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Norquay woman receives Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal

Melissa Johnson of Norquay received the award during a reception at the Legislative Building in Regina on Oct. 14.

NORQUAY — In recognition of her “valuable contribution to the province,” a Norquay woman was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal during a reception at the Legislative Building in Regina on Oct. 14.

Melissa Johnson of Norquay received the award from Laura Ross, Minister of Parks Culture and Sport and Minister responsible for the Status of Women. She was the host of the event and Tim Mcleod, the MLA for Moose Jaw North, was the emcee for the program.

During the reception, the medal was conferred upon Johnson and an estimated 60 other persons “in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the throne as Queen of Canada.”

“I was very surprised to have received the invitation in the mail in late September,” Johnson said last week. “I was very honoured.”

The medals presented are the last of the Queen’s medals, so this was a very special year, she said.

“I feel proud and I hope this inspires others to volunteer because when people help their communities in small or larger ways, it makes for a vibrant community,” she said.

Included in Johnson’s community work is having served nearly four years on the Saskatchewan Arts Board. She serves as chair of the Saskatchewan branch of Diabetes Canada; is chair of the Norquay Covenant Church congregation, and has coached the Norquay School’s senior girls volleyball team.

She attended the event with her husband Tim.

The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for the province of Saskatchewan to honour Her Majesty for her service to Canada, said information from the event. A total of 7,000 medals were to be awarded at ceremonies held throughout the province during the Platinum Jubilee year.

Her Majesty The Queen approved the design of the medal in May 2022, the information said. Permission has been sought from the Office of the Governor General of Canada to have this medal included in the Order of Precedence with the other commemorative medals of the Canadian Honours System

"In Canada, since the 1935 Silver Jubilee of King George V, commemorative medals have been awarded to recognize all manners of service to Crown and Country- be it at the local, provincial, national or international levels,” the information said.

"As part of the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty ascending the throne as Queen of Canada, this long tradition of creating commemorative medals has continued. In the absence of a Federal Platinum Jubilee Medal program, six provinces have established Jubilee Medals of their own- each with the same ribbon, overall design and criteria. The design of the medal was approved by Her Majesty The Queen at Windsor Castle on May 17."

The ceremony began with the singing of O Canada followed by a short introduction from the emcee and a brief address by Ross. The presentations were made in alphabetical order. Each recipient's name was called as they walked onto the stage, shook hands with the Minister, received their medal, had their picture taken and returned to their seat. The ceremony ended with the singing of God Save the King.

Cucumber and ham and cheese sandwiches were served, with cookies and the official dessert of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Jubilee pudding, a trifle made with orange. There was tea, coffee and punch to drink, all served on Royal Albert china.

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