“If Parksville had a few more of you it would be an even greater city,” said Parksville Mayor Marc Lefebvre at a Medal of Good Citizenship ceremony for Joan LeMoine Thursday.
LeMoine, well known for her tireless volunteer efforts, was the second person presented with the new provincial honour.
“Joan LeMoine is a real unsung hero, having selflessly given her time and talents to causes that have made Parksville a better place,” said Premier Christy Clark in a news release. “I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of the Medal of Good Citizenship.”
“Everybody knows Joan,” Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell said, pinning the medal on her on behalf of the premier in a sunny ceremony attended by about 50 people in front of city hall.
“Joan LeMoine has enriched and touched many lives in Parksville by her devotion and love for the community,” Stilwell said, adding that among other things she’s worked the drive-through with LeMoine during Tim Hortons Camp Day.
“She’s an example of how one person can truly make a difference. We are extremely lucky to have her. It is an absolute pleasure to honour Joan with the Medal of Good Citizenship.”
Among many contributions, LeMoine was instrumental in re-establishing the Parksville Beach Festival Society and was the volunteer coordinator for 15 years of the event that now attracts more than 100,000 people a year.
Still going at age 85, she has also volunteered with The Society of Organized Services (SOS), Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, Branch 49 of the Royal Canadian Legion and organizes weekly Coffee with Council informal drop-ins, among many others.
“I’m excited, I’m overwhelmed, stunned,” LeMoine said after the ceremony, clearly embarrassed and touched by the honour. “I do what I do because I want to, I don’t do anything to get something. My mom and dad would say ‘That’s very nice dear, but a thank you is enough.’”
“I was raised in the Depression and if my mother baked a loaf of bread, we shared it. And if someone thanked you and gave a smile that was appreciation enough. That’s just the way you live. And it’s how I continue to live.”
The Medal of Good Citizenship was launched in 2015 by the premier to recognize individuals who, through exceptional long-term volunteer efforts, have made outstanding contributions to the well-being of their communities.
For more information or to nominate a good citizen, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/medalofgoodcitizenship. Read Tuesday’s PQB NEWS for more.