Brigid Kemp gets personally thanked for her volunteer work by Prime Minister Trudeau on B.C. Day. Brennan Phillips/Western News

Penticton resident honoured for years of volunteering

Brigid Kemp also received personal congrats from prime minister

Brigid Kemp was honoured this week with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, recognizing the years of volunteer work she has given to the community.

She formally received the medal at the Penticton city council afternoon meeting Tuesday, but on Monday, she was also thanked for her work and congratulated by Prime Minister Trudeau at Penticton’s B.C. Day celebrations.

“Aside from the honour of the Governor General’s medal for volunteers, having him acknowledge that too was quite an honour,” said Kemp, who admitted she had never had a chance to meet a prime minister before.

“It’s a recognition of the volunteerism that I contribute to my community. I strongly believe in giving to my community and being part of it,” said Kemp. “To me, it is more important to give than to take. Being part of the community means giving back to the community.”

In one way or another, Kemp said, she has been volunteering for many years.

Kemp has been a community volunteer income tax program co-ordinator for over a decade. She also contributes her time to the Salvation Army, the City of Penticton’s transportation advisory committee, the United Way and the B.C. Federation of Retired Union Members. Through the Penticton and District Community Response Network, she addresses the issues of abuse and neglect among vulnerable adults.

Related: Letter: Speed up on helping the homeless

“It’s about giving back to the people you work with, the people you live with, the people you meet on the street,” said Kemp.

Kemp’s volunteering was also recognized at council by South-Okanagan West Kootenay MP Dick Cannings, who also presented her with a testimonial

Kemp said she is not alone in volunteering, that there are many people “in every nook and cranny of this province, this town, this community, this country” that are volunteering.

“People give in many ways to their community, in whatever capacity they have,” said Kemp. “Penticton is almost run by volunteers. I think there are many people in this community who would be equally deserving of such an award.“

Kemp said people have asked why she didn’t get Trudeau to pin the medal on her personally, but she points out that since this is an award from the Queen, through the Governor-General of Canada, it was to be awarded by a neutral representative.

That could have been done by the Governor General herself, but Kemp wanted to have the medal awarded in Penticton, rather than in Ottawa.

“I chose to ask the mayor, because the award is based on my volunteer work in my community,” said Kemp, adding that she wasn’t interested in a big formal ceremony in Ottawa.

“I’m basically a grassroots practical person. I like to keep things simple,” said Kemp.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Just Posted

PRICK! sees increase in patients

The rainbow friendly service offers STI and HIV screening monthly

Cold case files: Penticton man still missing after two years

Penticton RCMP are hoping that re-sharing of this information may lead to new tips from the public

First Things First evoking the power of song and play

Environmental group educating through entertainment

Super blood wolf moon fills Okanagan skies, to photographers’ delight

Photographers had a rare chance Sunday to capture a rare lunar eclipse

Creator of trans webcomic series Assigned Male coming to Penticton

Stop is part of French-Canadian author Sophie Labelle’s Serious Trans Vibes Tour

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Heavy snowfall expected for Coquihalla, Okanagan valley

Coquihalla highway, the Connector, and Highway 3, from Princeton to Allison Pass are getting snow.

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Video: Runaway Coquihalla dog returned to owner

Archer, the dog found roaming along Coq. Hwy. on Jan. 19, has been reunited with owner

Most Read