Gervais awarded Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal

McLennan resident Maggie Gervais shows the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal (Alberta) and certificate she received in Edmonton Sept. 27 for her volunteer work.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

One might think it is getting a bit mundane for McLennan’s Maggie Gervais to be recognized for her volunteer work.
Not at all, she says, because when she is recognized she feels the organizations she is involved with are also recognized.
“You connect with the people,” says Gervais. “Your drive (goals) is similar and you get out there and help them out. I have drive to see an end project.
“I like to share my award (with others). We work together for an end goal.”
The latest honour for Gervais came Sept. 27 in Edmonton when she received the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal (Alberta).
“Maggie Gervais is a dedicated community volunteer in McLennan. For 30 years, she has served organizations such as the Elks, Manoir du Lac Eldercare, the Northern Alberta Railway Museum, etc.” reads her nomination.
Lieut.-Gov. of Alberta Hon. Salma Lakhani presented the medal. She explained the medal was created by the Government of Alberta to mark the queen’s 70 anniversary.
“For 70 years, Her Late Majesty exemplified the true meaning of public service. The Platinum Jubilee Medal honours those who have reflected that same dedication to the service of family, community, and country,” reads a government news release.
Gervais says she was notified by email and nominated by Premier Jason Kenney.
In addition to the organizations cited in the nomination, Gervais has also served with the McLennan and Leisure Recreation Society, Birdwalk Society, the Pioneer Historical Society, the Smoky River Ag Society and In the Woods Animal Rescue. She also finds time to volunteer at the nursing home for bingo, Meals on Wheels, and the Smoky River Regional Golf Club as bookkeeper.
Gervais, 71, has always had a passion for volunteering.
“It was a dream of mine to give back to the community when I had a chance,” she says.
That chance came later in her working career, and with retirement, if you can call all the volunteering she does retirement.
“I think I always wanted to volunteer, to give back,” says Gervais, who was born and raised on a farm near Guy.
Her passion was further fueled by her mother-in-law, Pauline Gervais.
Like the typical volunteer, Gervais has no preference of one group over another, saying they are all special.
“Each one has their own goals,” she says. “You have to work together to reach those goals.”
She has now challenged herself with the goal of being on town council, having been elected in the Oct. 18, 2021 municipal election.
“I was retired, and I wanted to experience it (council),” she says. “Why not?”
It is said volunteering is being left in the hands of those growing old. Gervais does not see it that way and says organizations must welcome everyone with open arms.
“I think you have to connect with (younger people),” says Gervais.
“They have great ideas. You must be open to hearing those ideas.”
Gervais has been recognized twice by the Town of McLennan for her community service. In 2019, she received the Stars of Alberta Award for her work with seniors.
Gervais is proud of McLennan and its organizations which all strive to make life better for everyone.
“I’m very proud of our little community. They (Government of Alberta) mentioned McLennan (at the ceremony). It was nice to have our little town mentioned.”
The medal can be worn at ceremonial events such as Remembrance Day and Canada Day. As well, Gervais was advised she can attend other formal events where the medal can be worn. Any invitation advising the recipient to attend “with decorations” also allows her to wear the medal. If it doubt, ask the host if appropriate.
Making the ceremony more special for Gervais was the attendance of her sisters, Denise Cloutier and Bernie Napier, both of Valleyview.

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