A day after Remembrance Day, a conservationist from Stettler and a Metis minister from Big Valley were among 25 citizens who received a special Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson made the presentations Monday night during a ceremony in Stettler.
Bob Byers of Stettler and Rev David Lilly of Big Valley received their pins during the event at the Royal Canadian Legion, a fitting location because most of the recipients were Legion members.
“I thank the many people I have worked with over the years in conservation-related organizations,” said Byers, who was recognized for his exceptional volunteer service as president of the Alberta Professional Outfitters Association, as director of the Alberta Conservation Association and as an active member of other related organizations.
He has also served with the Alberta Hunter Education, Ducks Unlimited Canada, and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, which he said have a common goal.
“That is to make wild things and wild places a priority for all Albertans,” Byers said. “I am proud to have been an integral part of all these organizations and feel especially fortunate to have been chosen to receive this award.”
A volunteer pastor for Big Valley Hivernant Rendezvous since 2009, and an addictions and grief counsellor for the Metis, Lilly said he was honoured to receive the award.
“I humbly receive this medal on behalf of myself, my family and the Metis community of Alberta,” he said.
“As a Canadian citizen of Metis ancestry, I am doubly honoured to be included among the recipients of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, as I am a life member of the Monarchist League of Canada and the Canadian Protestant League.”
Four more people from the Stettler area are slated to receive medals next February, Sorenson said.
“These outstanding citizens are truly the foundation upon which our remarkable country Canada has been built, community by community,” he said as he introduced the awards.
“As your member of Parliament, I have seen first-hand the selfless and generous contributions made by many people in all of the communities throughout our riding.”
Stettler’s mayor echoed those words.
“The word that comes to my mind is community,” said Mayor Dick Richards. “Each of these recipients makes our communities a better place to live.”