockey, as well as at community events, such as Solstice Days.
Jean Loucks, Melita - Jean was chosen for her work with the Kinettes Service Club, as a 4-H Leader in Melita, as treasurer for the Melita Bisons Senior Hockey Team, for her time spents as a canvasser for the Melita Donor’s Choice, with the Chamber of Commerce on which she continues to work even though she is no longer a business owner, and for her work at the Victoria United Church at its many events.
Trevor Maguire, Brandon - selected for his work as Chair of the Pelican Lake Healthy Water and Fish Committee. Pelican Lake and surrounding areas have benefitted from Trevor’s leadership and commitment to improving the overall health of the lake and its water shed by installing two massive aeration systems which have resulted in a cleaner and healthier lake. As well, Trevor lead the community in raising funds to build a public washroom and change room in Ninette.
Tracey Pasternak, Alexander - received the Medallion for her ongoing dedication to her community. Tracey is a tireless volunteer who always makes an impact on those around her. Whether it is through helping youth by coaching local sports, lending a hand during emergencies, like the recent March blizzard, or making food to ensure no one ever goes hungry, Tracey always puts the community ahead of herself and is a role model for all.
Darlene Paquette, Brandon - Darlene has been an active volunteer in the community for over 30 years. She serves on the Cancer Care Manitoba Aboriginal Community Partnership Committee, volunteers with the Canadian Cancer Society, participates in the Relay for Life, serves on the Board for the Brandon Friendship Centre, and has also volunteered her time with many other organizations. Darlene has either participated in or led many initiatives on a local, regional and provincial basis. Darlene is an inspiration to those around her and is always available to others for support and mentorship.
Wayne Preston, Holland - received the Medallion for his work as a member of the local Lions Club for 35 years, as a member of the local Legion Branch and for organizing the local riders to join the Journey for Sight which raises money for the blind. Wayne also volunteers his time for neighbors and friends repairing or building from scratch anything that they need without looking for any compensation.
Norm Reid, Waskada - received the Medallion for his work with the local museum for Waskada and the surrounding area. Norm joined the Board for the museum over 20 years ago and has devoted countless hours to ensure it remains open since. Museum are a valuable part of every community, and through hard work and generosity, Norm has ensured that Waskada’s history will continue to be preserved for a long time to come.
Nancy Schiltroth, Reston - Nancy has been a tireless volunteer in the Reston community since she moved there in 1976. Nancy initiated the Memorial Gardens project with the goal of enhancing Main Street in Reston, and continues to prepare tributes each spring in remembrance of lost loved ones. Nancy also volunteers with Hidden Treasures second hand store which is operated by her church supplying clothes and housewares at affordable prices. Nancy spearheaded the Reston 125 and Canada 150 celebration weekend that is scheduled for July 21st to July 23rd, rallying all community groups together to make it the best that it can be.
Kelvon Smith, Virden - received the Medallion for his tireless work volunteering as a walking tour guide for groups and school classes, as well by canoe. He also contributes to the local Legion Branch as its’ Sergeant-At-Arms, has been very involved in the local Cadets Organization and has volunteered on the Tourism Westman Board of Directors for a number of years.
David Solesbury, Ninette - selected for his work founding the event “Ninette’s Cut for Cure” which was a huge success, with his team raising over $4,000 which was donated to Cancer Care Manitoba. As well, David is the President of the Pelican Pete Statue Committee, which seeks to fundraise and purchase a large statue for the entrance of Ninette. David also goes above and beyond volunteering to cut grass, move snow and transport seniors in the community.
Brian & Amber Sutherland, Kemnay - received the Medallion for their hard work in creating the highly successful "Grim Acres Scare Away Cancer Halloween Yard Haunt," which has successfully raised over $48,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. Brian also helps on the organizing committee for Relay for Life, Big Bike Ride, and Cerebral Palsy and Amber works long hours helping to mentor others. Through strength, dedication and perseverance, Brian and Amber continue to inspire others in Westman.
Patrick Sutherland, Pilot Mound - received the Medallion for his work as a volunteer Paramedic, a member of the Kinsmen Club, a member of the local Pool Committee and frequently volunteers to maintenance the pool when it needs. Patrick is currently chairperson of the Pilot Mound Millennium Complex, the treasurer, he takes bookings and also schedules the ice crew. He also serves on the Tivoli Theatre Board and at the Pilot Mound Curling Club.
Carlie Whetter, Alexander - received the Medallion for her hard work in the Alexander community. Carlie successfully brought 4H back to life in the community and now runs it, she also dedicates many volunteer hours with 4H Manitoba. She leads the Cloverbuds, which has doubled in size since inception; volunteers at the Alexander School; and dedicates her time in many community events. Carlie touches the community in many ways and is a positive role model for all.
Heather Williams, Souris - received the Medallion for her work on many organizations in Souris. Heather is a founding member of the Souris District Arts Council, which she now currently chairs. This organization continuously brings high profile entertainers to Souris for residents to enjoy. As well, Heather has volunteered countless hours of her time and talent to musical productions at Souris School, creating many of the signature costumes seen in these performances herself. She is a dedicated member of the Avalon Theatre Board and St. Paul’s United Church, having served on the coordinating committee, worship committee, administration and management committee, co-chairing the annual spring supper and as a Sunday School teacher to name just a few.
27 out of the 30 recipients attended our ceremony. See the pictures below: