OPINION: Parksville Qualicum Beach volunteers worthy of all their accolades

Communities made better through selfless effort

Volunteers are an essential part of any community.

Here in Parksville Qualicum Beach, we are pleased to have many (though more are always welcome) people willing to selflessly give of themselves to help others.

And it takes those volunteers to build a community. Look around PQB and we can see plenty of evidence of that. There may be any number of reasons that people will forgo money to spend a few hours to help out at an event or assist an organization.

Perhaps we all know that a certain level of volunteering is necessary as part of our social fabric.

The costs for organizations to move forward would be prohibitive without those who are willing to give freely of their time.

We all benefit from volunteers in many areas and avenues. The importance of volunteers and volunteering cannot be underestimated. To all of you, we thank you.

READ MORE: Qualicum Beach volunteer Mark Watson honoured for 30 years of service at fire hall

READ MORE: Beloved Parksville volunteer awarded key to the city

This week, a pair of notable local volunteers were recognized for their efforts.

Joan LeMoine, still going strong at 90 years old, became only the second person to receive Parksville’s key to the city.

And Mark Watson was honoured by the Qualicum Beach Fire Department for his 30 years of devoted service.

In both cases, their motivations are selfless and the comments from those around them universally positive.

LeMoine, who received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, the Community Ambassador Award from the City of Parksville in 2013 and the Medal of Good Citizenship in 2016, is still active with the Oceanside Community Safety Keeping in Touch program and the Mount Arrowsmith Branch 49 of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Why does she do it? Simple.

“I don’t do it to get anything, I do it because I love living here,” she said.

Well said.

Watson continues to come out every week to help keep the fire hall clean and do other chores he’s assigned to. To honour Watson dedication, the QBFD has an annual award named after him. It’s called the Mark Watson Spirit Award.

“He is awesome,” said Fire Chief Marc Norris. “He’s great friend and teammate at the Qualicum Beach Fire Department. He is very committed to what he’s doing there. He helps out whenever he can.”

We’re fortunate to have both LeMoine and Watson volunteering in our communities. Congratulations to them both, and a tip of that hat to all the volunteers out there.

We appreciate the effort.

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