Diamond Jubilee Medals awarded to 13 Laval-Les Îles constituents
Thirteen residents of the riding of Laval-Les Îles who have made important contributions to the community over the years got some recognition from NDP MP François Pilon at Laval City Hall on Feb. 2 when he presented each of them with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Agapé’s McLeod honored
Among those receiving one of the unique medallions struck for the 60th anniversary of the coronation of the Queen was George Bakoyannis, publisher of the Laval News, Elizabeth McLeod whose tireless efforts as the guiding light at Chomedey’s Agapé social services have provided aid to thousands of needy families and individuals for many years, and Chomedey Liberal MNA Guy Ouellette.
“It is an honor for me as an elected official representing the riding of Laval-Les Îles in the House of Commons to be able to give this distinction made by the Governor General of Canada to 13 men and women from Laval in the name of her majesty,” Pilon said in a brief address prior to the presentation.
Grateful for their efforts
Despite the fact the medal recipients came from a wide variety of backgrounds, Pilon said the contributions of each “had and continues to have a major impact on our community” and “we are all very grateful to you for everything you do.”
Bakoyannis, who co-founded the Laval News in 1993 with the newspaper’s co-owner and editor George Guzmas, said he was “humbled” and “I just don’t feel that I deserve it. I think I should have done more for this honor. It’s a great honor and I’m very thankful. This is definitely more than I expected. It gives me a warm feeling to know that people think I’m doing a decent job and recognizing me for it with this.”
A first for Ouellette
Ouellette said the presentation marked the first time during his six years as an MNA and before that as a Sûreté du Québec police officer for 32 years that he received a public acknowledgement. “I accept this with great humility, because this is an important honor,” he said in an interview after the ceremony. “To be recognized by your peers is always extra special.” McLeod, who was suffering from laryngitis and could speak only a little, said she accepted the medal on behalf of Agapé. “All those who have made Agapé happen, this is all for them,” she said.
The medal recipients: George Bakoyannis (co-founder Laval News), Gisèle Balthazar (founder of Les Lames d’Argent figure skating club), Francine Gauthier (president of Loisirs de Laval-Ouest), Carole Giroux (a volunteer at the Club des petits déjeuners du Québec), Florence Landry, (municipal politics organizer), Carmen Lanoue (coordinator of the Table de Développement et Paix), Elizabeth McLeod (Agapé), André Ouellet (Canadian national anthem promoter), Guy Ouellette (Chomedey Liberal MNA), Sgt. Gabriele Roselli (Canadian Armed Forces), Lise Senécal (member of the Laval Multiple Sclerosis Association), Cpl. Hugues Van den Abeele (a reservist in the Black Watch Regiment), and retired Chief Cpl. And peace officer Rémi Voyer.