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Medals of gratitude

Local politicians joined forces on Saturday to recognize the community contributions of two dozen residents.

Local politicians joined forces on Saturday to recognize the community contributions of two dozen residents.

Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medals are being awarded to Canadians to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ascension to the throne. The medals are honouring the contributions of more than 60,000 Canadians.

New Westminster MLA Dawn Black, New Westminster-Coquitlam MP Fin Donnelly and Burnaby-New Westminster MP Peter Julian hosted a "made in New Westminster" event on Jan. 26 to present medals to 24 recipients. New Westminster resident John Ashbridge MCed the event, Cal Donnelly led the crowd in singing O Canada and God Save the Queen, acting mayor Jaimie McEvoy brought greetings from city hall, and Neil Macpherson from the New Westminster Police Pipe Band and Sgt. Bruce Ballingall and Const. Andrew Corazzo of the New Westminster Police Department formed the honour guard.

Julian presented medals to the following residents: Tony Antonias, local arts promoter; Dorothy Beach, longtime environmentalist; Jun Cadiente, senior member and volunteer for the New Westminster St. John Ambulance Brigade; Andrew Conradi, supporter of fair trade for underdeveloped countries and served with Canadian Forces for 27 years; Eman Elmasri, program coordinator for Community Gateway and Newcomer Youth Connection programs, and organizer of many events; Keith Hutchinson, volunteer with Canadian National Institute for the Blind, the B.C. Rehabilitation Foundation and Big Sisters of B.C., as well as many other boards; Coun. Chuck Puchmayr, founder of A Beef with Hunger which raises beef and donates to non-profit meal providers and schools, as well as volunteer speaker with B.C. Transplant and Organ Donation; Janine Reid, participant with the Grandmother to Grandmother campaign that promotes awareness and money for grandmothers in Africa who are raising their orphaned grandchildren due to HIV/AIDS pandemic; Coun. Lorrie Williams, founder of the Canadian Harambee Education Society that provides scholarships to Kenyan and Tanzanian high school girls who can't afford to pay for an education.

Donnelly presented medals to a number of recipients, including: Leo Braniff, sergeant at arms with the Port Moody Royal Canadian Legion; Rick Carswell, longtime community volunteer in New Westminster and president of the Arts Council of New Westminster; Laura Cuthbert, community volunteer in New Westminster since the age of eight; Norbert Ryan Ferrer, a youth and community leader who has increased the involvement of the Filipino community in New Westminster; Mona Forsyth, coordinator of the New Westminster Food Bank; Herb Hamm, volunteers in the com-munity and curator of the Royal Westminster Regimental Museum; Terry Leith, member of the Royal Canadian Legion; Alana McIntyre, longtime volunteer in New Westminster; Ceilidh Millar, youth volunteer; Nsibe (Nancy) Puri, a longtime volunteer in New Westminster; and Ted Usher, longtime volunteer in New Westminster.

Black presented medals to: John (Jack) Fulton, a New Westminster native who's made contributions in various fields, particularly lacrosse; Anita Hagen, whose community service include serving on the school board and as MLA, helping to establish the Western Society for Senior Citizens Services (now known as the Seniors Services Society) and leading the capital drive for the establishment of the city's first transition house for women and children fleeing violence; Andrew Murray, a community builder who founded Royal City Farmers Market, co-founded the local chapter of the Council of Canadians and is a founding member of the New Westminster Environmental Partners; and Gerda Suess, a well known volunteer on local and provincial organizations.

In addition to the medals presented by the local politicians, some other New Westminster residents have received Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medals through various organizations.