Four Victoria residents amongst 40 British Columbians to receive Sovereign's medals

More than 3 dozen B.C. residents will be honoured at Government House when they receive Sovereign's Medals for volunteers this week.

The medal recognizes exceptional significant, sustained and unpaid contributions to communities in Canada or abroad.

Among the 40 recipients are 4 Victoria residents:

Curtis Becker has spent  13 years volunteering with the Juan de Fuca Scout group finding ways to help youth become engaged citizens of society.

Alexander Muir, has spent 35 years supporting marine safety in Oak Bay and Victoria. As a board member with the Canadian Marine Rescue Auxiliary and Oak Bay Sea Rescue Society, he ensured the organizations had the funding and expertise needed to make a difference.

Ron Rice, a long-time supporter of the British Columbia Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, has provided aid and advice to Indigenous communities as an advisor, mentor and coach.

And Steve Smith, a reserve constable for the Saanich Police Department who has gone above and beyond -- including becoming the first reserve constable to represent Saanich PD in the Tour De Rock event, raising almost $15,000 for pediatric cancer research.

Five other recipients are from Vancouver Island:

Devin Warwick from Cobble Hill joined the Victoria Reserve Program in 2008, and has devoted over 3,000 hours to his duties, ensuring the reservists fulfill their roles at public events. He has also volunteered with other groups, including the Oak Bay Search and Rescue team.

Commander Peter Betcher of Nanaimo, is a long-serving volunteer with the Royal Canadian Legion and the Navy League of Canada.

Jeffrey Lott -- also of Nanaimo, has served as an honorary aide-de-camp to 4 of British Columbia's lieutenant governors. Lott also spent 5 years as a courier with the British Columbia Children's Hospital and with the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society, work that sends him around the world to pick up donated stem cells and bone marrow for transplants.

Bonnie Blackhall of Campbell River has been volunteered for more than 30 years with the Opportunities Career Services Society and other organizations. And through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, she has spent over 10 years putting her degree in social work to good use by helping low-income couples receive their tax benefits.

Shirley Hickman of Comox can trace her community involvement back to the 1970s. In 2002, she founded Threads for Life, supporting workers and families affected by a workplace tragedy.

BC's Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin will bestow the medals on behalf of Canada's Governor General, Julie Payette, at Thursday's ceremony.




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