Five commissionaires to receive The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

December 7, 2018

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers is an honour awarded to Canadians with long serving, voluntary commitments to their community. “It recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields and pays tribute to the dedication and commitment of volunteers. They embody the caring country we aspire to build.”

In 2018, five commissionaires were nominated and selected to receive the medal. 

Major-General (Ret’d) Ed Fitch– CVIY

After a 42-year military career, Ed began serving as a full-time volunteer in March 2009. Since then he has shifted his time, energy and intellect between the Dominion Rifle Association of Canada, the British Columbia Rifle Association, the Royal United Services Institute, Commissionaires Victoria the Islands and Yukon Division, the Last Post Fund, and the Victoria Jewish Cemetery Trust. 

Mr. James Sidel – CVIY

James has tirelessly volunteered his time in support of the International Community for the Relief of Suffering and Starvation (ICROSS). He was one of the founding members of the Local DCL 20500 of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) located in Victoria BC, and was intimately involved with the formation and operation of the Victoria Chapter of the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association (CAVUNP) in 2000. 

Lieutenant-Colonel (Ret’d) Larry Wong – NSK

Larry has volunteered for over 40 years. He has served with the Western Canadian College Stores Association (WCCSA) and the Canadian Booksellers Association (CBA), the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires North Saskatchewan Division, St. John’s Ambulance, the Jubilee Housing Corporation, the Last Post Fund, and the Saskatchewan Military Heritage Museum Committee. Additionally, Larry has served on a number of ad hoc civic committees for Remembrance Day and the maintenance of memorials and graves over the last 20 years.

Brigadier-General (Ret’d) Eric Goodwin – NB&PEI

Eric has been volunteering across the country for more than 20 years. He is currently serving as a volunteer Governor for the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires NB & PEI Division and the Honourary Colonel of the Prince Edward Islands Regiment, and was a founding member of the Friends of the Regiment and of their Regimental Senate. He is a member of the Charlottetown Royalty Rotary Club, the West River United Church representative on the Syrian Refugee Support Committee, and the PEI Coordinator for the No Stone Left Alone Foundation. Lastly, he is a Life Member on Council for the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Association.

Major (Ret’d) René Smith – NB&PEI

René is the Regional Manager for North-East New Brunswick with the NB & PEI Division of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires. Upon retirement, he began volunteering his time with the Federal Superannuates National Association, and the Royal Canadian Legion. He served as the Treasurer and as a Member of the Board for Miramichi Adult Learning, served on the Board of Directors for Celebrate Canada Day in Miramichi, the Miramichi Multi-Cultural Association, the Miramichi Planning Commission, and served a three-year term as a Councillor for the City of Miramichi. In addition to his service to Commissionaires, he is currently a local Legion Service Officer.

Major-General (Ret’d) Ed Fitch and Mr. James Sidel (photographed above), were presented with their medals on December 5. On receiving his medal, Major-General (Ret’d) Fitch said “…to receive a recognition such as this (SMV), it is insufficient to do good work. You must be seen to have done something useful by colleagues who are willing to make the effort to write up the contribution and place it before the appropriate authority. For this I thank CVIY and the CCC.” 

The remaining three recipients will be presented with their medals in early 2019. 

Congratulations to all. Thank you for your volunteer commitments and the contributions to Commissionaires.