Two more outstanding Coasters were honoured with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for their important community contributions this week.
Sechelt elder Margaret Joe Dixon was given her medal during a small ceremony in the Sechelt elders' boardroom, and volunteer Jordan McCourt was given his medal at Bethel Baptist Church Tuesday, Feb. 19.
Joe Dixon was honoured for her contribution to preserving, documenting and teaching the Sechelt (shíshálh) language. She was one of the first elders to teach the language to Sechelt Indian Band (SIB) students.
Now the language is taught in schools throughout the Coast and a dictionary outlining more than 11,000 shíshálh words has been printed.
“So we wanted to thank you, really thank you for all you've done,” SIB Chief Garry Feschuk said.
Originally Joe Dixon and fellow medal winner Theresa Jeffries were to be honoured together in a longhouse celebration; however, Jeffries' poor health required the event be postponed.
“We're going to have our ceremony in the longhouse where our community will come out in full support to hold our two elders up as soon as we can,” Feschuk noted.
The medal was presented by West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country member of Parliament John Weston who said Joe Dixon's work to preserve the shíshálh language was “a wonderful gift to the community and to Canada.”
Following that ceremony Weston travelled to Bethel Baptist Church to honour Jordan McCourt for his commitment to helping others despite his physical limitations.
McCourt is confined to a wheelchair, suffers from seizures and cerebral palsy and has a hole in his heart. However, he collects bottles year round to raise money to help those less fortunate.
In the past McCourt has helped a local girl purchase an electric wheelchair, given to the Coast's Special Olympians and helped a family struggling financially while trying to visit their three-year-old son who was undergoing cancer treatment in the city.
“The person that we're about to honour is somebody who has that kind of 360-degree vision. He doesn't look only at himself, he doesn't look only at those nearest to him, but he looks at people beyond the circle that most of us typically look at, and he looks for people that really need a hand,” Weston said.
“He really is an inspiration to us.”