There is perhaps no finer display of Canadiana than the RCMP red serge uniform, and it was on prominent display at the St. Eugene Mission Resort on November 19.
The Southeast District Queen’s Jubilee Medals and Long Service Awards Ceremony was held with Chief Superintendent Mike Sekela, district commander of the Southeast District, bestowing awards and honours upon outstanding members of the police force in the region. The ceremony began with a parade of the more than 40 members in their traditional uniforms.
Sgt. Laurie Jalbert, who has been the acting officer in charge of the Cranbrook and Kimberley detachments since Insp. Brian Edmondson retired earlier this year, was given the District Commander’s Certificate of Appreciation for her work in both detachments during the switch over to a new OIC. Jalbert is still the Acting OIC of the two detachments and will remain in the position until newly-appointed Inspector Blake MacLeod takes over as OIC of the Cranbrook detachment.
This year the officers were eligible for a special honour, the Queen’s Diamond jubilee medal. The RCMP was given 2,300 medals to give out to worthy members, 136 for civilian members and 64 for auxiliary members. The Southeast District awarded 17 medals to recognize the tremendous work done by RCMP officers across the country.
Among them were many local RCMP officers, administration staff and auxiliary officers. The entire list reads as follows: CM Eric Ausman, Cst. Chuck Brind’ Amour, Cst. Wally Bursey, PSE Lena Guignion, PSE Chris Harland, Sgt. Rob Hawton, Cst. Jeremy Knight, Cst. Andy Reutgen, S/Sgt. Marko Shehovac, Cpl. Grant Simpson, Cst. Eldene Stanley, Cpl. Phil Sullivan, Cst. Jason Tait, Cpl. Monty Taylor, Cpl. Jeffrey Watson, A/Cst. Patrick Wiltsie and Cst. Jason Zilkie.
The members were also awarded with their Long Service Medals and clasps. Those awards were created in 1934 by King George V to recognize long-serving members of the RCMP who demonstrate irreproachable character. The original medal handed out after 20 years of service is followed up by silver or bronze clasps in subsequent milestones in an officer’s career.
Earning their first for 20-years as a member of the RCMP were Sgt. Troy Durand, Cpl. Rodney Hrehirchuk, Cpl. Charlotte Joa, Sgt. Laurie Mathew, Insp. Nick Romanchuk and Cpl. Betty Watson.
There were five members up for their 25 year clasp. They were S/Sgt. Lorne Craig, Sgt. Derrick Donovan, Cst. Don Erichsen, Cpl. Pat Prefontaine and Cst. David Smith.
After 30 years of service, the following received their clasp: Cpl. Kim Bloy, Insp. Brian Edmondson, S/Sgt. Bob Gollan, Cpl. Rob Haney, Cst. Irvin Miller, S/Sgt. Don Smawley and Sgt. Gerry Smith.
The final clasp was awarded for 35 years of service to Cpl. Chris Faulkner, Sgt. Darryl Little and S/Sgt. Dan Seibel.
RCMP officers are also eligible for a 40 year silver and gold clasp, however none were handed out at Monday’s ceremony.
The final award of the ceremony was the District Commander Certificate of Appreciation. It was delivered to 12 recipients after their response to the Johnsons Landing landslide in July. The recipients were Cst. Dave Barnhart, Cst. Chuck Brind’Amour, Paddy Flanagan, Cst. David Hallmark, Sgt. Darryl Little, Cst. Colleen Lowing, Cst. Tim MacDonald, Cst. Jeff Roberts, S/Sgt. Dan Seibel, Bob Stair, Cpl. Michael Stefani and Cst. Brendon Vaillant.