NINE members of Terrace Pipes and Drums have been honoured with federal government medals for their volunteerism.
Paul Bjorn, Barry English, Christopher Gair, Patrick Hall, John Halley, Garrett Kerr, Audrey Kerr, Jill MacKay and Andrew MacKay received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, which recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields. It also pays tribute to volunteers’ dedication and exemplary commitment.
Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, presented the medals to 33 recipients from B.C. on behalf of His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, at a ceremony at Government House in Victoria June 7.
Paul Bjorn has been a piper with Terrace Pipes and Drums Society for 10 years, and previously volunteered with the Kimberley Pipe Band. He often helps members fix equipment, assists in organizing events where the band plays, is active with the Rotary Club and has brought his engineering expertise to several community projects.
For 40 years, Barry English has been a drummer with Terrace Pipes and Drums, serving as drum sergeant and the band’s secretary and treasurer for many years. Throughout his involvement, he has helped promote Scottish culture and has instructed hundreds of youths in drumming and marching.
As piper and quartermaster for Terrace Pipes and Drums, Christopher Gair keeps the band looking presentable for performances. He is also an RCMP auxiliary constable, helping keep his community safe.
Since 1973, Patrick Hall has been piping with Terrace Pipes and Drums and currently serves as the band’s historian and honourary pipe major. He has performed numerous times at funerals and Remembrance Day parades and has taught piping to children and adults in the community.
John Halley has been a committed member of Terrace Pipes and Drums since 1994, where he plays the bass drum. He has taught many younger members of the band drumming techniques and volunteered as assistant to the pastor of Knox United Church for 15 years.
Garrett Kerr joined Terrace Pipes and Drums at 10 years old. He has since become pipe major, and helps to grow the local music scene. He has also volunteered to help local farmers establish environmentally safe roads through sensitive fish habitat.
For 40 years, Audrey Kerr has promoted Scottish culture, music and dance through her piping with Terrace Pipes and Drums, where she has filled most positions, including pipe major and current band manager. In addition to teaching children to play the pipes, she also volunteered as manager with the minor hockey league.
Jill MacKay has been a dedicated member of Terrace Pipes and Drums for more than 20 years and has served as the band’s pipe major for most of that time. She spends many hours teaching others the art of piping and Scottish dance, helping to promote Scottish culture throughout northwestern B.C.
Since he was eight years old, Andrew MacKay has been playing the bagpipes and promoting Scottish culture. Whether with Terrace Pipes and Drums Society or through his various endeavours with the Volunteer Bureau, he helps make the community a better place.
The Medal for Volunteers consists of a silver circular medal that is 36 mm in diameter with a suspension ring. The obverse depicts a contemporary effigy of the Sovereign, circumscribed with the inscription in capital letters of the Canadian Royal Title and the word “CANADA”, separated by two maple leaves.
The reverse indicates the ideas of caring and generosity, represented by two interlaced hearts. The sunburst pattern of the rim symbolizes the time that volunteers are giving and their actions. The ribbon uses the vice-regal colours of blue and gold. The five gold stripes evoke the fingers of a hand, present in the Caring Canadian Award emblem, while the deep red colour is associated with royalty.