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

Renowned piano player to headline Peach Festival

Tom Waters, performing at Penticton Peach Festival, has hit the stage with The Rolling Stones

Update: Highway 3 west of Keremeos open to alternating traffic

Details scarce about collision that has closed Highway 3 west of Keremeos

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Friday last day before rain and clouds return

Environement Canada forcasts a sunny Friday, but darker weekend days

NHL alumni and Canadian country music stars gearing up for Okanagan charity extravaganza

A two-day May weekend event combines, hockey, golf, country music and a whole lot of fun

Behind the mask of the South Okanagan furries community

Penticton furries community member said it’s not a sexual thing

Foodie Friday: crocodile pizza at Bad Tattoo

Take a trip down under and try the Penticton brewery’s newest creation

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

It’s almost time to wine tour again in Kelowna

Lots of great places to visit according to Tourism Kelowna

Overdose calls keep Kelowna paramedics busy

There have been 167 calls so far this year

Okanagan librarian delves into trio of titles

Book Talk: Dark Matter, Lincoln’s Dreams and The Jealous Kind

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Most Read