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Jubilee medals presented

Three local residents - two from Winkler and one from Plum Coulee - received Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals at ceremony at Bethel Heritage Park in Winkler Thursday evening.

The medals were presented by Portage-Lisgar MP Candice Hoeppner who said, "Each of these individuals have dedicated much of their time, often working behind the scenes, to contribute to others in their community. These people stand out amongst many for their humble, generous attitudes and their ability to take otherwise negative circumstances and make them better."

Eva Thiessen of Winkler has volunteered with the local BTHC Palliative care program for over 21 years, giving countless hours to those in a very crucial time of need. She makes home visits, helps serve coffee in Cancer Care when patents are receiving chemotherapy and also plays an electronic harp and sings to patients as she sits with them in the hospital.

Lieutenant Mark Gordon Wilson of Winkler is the Troop Commander of the 13th Field Battery, stationed at Portage La Prairie. He was honoured for his service in Afghanistan, risking whis life so that those less fortunate could begin to know what freedom and security are.

June Letkeman of Plum Coulee has been described as one of the most giving people in her community. She has volunteered on the Boundary Trails Health Centre Foundation board for many years, helping bring in much needed healthcare programs and equipment to the area. She is also involved in the local development corporation and tourism association.

The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was created as a tangible way to acknowledge contributions and achievements made by Canadians who have made a lasting impact on their communities.

"Portage-Lisgar is made a better place because of the actions of the individuals named here," said Hoeppner. "These are the people that leave a legacy for the community and those around them. Their kind deeds go beyond just the here and now. They have a lasting impact and that is what we want to honour them for."

The new commemorative medal has been created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II accession to the Throne.

To be eligible for this honour, a person must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada; must have made a significant contribution to a particular province, territory, region or community within Canada, or an achievement abroad that brings credit to Canada.

Other area residents receiving medals were Scott Beattie and Elizabeth Dyck of Morden, Elmer Hildebrand of Altona, Evelyn Janzen of La Riviere, Karen McBurney of McGregor, John Quayle of St. Claude, Paul Grenier of St. Leon and Joyce Schrader, Albert Krynski and David Quinn of Portage la Prairie.