A long-time member of the community received recognition on Saturday for all of his hard work.
“Peter now is added to the elite and I think it’s wonderful and certainly well deserved.”
Those are the words that Arlene Thorpe used to describe how Peter Batchelor is deserving of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal he received on Feb. 2 at The Royal Canadian Legion Branch #141 in Dawson Creek.
“Peter is a very giving individual. He will volunteer and help at a moments notice, and to me, that’s what volunteerism is all about. I know how important it is … and how difficult it is to get people to volunteer and Peter just does it at the drop of a hat,” continued Thorpe, who, along with the Legion, nominated Batchelor for the award.
Batchelor was surprised when he found out he was going to be receiving this award.
“It’s quite humbling and the fact that there’s a limited number of them awarded across Canada, I feel pretty privileged to be in that group,” said Batchelor.
For those in the Dawson Creek community who know Batchelor, the award is well-deserved.
“Peter has always given back to the community. I had the opportunity to work with him when I was at the city of Dawson Creek serving as a councillor and the mayor. I’ve watched Peter contribute to our community in so many different ways. He’s very deserving member of our community of this medal,” said Blair Lekstrom, MLA for Peace River South.
Batchelor who spent 20 years in the air force before coming to Dawson Creek in 1983, where spent 22 years with the Dawson Creek Fire Department. For 19 of those years, he held the position of fire chief. In addition, he’s also been a very active member of the community, volunteering and sitting on a number of different boards.
“I’ve been on the executive here at the Legion for seven or eight years – three times as president. I’ve been president of the golf club. I’ve been on the board there for probably 10 years. I’ve been on the curling club board of directors for several years, the Dawson Creek Athletic Association, I served there for a few years as well,” said Batchelor.
“Communities like this don’t operate without volunteers, there’s just no other way,” he added.
However, the amount of people volunteering seems to be decreasing, according to Batchelor.
“I think eventually it’s going to go full circle when people realize you simply can’t afford to operate every club and every facility with paid staff. It’s got to be volunteers that keep these places going, there’s just no other way.”