The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal

The QueenI am one of 60,000 Canadians to be honoured this year with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to Canada. Over 2000 Ontarians were presented with their medals at a ceremony on June 18th at the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, followed by fabulous entertainment by some of Canada’s greatest performers.

The celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee featured video clips about our Queen and her life story, a story of more than 60 years of dedicated service. The Queen actually began volunteering at the age of 14. “The 14-year-old princess, showing her calm and firm personality, told Britain’s children in a radio address that ‘in the end, all will be well for God will care for us and give us victory and peace.’ Appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Grenadier Guards by her father, Elizabeth made her first public appearance inspecting the troops in 1942. She also began to accompany her parents on official visits within Great Britain. In 1945, Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service to help in the war effort. She trained side-by-side with other British women to be an expert driver and mechanic. While her volunteer work only lasted a few months, it offered Elizabeth a glimpse into a different, non-royal world.”

The Queen who is 86 years old,  continues to serve with grace and gracefulness. Queen Elizabeth handles roughly 430 engagements each year from and supports more than 600 charitable organizations and programs. She is only the second British Monarch to celebrate 60 years, the first being Queen Victoria. Queen Elizabeth is famous for many things, but one statement she made years ago stood out at the celebration. On her coronation she said, “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

The evening was hosted by Lt Governor David C. Onley and Her Excellency, Ruth Ann Onley and special guests were The Governor General, David Johnson and his wife, Her Excellency, Sharon Johnson. The emcee for the evening was Peter Mansbridge and there were magnificent performances by celebrities such as Ben Heppner, Molly Johnson, Gordon Lightfoot, and Susan Aglukark , a short talk by Marc and Craig Keilburger on the values of volunteering and taking action to end injustices, as well as musical performances by a military band made up of representatives of all the services, and a Children’s Choir which sang the Vice Regal salute, as well as a native group which provided drum music, song and dance.

Andria and CommanderI was presented my medal by Rex Harrington, a star of the National Ballet Company, who also received a medal. He was attended by a Commander from the armed forces who actually pinned on the medal as shown in the attached photo. I felt quite privileged to be among the “cast” of Canadians who were acknowledged, but even more privileged to be able to continue to serve as President of March of Dimes.

About modcpresident
I grew up in Calgary, where I completed a BA at the University of Calgary, then travelled and taught in Kenya and the Canadian Arctic during the heyday of Trudeaumania, hippie travel and social experimentation. I settled in Vancouver to complete a Master of Social Work degree at the University of British Columbia, and stayed another 8 years. After graduating I was a Social Planner and eventually became the Executive Director of the Social Planning and Research Council of BC. Ontario March of Dimes recruited me in 1981, the International Year of Disabled Persons and the 30th anniversary of the agency. It has grown from a budget of $5m in '81 to $100m in 2010. Services have expanded drafmatically. We incorporated a non profit housing corporation in 1992 and a national charity in 2001, and since 2006 the latter has operated as March of Dimes Canada. We own and operate several properties that provide accommodation and independent living services to 77 people in 4 municipalities and will add another property this year. Two other exciting non profit entities have been incorporated in my 30 years (yes, it has been 30 years!) and we expect to hold our first fundraiser in the US this year and to initiate our first service south of the border also. My role as President and CEO continues to be that of creating a vision, fulfilling the mission and developing strategic plans to meet an increasing demand for services from people with disabilities and their caregivers. This is achieved through direct service, advocacy and peer programs. On a personal note, I live with my 17 year old daughter and two cats, and enjoy their company a lot. My two adult sons are doing interesting exploration in their own lives and I am intrigued with how they are progressing. In my spare time, I have various volunteer roles on several non profit boards and committees, and enjoy creating programs for building awareness of diversity and disability. I think it has become true for me that youth is, while not "wasted on the young," something that I appreciate more with age. Adventures are physically more challenging for me now, so they have to occur in new dimensions.

16 Responses to The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

  1. Elizabeth Lounsbury says:

    Andria as a member of the Board of Directors for March of Dimes Canada I personally know just how much you do for others. I can attest to how busy you are and I often wonder if you know what sleep is! I am so proud to be able to say to others, “That lady is a friend of mine.” Congratulations on receiving a well earned medal.

  2. Huge congratulations, Andria! Well done and well deserved!

  3. Congratulations on your medal, Andria! As partners in serving the Toronto community, we are honoured to work side by side with you and the March of Dimes.

  4. April Nelmes says:

    Congratulations Andria on an award well deserved. Your commitment and dedication is apparent in all that you do for MODC and your ongoing passion for those you represent.

  5. Gary Magarrell says:

    If anyone deserves this medal it is you Andria!! I first experienced your commitment to others in Vancouver and then for many years in Toronto. It is in fact humbling to think of your accomplishments in many fields and your capacity for mentoring others to see the value and indeed become excited to be a volunteer. ongrats and well done my dear friend.
    Gary Magarrell

  6. Joan E. Teresinski says:

    Congratulations Andria on receiving the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal! Such a high honour for sure and one that all of March of Dimes Canada may be proud of! Hard to top this award, but I am confident you will find a way, with the continued support of our consumers, direct service teams, numerous volunteers, middle management, the Executive and our Board members. May God bless Canada and March of Dimes of Canada!

  7. Pamela Read says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! It is good to know that sometimes the good guys win. It gives hope for the future.

  8. Roman Kall says:

    Congratulations on receiving the Diamond Jubilee medal. I’m pleased that you are being formally recognized for your contributions to Canadian society in general and March of Dimes in particular. Both are indeed fortunate to benefit from your skills, your example and boundless energy.

  9. Well deserved Andria! Congratulations!

    Kind regards,
    Cathy Smart

  10. ldsword says:

    We’re so very proud of you. Sorry you didn’t get an invitation to the Queen’s Honours in Buckingham Palace with our cousin Julian since you’re the monarchist of the family. I’m so pleased you have this connection with the “Imperial Family” of which you feel a part.
    Love, Deborah

  11. Marilyn Hertrich says:

    Congratulations on receiving the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal Andria, well deserved!

    Best regards,

    Marilyn Hertrich

  12. franfung says:

    Congratulations Andria! A wonderful recognition. I am honored to be a part of March of Dimes Canada and led by a true leader and compassionate advocate.

  13. To all my friends, colleagues, family and other supporters, Thank You, from the bottom (and top) of my heart for your kind words and daily acknowledgement and assistance.

  14. Maria Ryan says:

    Andria, congratulations on your well deserved award.

  15. kevinloberg says:

    Andria, it’s great to see the acknowledgement, the support and love for you and everything you do!

  16. kevinloberg says:

    Andria, congratulations on your acknowledgement and the love and support shown here!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: