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(Posted 8:30 a.m., July 27)
21 honoured with Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal

By Fred Sherwin

Phyllis Mayers can hardly contain her excitement as Ottawa-Orléans MPP Phil McNeely pins the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal on her during a ceremony on Wednesday. Fired Sherwin/Photo

Twenty-one local residents were honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal on Wednesday during a special ceremony at the Shenkman Arts Centre.

Ottawa-Orléans MPP Phil McNeely and Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Grant crack hosted the ceremony which was held in the main foyer of the Arts Centre.

Every MPP in Ontario was allowed to nominate up to 14 individuals for the special honour established to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Queen's reign on the throne. The 21 local recipients were honoured for their dedicated service to their peers, their community and the province of Ontario.

Phyllis Mayers took special pride in receiving her medal. The 70-year-old Pineview resident remembers singing with her school choir in her native Barbados on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth's conronation in 1952.

"I was 10-years-old and I sang my heart out. My mother made my dress and I had a big sash and a great big bow in my hair. I remember that like it was yesterday," said Mayers, who was presented with the Jubilee Medal for her lifelong record of volunteerism.

Among the 21 recipients were four veterans of the Second World War including former Gloucester city councillor Frank Cauley, 90; double Distinguished Flying Cross recipient and Naban resident Eric Smith, 91; former British Special Forces member Syd Davie, 88; and Cumberland Village resident Angus Wilson, 90, whose mother was Canada's first female Senator, Cairine Wilson.

Canadian veteran and former Ottawa-Orléans MPP Gilles Morin also received a medal, as did Domaine Perrault winery owner and domestic wine advocate Denis Perrault.

"When I look at this medal it reminds me of all the committee meetings I went to and the hundreds of hours I've put in traveling around trying to help people out. It really is an honour," said Perrault.

Veteran nurse and founding member of the Orléans Health Commiitee, Janise Johnson, was also tremendously honoured upon receiving her medal.

"I'm a avid monarchist, so this is really special to me. The Queen has dedicated her entire life to the Commonwealth and to Canada, so to recieve this medal with so many other people who have done so much, especially thse veterans is very humbling and a real honour," said Johnson.

Cpt. Kimberly Fawcett also received a medal. The Orléans resident lost her young son and her leg in a car accident in 2007 and turned tragedy into triumph by taking up the sport of triathlon and winning two bronze medals at the Para World Championships. She also established the Canadian Forces Injured Soldiers Network and founded Para-Athletes Canada, an organization that provides athletes with physical disabilities the equip.m.ent they require to participate in their chosen sport on a competitive level.

Among the other recipients were Projet Karyne founders Mary Lou and Carl Maisonneuve; Rockland businessman Jamie MacDonald; former Olympian and community advocate Dan Biocchi; Navan businessman and community advocate Ross Bradley; Orléans lawyer David Bertschi; former Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Jean-Marc Lalonde; Felix Saint-Denis, the founder of L'écho d'un peuple; Société franco-ontarienne du patrimoine et de l’histoire d’Orléans founder Nicole Fortier; Élisabeth Allard, who was instrumental in allowing francophone military personnel to receive services and work in French; Jacqueline Fraser and Nation Township Fire Chief Auréle Constanineau.

Front row: Cpt. Kimberly Fawcett, Debbie Orth, Nicole Fortier, Phyllis Mayers, Janise Johnson, Élisabeth Allard and Angus Wilson. Back row: Syd Davie, Auréle Constantineau, Mary Lou Maisonneuve, Carl Maisonneuve, Ross Bradley, Frank Cauley, Grant Crack, Eric Smith, Phil McNeely, Dan Biocchi, Jamie MacDonald, Denis Perrault, Gilles Morin, Jean-Marc Lalonde and Felix Saint-Denis. Not pictured: Jacquelin Fraser. Fred Sherwin/Photo

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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