Celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee

November 7th, 2012 - 1:05pm

The 30 Mountain recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Meet the Hamilton Mountain Diamond Jubilee Recipients

Bryan Adamczyk - Bryan is a true community leader.  He is a past President of the Hamilton and District Labour Council, was a member of the Governor Generals Canadian Study Conference, and has served on the boards of Mohawk College, the United Way, the Workers’ Arts and Heritage Centre, Second Stage Services as well as the Police Chief’s Citizens Advisory Committee.  He continues to be active with both Environment Hamilton and Neighbour to Neighbour.

 Sharon Babineau - Sharon is a decorated Canadian Armed Forces veteran, who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for ALS research, and is a recipient of the Esmond Butler Volunteer of the Year Award for the ALS Society of Ontario.  She teaches street-involved youths, volunteers at the Bob Kemp Hospice, and is the founder of “Maddie’s Everlasting Wish” through which she continues her daughter Maddie’s legacy of raising funds for projects in Kenya.  CCAC Hamilton presented Sharon with the Heroes in the Home Award in recognition of her exceptional caregiving to both her husband and daughter.

Colwyn Beynon - Colwyn Beynon volunteered in the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry at age 18 and spent 30 years with the Colours.  He received the Canadian Forces Decoration and two bars for Voluntary Service.  Colwyn is passionate about preserving our local heritage, and has dedicated his time to countless heritage societies and museums, including the Hamilton Historical Board, The Hamilton Wentworth heritage Society, the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Museum, the Westcliffe Fine Arts Centre and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.  And, of course, he keeps the history of the Mountain alive through his weekly column Dusty Corners

Kieran Boyle - Kieran joined the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) as a cadet in 1983, and the pipe and drums in 1988, where he remained lead tenor drummer and medic until his retirement from the Forces in 1999.  He has been instrumental in developing the Hamilton Touch Football Association, and has dedicated many hours to coaching both boys and girls hockey.

Sharon Bray - Born and raised in Hamilton, Sharon is a retired English teacher who continues to promote literacy by mentoring students and young offenders.  After many years of publishing Diviners, a women’s journal, Sharon now teaches a women’s writing group, is an advocate for women shelters, and volunteers with the local food bank.

Barb Brown - Barb has been an active and committed member of the Hamilton Mountain Legion for many years, serving on the executive, working tirelessly on the Poppy Campaigns and pitching in to help any committee that needed an extra hand to get the job done. A long time Girl Guide leader, Barb has also coached the Macassa Girls Softball League, and been a terrific role model for athleticism and community involvement for young women across the region.

Marjory Burden - An active Hamilton Legion member for more than 30 years, Marj volunteers countless hours preparing and serving food at all kinds of Legion events. She bakes and knits to raise funds for her church, and volunteers for ICROSS, a Canadian Peacekeeping initiative, where she knits “Izzy” comfort dolls that are first used to package fragile medical supplies for shipping, and then delivered to young children in war torn nations.

Francis Chisholm - During the war, Francis served with the Seaforth Highlanders.  He was ordained in The Church of Scotland in 1952, and emigrated to Canada in 1955.  Francis just celebrated 60 years of Ministry.  He has served as a hospital chaplain, Minister Emeritus at Stewart Memorial Church, Padre at the Mountain Legion, and Volunteer Associate Minister at Linden Park United Church.   He is the founding member of Hamilton Telecare, the Hamilton Calligraphy Guild, and earlier this year, he received the prestigious John Holland Ally Award.

Sonny Del-Rio - Sonny is the 3 time winner of The Real Blues Magazine’s “Best Blues Sax Player in Canada” award. He has released 6 solo CDs, and recorded along side many others.  In 2000, he produced a Christmas CD with local celebrities, the proceeds of which were donated to local children’s charities.  In 2009, Sonny co-wrote and recorded an anthem to our Armed Forces titled “Canadian Heroes”, and donated the proceeds to the Families of Fallen Soldiers. He continues to donate his time and talents to numerous local causes.

Kathy Dimassi - Kathy has volunteered with St. Joseph’s hospital, the Canadian Hearing Society and school parent councils, but her special passion is housing.  Kathy has been advocating for better access to safe and affordable housing for over 20 yars.  She has volunteered with the Golden Horseshoe Co-operative Housing Federation, Hamilton’s Housing and Homelessness Planning Group, the Access to Housing Appeals Committee, the Housing Services Advisory Committee, as well as the MOU Committee reporting to the Ministry of Community and Social Services. 

Rita Dugas - Volunteerism is so much a part of Rita’s life that she seeks out opportunities to dig in and lend a hand wherever she happens to be.  A retired teacher, Rita has given countless volunteer hours to schools across Hamilton, to T.O.P.S., local food banks, her parish council, and a myriad of other social justice organizations.  She delivers hands-on help providing food services at Good Shepherd, staffing the Christmas store, and volunteering at Macassa Lodge and with the Salvation Army.

Carolann Fernandes - Carolann is a champion for culturally sensitive and appropriate programs for ethno-culturally racialized seniors.  For her work she has received the World Citizen’s Award from the Hamilton Mundialization Committee.  She volunteers with OCSCO, Hamilton’s Seniors Advisory Committee, the Ontario Seniors Secretariat Multicultural Advisory Committee, the Ontario Seniors Liaison Committee, Hamilton Police Services, the Discover India Project, and many more organizations dedicated to building a vibrant, inclusive community.

Doug Furchner - A retired member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Doug Furchner has served his country both abroad and at home.  He is an active member of a number of local veterans’ organizations, and has devoted many volunteer hours to the Hamilton Health Sciences Mother’s Day Telethon, the St John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program, and the Hospittaler Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

Dorothy Johns - At 90 years of age, Dorothy has been a dedicated, life-long volunteer. She’s been active in the restorative justice program BRIDGE, and was a volunteer visitor at the Detention Centre for over two decades.  She’s canvassed for the Cancer Society and March of Dimes, and volunteered with Teletouch.  She was a founding board member of S.A.M., one of the early Adult Day Programmes in Hamilton, and has always been involved in outreach from her parish church.  More recently, Dorothy has immersed herself in the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign and continues to actively raise funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s work.

Don Kennedy - With 43 years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves, Don Kennedy has demonstrated a life time of dedication to this country and our community.  He is active in a variety of veterans’ associations, and is a founding member of the Hamilton Wentworth Metis Association.  Don is the recipient of three Aboriginal Day Awards, as well as numerous military commendations.

Rick Lund - Rick Lund served our country overseas in the Royal Canadian Air force and is now an active member of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping. As a member of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Association, Rick worked on the restoration of the Buffalo Aircraft which, upon completion in 2009, was dedicated to the nine Canadian Peacekeepers who lost their lives while on duty over Syria in 1974.

Karen Marcoux - For over 30 years, Karen has been the driving force behind the Gourley Park Community Association, bringing sports and activities to children and adults on the west Mountain.  For over a decade, she has also supported the Good Shepherd Centre, helping out at Martha House, and serving Christmas dinner at Hamilton Place.  In the north end of the city, she helps with school breakfast programs, and volunteers with the Hamilton Firefighters Assistance Fund to bring Christmas to needy children.  She served on the Ward 8 Advisory Committee, and continues to work to make Hamilton the best place to raise a child.  

Lynda Murdoch-Furchner - Lynda, who was the first female Commanding Officer of cadets in Hamilton, is a decorated veteran whose volunteerism is extensive and varied - from the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Veterans Association to food banks, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Army Cadets, the Mother’s Day telethon for Hamilton Health Sciences, and the Certified General Accountants Association. Lynda was awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration for long service, and continues to be active as a Companion in the Hospittaler Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

John O’Raw - John O’Raw fills an important need in our community by ensuring veterans and seniors are able to get to their medical appointments.  With care and patience, he shuttles Hamiltonians with mobility challenges to and from various doctors’ appointments, and provides comfort and companionship to hospitalized seniors as well as people in long-term care facilities.

Eva Quildon - Eva was recognized for her outstanding contribution to our community in 2006 when she received the prestigious Hamilton Senior of the Year award.  She continues to volunteer with the Hamilton AIDS Network, the Afro Canadian Caribbean Association, the Trinidad-Tobago Association, Good Shepherd, the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada, and Cats Claws.  She is an inspiration to volunteers everywhere.

Uzma Qureshi - Uzma is a change-maker in our city.  She serves on the City of Hamilton Status of Women Committee and is a board member of the Muslim Association of Hamilton.  She constantly works to foster women’s community engagement.  Uzma has also been a tireless advocate for safe and affordable housing, and is committed to making Hamilton a truly inclusive community.

John Reid - During his 31 years of service with the Hamilton Police Department, John was awarded the medal of Bravery, the Leonard G. Lawrence Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Police Work, and the Police Exemplary Service medal. He was the Aide de Camp to Lt. Governor Lincoln Alexander, and continues to serve our community in a variety of volunteer roles, including the Advisory Group for Mental Health Services at St. Joe’s and the Hamilton St John Ambulance Board.

Bill Scandlan - Bill is a true community leader.  He has served on the McMaster Board of Governors, the Chedoke McMaster Hospital Board of Trustees, the Boards of WorkAble, the Social Planning and Research Council, and the Labour Council.  He is a member of the Ontario Senior Citizens Council and SOAR Chapter 10.  But perhaps his most impactful achievement has been to educate our community about the Disability Tax Credit, and his determination to help people access it.

Kathleen Somers - Kathleen’s community activism is deeply rooted in her commitment to social justice.  She’s a tireless volunteer in her parish, raises funds for Development and Peace, serves meals at the Good Shepherd Centre, offers comfort and companionship to seniors at Macassa Lodge, assists the Salvation Army to meet growing community demand, and still finds time to regularly volunteer in the surgical waiting room at St. Joseph’s hospital.

Jeanette Tootell - Jeannette has been an active and dedicated volunteer with her church, the Alzheimer Society, and Hamilton Cares, an organization that advocates for improvements to social services and health care for seniors.  Jeannette facilitates a weekly care-giver support group for family and friends coping with a loved one with dementia, and is a committed advocate for vulnerable seniors in Hamilton.

Betty Toplack - Betty is a long time small business owner on the Mountain, who amazingly still finds the time to serve on the Board of the Concession Street BIA, volunteer with the YWCA and the Dundas Valley School of Art, and to pursue her own passion for art.  Her design for the BIA’s logo won the Hamilton Tourism Award for Concession Street, and she is the recipient of the Marion Farnan Award for 30 years of volunteer services.

Frank Warren - Frank tirelessly and selflessly promotes the spirit of the Legion by volunteering on countless projects that benefit the Legion and its members.  He was presented with the RCL Br. 163 Legionnaire of the Year Award in 2010.  Frank is a Life Member of both the Normandy Veterans Association and the Stelco War Veterans Association, as well as continuing to be active the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping as well as ICROSS Canada, the International Community for the Relief of Starvation and Suffering. 

Dave Watts - Dave has been a volunteer at the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre, the Mountain’s only food bank, since 1991. He is its longest serving volunteer.  At 87 years of age, he continues to work in the warehouse, as a driver and as the building’s handyman. He is an inspirational mentor to young and new volunteers alike – including seven members of his own family!

Bill Wilcox - Bill has been the driving force behind the creation of “Victory Gardens” in Hamilton, a term used over the past 5 years here in Hamilton to describe a type of Urban Agriculture that utilizes garden settings within the city limits to provide fresh local organic produce to fight “the war on poverty”.  Bill has marshalled and trained an ever-growing team of volunteers that has now provided over 40,000 pounds of fresh produce for local food banks and soup kitchens.

Bob Williamson - A retired educator, scholar and local historian, Bob researches, writes and gives countless talks on the importance of preserving our Hamilton heritage. An award winning military leader and innovative teacher and writer, he continues to support veterans, school children, isolated seniors and community organizations with his tireless work on their behalf.