Town recognizes volunteers at Diamond Jubilee celebration


By Chase Ferguson

It was a celebration of all things British in Kings Navy Yard Park Sunday as the community gathered to recognize the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

Sunny weather marked an afternoon that included cake, high tea, and music from the Windsor Symphony Orchestra as well as tribute bands to Elton John and the Beatles.  To top it off several ladies enjoyed the day while wearing fashionable royal-inspired hats known as fascinators.

Following the tradition of the Queen herself, the town also awarded medals to five individuals for their outstanding volunteer service to the community.


MP Jeff Watson and Mayor Wayne Hurst are joined by the all five medal recipients as they get set to cut a crown shaped cake provided by Sobeys. In photo: (L to R) Jennie Lajoie, Tim McAllister, MP Jeff Watson, Hazen Price, Mayor Wayne Hurst, Karen Gyorgy and Mark Usher.

Amherstburg’s tourism and culture manager, Anne Rota said the event was the perfect opportunity to honour the town’s British heritage as well as the efforts of hard working volunteers.

“Today is an important day for honouring the Queen for her 60 year reign as well as honouring five outstanding volunteers as she does every year in England,” Rota said.

The award recipients were all nominated by their peers to be acknowledged for their work that goes above and beyond to serve the town.

The volunteers were recognized on stage by local dignitaries including Essex MP Jeff Watson, Essex MPP Taras Natyshak, and Mayor Wayne Hurst. Hurst noted how important the work of volunteers is to making Amherstburg a great place to live.

“These individuals make history by making a difference in the community,” Hurst told the crowd.

Tim McAllister received a medal for his daily work at the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission where he “always shares his time and kindness” to help the hungry.

McAllister told the crowd it was his belief in “the dream of people helping people” that moves him to volunteer.

Mark Usher was recognized for his efforts in making the River Lights Winter Festival a bright new tradition each winter in town and also for being a role model of activity and sport for many children. Usher said that he’s lived in Amherstburg for 37 years and “the community is getting better by the moment.”

Jennie Lajoie received a medal for her time at the Provincial Marine and Commissariat where she has worked to preserve Amherstburg’s historical assets for future generations to enjoy.

Hazen Price earned recognition for saving the Park House Museum and the Gibson Gallery from extinction.  Rota called Price a “cultural icon” for saving Amherstburg’s historical treasures.

Karen Gyorgy received a medal for involvement in many award winning projects such as the Shores of Erie Wine Festival and River Lights Winter Festival that have made Amherstburg a destination for tourists.

Following the ceremony, the medal recipients and MP Jeff Watson cut the first piece of a giant cake to share with the public.

Rota noted that Sunday’s celebration was one of many upcoming events as Amherstburg recognizes the bicentennial of the War of 1812 over the course of the year.


Comments are closed.