Honourable senators, I rise today to report that on September 17 it was my great pleasure to join with Alberta Lieutenant Governor Donald Ethell at Government House in Edmonton to present Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals to 30 exceptional Canadians. It was a beautiful fall day, made all the more so by the Lieutenant Governor, who charmed everyone with his wit and warmth, as we individually recognized the vital contributions made by each of the medal recipients to their communities and to our province.
All of the Albertans we honoured in Edmonton that day were nominated by their peers, vetted by an independent panel, and deservedly known and admired for their impressive accomplishments and generous philanthropy. The recipients represent a broad diversity of accomplishments that includes, to mention a few, a Korean War veteran who has worked tirelessly to help other veterans; a holocaust survivor who has documented a history of the Polish community in Alberta; a hockey coaching genius, famed for his contributions to the modern Canadian game; another who is affectionately known as Edmonton’s “Mother Teresa” for her dedication to the sick and terminally ill — and she is in her mid-eighties, by the way; a woman who has been dubbed “the Human Lie Detector” and who is sought out globally for her expertise in linguistic lie detection, which only one in five people is qualified to teach; and finally, an outstanding volunteer, educator and artist whose ornate pysanky have been presented to no less than Their Majesties Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, and His Holiness Pope John Paul II.
I would now like to read their names for the record: Norman Thomas Arthur, Jerry Aulenbach, Roy Bickell, Sister Annata Brockman, Bob Butlin, Deb Cautley, Pat Cooke, Richard Currie, Clare Drake, Michael Frey, John Goode, Arthur Gould, Jozef (Joe) Harasimiuk, John Holmlund, Dorothy Jamieson, Sig Jorstad, Nejolla Korris, Dr. David Lynch, Denny May, Robroy McGregor, Ken O’Shea, Jeff Polovick, Boris Radyo, Maria Romanko, Rosanna Saccomani, Wally Stokes, Marian Stuffco, Eva Tomiuk, Claudette Vague and Rachelle Venne.
By showing our appreciation for fellow citizens who give so much to our communities, the medals honor a noble Canadian tradition of civic responsibility that has helped to make Canada the best country in the world.