EDITORIAL: Citizen Joan

Our communities are better places because of people like Joan LeMoine

A community is much more than a concentrated collection of roads, sidewalks, parks and businesses.

Joan LeMoine personifies what a community is all about.

On Thursday, the Parksville resident was presented with the provincial Medal of Good Citizenship, which is given to someone who has acted in a particularly generous, kind or selfless manner for the common good, without expectation of reward.

The citizens of Parksville Qualicum Beach are the people who have been consistently rewarded by the good work of Joan LeMoine.

It would be impossible to list all of LeMoine’s contributions in this space. One that certainly pops to mind is her work, with her late husband Jim, to re-establish the Parksville Beachfest Society. She was the volunteer co-ordinator of this event for 15 years. More than 100,000 people attended Beachfest last year.

Another is her work to raise money for the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, including the shaving of her head.

This is no small, over-used platitude, this Medal of Good Citizenship. More than 220 nominations were reviewed for the Medal of Good Citizenship, which was launched by Premier Christy Clark in July 2015. LeMoine is only the second person in the province to receive the honour. The province got it right and whatever role MLA Michelle Stilwell may have had in advancing this nomination, well done.

There are precious few people like Joan LeMoine. The selfless ones never see themselves like the rest of us do, which is part of the reason they earn such respect.

“People say I’m addicted to volunteering, but it’s just something I like to do,” LeMoine once told The NEWS.

“I have done these things in my community because I want to, not because I want anything,” she said last week upon receiving the award.

Down to earth and sharp as a tack, LeMoine always has time to talk and is always interested in what’s happening in other people’s lives. And the interest is always genuine.

The only other person to be honoured with this Medal of Good Citizenship was John Phare, a tree faller from Roberts Creek, who was posthumously honoured with the medal last fall after he was killed while fighting the Old Sechelt Mine fire in July.

We’re thankful Joan LeMoine is still with us so we can all say thank-you.

— Editorial by John Harding