At a recent Sparwood Council Meeting four Sparwood residents were awarded a prestigious and honourable medal. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her sixty years of service to this country as well as serving to honour significant contributions and selfless acts by Canadians of all ages and walks of life.
The medal itself is very symbolic and depicts a crowned image of the Queen. On the back, sixtieth, or diamond, anniversary is expressed by the central diamond shape, the background composed of a pattern of diamonds, and by the two dates. The Royal Cypher consists of the Royal Crown above the letters EIIR standing for Elizabeth II Regina and the maple leaves refer to Canada, while the motto Vivat Regina means ‘Long live The Queen!’The ribbon uses a new arrangement of the blue, red and white colours found in the 1953 Coronation Medal, the 1977 Silver Jubilee Medal, and the 2002 Golden Jubilee Medal.
Dave Wilks, MP was at the meeting, and was hounored to present Ed Ehrler, Edie Holland, Bob Doratty and Veronica Aragones with their medals for outstanding commitment to the community of Sparwood.
Ed Ehler was recognized for his dedication and contribution to the Elk Valley as the Sparwood Search and Rescue Manager. Ed was commended for a job well done in all of his search tactics and organization and especially during the trying time of when four year old Kienan Hebert was missing. He is known for his kind, calm, and professional demeanor, earning respect from all those who know him.
Edie Holland plays a huge part in bringing smiles to the faces of children through her dedicated volunteer efforts in the Toys for Tots and Angel Tree programs. She selflessly dedicates her time throughout the holiday season sorting toys and ensuring they are matched perfectly to the children receiving them. With extra funds from the program Edie purchases and sorts fresh fruit, vegetables and milk to be given to children whos families use the food bank. Edie has also helped with children’s reading programs guaranteeing Sparwood kids get off on the best start possible.
WWII veteran Bob Doratty was acknowledged for his years of service to his country and his community. Bob enlisted in the Canadian Army in June, 1940 in Natal, B.C. He received a Commendation from Field Marshall B.L. Montgomery for outstanding service with his Regimental Branch as Acting Corporal in September 1944, before achieving the rank of Sergeant. Bob married his sweetheart Marie in 1947 and is going on his sixty fifth year of marriage. Bob retired from his job as Fireboss after fourty years of service, and received a lifetime membership to the Sparwood Canadian Legion for being a sixty seven year member. Bob was instrumental in establishing both the Golf Club and the new Legion Clubhouse in Sparwood.
Humanitarian aid is what Veronica Aragones is most known for. Veronica is currently the Mission Director of the Kootenay World Outreach Society, a group she and her late husband founded in 2004 in Sparwood. This local group accepts donations and fundraises to assist those living in abject poverty in Africa, India, Mexico, the Philippines and Canada. Veronica has also coordinate a child sponsorship program for the past 20 years, allowing students to attend school and together with the group sent 9 large boxes of clothing, toys, tools, sewing materials , food and toiletries to the Philippines, a country being prioritized at this time. Veronica is known for dedicating her life to bettering the lives of others.