1st Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medals go to Manitoba community, health leaders and military personnel

Prominent members of Manitoba's business and health sectors, as well as nearly three dozen military personnel were awarded the first of 1,000 Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medals on Monday night.

Former vaccine task force leader Dr. Joss Reimer, True North chairman Mark Chipman among recipients

Former vaccine task force lead Dr. Joss Reimer is awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal Monday night by Premier Heather Stefanson and Manitoba Lieutenant-Governor Janice Filmon. Reimer, who now serves as chief medical officer of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, was one of 70 Manitobans awarded the medal at a ceremony. (CTV pool feed)

Prominent members of Manitoba's business and health sectors and nearly three dozen military personnel were awarded Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medals Monday night, one week after the former monarch's funeral in London.

Premier Heather Stefanson and Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon handed out the first 70 of 1,000 awards to Manitobans in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne in 1952.

"Each of you brings the spirit of public service to life, each of you leads by example, each of you takes on responsibility for making your community, your province, your country better," Filmon told the recipients.

"Each of you has your own unique story that led you to this day, but every one of those stories has one important thing in common: all those stories began when you said 'yes' to challenge or opportunity. 'Yes' is the mother of all possibility." 

Queen Elizabeth, Canada's head of state and the longest-reigning British monarch, died on Sept. 8 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Provincial medals

The federal government opted out of offering medals for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee months ago, but Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia decided to provide their own to local residents.

Former vaccine task force leader Dr. Joss Reimer, who now services as chief medical officer for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, was among the recipients at the Monday night ceremony, in the Queen's Room at the Manitoba Legislature. 

Dr. Jazz Atwal, deputy chief provincial public health officer, and Mark Chipman, executive chairman of True North Sports and Entertainment and the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club, also received the honour.

Dr. Jazz Atwal holds his Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medal. (CTV pool feed )

Elder Mae Louise Campbell, co-founder of Clan Mothers Healing Village and Knowledge Centre, received one as well.

The final medal of the night was awarded to Master Cpl. Jason Beaulieu. His wife, also in the Armed Forces, was brought home from a tour in Qatar and surprised her husband on stage as he received his medal.

"Today you are being awarded this commemorative medal because each and every one of you in your own way have helped to preserve our country and strengthen our province for generations to come," Stefanson told the crowd in her closing address.

"You have honoured the seven-decade legacy of her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II through your service, and I sincerely want to thank you for your contributions to our great province."

The remaining medals will be awarded at ceremonies throughout the province in the Jubilee year.

Master Cpl. Jason Beaulieu hugs his wife, who came from the Middle East where she is serving with the Armed Forces to see the awards ceremony. (CTV pool feed)