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MP Neil Ellis Commemorative Coins honour citizens’ community service

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis honoured more than 60 members of his riding for their service to community during a Canada 150th birthday Commemorative Coin presentation ceremony.

Ellis commissioned the coin to recognize constituents who have demonstrated a high level of individual excellence and achievement, in any field, benefitting the people of the riding.

Recipients, including more than a dozen from Prince Edward County, received the coins during a ceremony at the Banquet Centre in Belleville Sunday afternoon.

“Their incredible patience, dedication and ‘get it done’ mentality make them all worthy to accept this honour as part of our wider national celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary,” he said. “We hope this award is a permanent reminder that your efforts have raised the quality of life enjoyed in all the Bay of Quinte, and make us all grateful.”

MP Neil Ellis presented each recipient’s coin and certificate while his office, friends and family took photographs. Above he is shown with Arlene Wright, of Picton.

Recipients were nominated by members of the community then selected by a committee of citizens from throughout the riding.

“When I look at everybody here today it reminds me of what a great riding, and a great community that we have,” said Ellis.

Skip Simpson, constituency assistant to Ellis, gave a synopsis of the nominations for each of the recipients from the riding including the following from Prince Edward County:

Arlene Wright has been major financial contributor to many community programs in the Picton area for years. Among them the Loyalist Humane Society, Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Alzheimer Society, the Canadian Cancer Society, as well as the refurbishment of the HJ McFarland Home for the Aged palliative care room. She is also adopted approximately 12 municipal and non-municipal garden areas which she has revitalized at her own expense coupled with many volunteer hours.

Margaret Werkhoven has been a dedicated volunteer for more than 25 years with many different organizations. She has served as a Board Member for the Loyalist Foundation, South East Local Health Integration Network, Quinte Arts Council, Learning Foundation Hastings Prince Edward, Parish Council Christ Church, and Youthhab. She also served as Chair of the Prince Edward County Police Services Board, and the Prince Edward County Community Care Foundation, President of Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors, and Past Chair of the Board of Governors for Loyalist College.

Glen Wallis is the founder of Food To Share in Prince Edward County. His concept is simple: take the bounty that is grown in the County and produce prepared food that can be distributed through the food banks and other groups. Food To Share has donated tons of fresh produce to the Wellington District Foodbank as well as delivering hot meals to shut-ins and other clients. Glen also teaches educational classes to teach clients how to budget, food safety, and how to prepare healthier food.

Peter Rea is a musician who gives tirelessly to his community and to fundraising activities in the County – many involving hardships of health, community spirit or plain bad luck. Performing with his band or solo, he visits nursing homes to play for the elderly and often he will perform several times a day to meet the demand. He is an ambassador to the musical community.

Paul Pickard – During his time as principal at Queen Elizabeth Public School in Picton, Paul Pickard often went above and beyond his typical work duties. Playing key roles in the school’s breakfast program, student council, lunch club and coaching numerous sports teams. Paul has also been an active member of the Quinte Blades Speed Skating Club acting as registrar, web master, and coach.

Angela Miller is a local dairy farmer and has been a dedicated volunteer with 4H for more than 25 years. She has served the local association as president and secretary, sat on various local committees, and has also served on the regional and provincial boards. She also drives for Meals on Wheels for seniors, has served on the agricultural advisory board of the Federation of Agriculture and is presently co-chairing the Prince Edward, Lennox and Addington Community Futures Development Corporation.

Louise McFaul started the Wellington Farmer’s Market and in six years has grown it to the largest in the area. She provides space every week free-of-charge to local charities and not-for-profits. She is a small business youth mentor, and has volunteered with organizations such as Veterans with PTSD, Big Brothers, Big Sisters and local churches. Louise is and individual who spends the majority of her free time looking for ways to help her community and aid in the success of others.

Jeremiah MacKenzie has been a large contributor to the Bay of Quinte’s marketing brand. He served as the Executive Director for the Prince Edward County DMO Taste the County event for several years, before becoming Executive Director for the Bay of Quinte Tourist Council. He also helped to structure the amalgamation of the Bay of Quinte Living Board and the Bay of Quinte Tourist Council to form the Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board, Jeremiah serves as Director of QuinteVation, a rural economic development board.

Linda Lyons has served as a Brownie leader, a Cub and Scout leader, a District Commissioner and continues her involvement today as an adult trainer. On top of her work with the Guides, Linda has also volunteered at several museums throughout the area and has been involved in the local 4H association for many years. She currently serves as the President of the Ladies’ Auxiliary, Picton Branch RCL. Linda also works with the Red Cross in our community to help those in need of emergency assistance.

James Hurst – during his teaching career James Hurst made significant contributions to the lives of thousands of children. In addition to the classroom he coached basketball, soccer, track and field, and volleyball. He coached baseball and managed hockey teams in the winter and was on the executive of the Wellington Dukes for 25 years.

Alfred Cairns – This award is made posthumously. In his 90 years Alfred Cairns had a positive effect upon farming, and the community, and many individual lives have been influenced and touched by this profoundly giving and caring man. Alfred was life-long member of the Farmers’ Federation as well as Junior Farmers and a strong advocate for stewardship of the land. His membership in the Quinte Flywheelers has given untold pleasure to many whom have seen his demonstrations of living history with the many machines he demonstrated over the years. Alfred’s hands-on involvement assisted the church in Rednersville as well as both the township hall and library in Ameliasburgh. Accepting the award was his wife Edith.

Susan Capon – For the past seven years has been the driving force behind Countylive, a local news and information website that quickly has become a trusted source of local reporting for both residents and visitors in the county.

Jeanette Arsenault – Singer songwriter Jeannette Arsenault has independently released seven solo albums plus an album with her gospel trio, Trinity. She co-organized and performed in a benefit concert in PEC in 2005 to benefit the victims of the Indonesian tsunami, raising $16,000. She organized the World AIDS Day Fundraiser in 2006, and Quinte Unites: A Benefit Concert for the Philippines in 2013. She has written songs to support various charitable foundations and causes, such as The Stephen Lewis Foundation and the need for female education. She is member of the Picton group 500 Club, which supported a school in Haiti, in 2011 and she flew to Haiti to visit the school. Jeannette performed for our Olympic athletes in Salt Lake City, USA and Athens Greece; performing at BPW International World Congress in Helsinki, Finland; on a moving train VIA Rail as Artist on Board to British Columbia; opening the World Acadian Congress and she wrote the iconic Canadian song, This Is My Canada/Mon cher Canada.

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