Every discipline carries its own recognition and rewards. Business, sports, the arts, educational institutions, and many more – all these seek to internally reward those who have shown dedication, compassion and commitment to their respective cause. Communities have their own way of thanking activists as well. This is as it should be.
This past week saw two special awards arrive for Jane and me that came from even farther afield.
We were both honoured to be recipients of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal – an effort to celebrate Elizabeth II’s long and distinguished service by honouring people around the Commonwealth for their service to their country, the world, and their community. This past week – Sunday morning to be exact – I was honoured to receive a knock on our door and see Minister Chris Bentley with a big smile on his face. Because I had been in hospital during the special medal ceremony a couple of weeks previous, Chris brought the certificate and medal to me personally. His time in our living room was taken up with taking about the high calling of public service and the need to enhance our communities through sacrificial effort. I’ll remember that conversation just as much as will the medal which he so kindly presented.
Ever heard of the award of Kentucky Colonel? We hadn’t either, until a few weeks ago. We had been speaking at a large eastern Canadian conference in London and the ovation had been terrific. As we took to our seats, we were approached and informed that we were being nominated for the Order of Kentucky Colonel. Granted by the Governor of Kentucky, it is occasionally bestowed on people outside of the United States for their international efforts. Winston Churchill was one of the first to be awarded with the distinction. To have received the award as a couple was a highlight for both of us. Our special thanks to all those involved in both decisions. It came at just the right time as our family seeks to deal with a medical urgency that has yet to sort itself out.