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Hinchliffe Awarded Prestigious Medal


At a special presentation during the Community Foundation of Swan Valley (CFSV) spring granting night, Swan River resident Doug Hinchliffe was honoured with Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, one of the medals officially created by Her Majesty the Queen and normally presented by the Governor General of Canada.
“The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers is described as, ‘passion, dedication, and a commitment to community are the driving forces behind the volunteers who receive (this medal)’,” said CFSV Chair Lorne Henkelman, who made the presentation to Hinchliffe, honouring Hinchliffe’s wish to receive the medal at home, instead of in Ottawa.
“The medal recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields, and pays tribute to the dedication and commitment of volunteers. They embody the caring country we aspire to build.
“Doug was asked to travel to Ottawa to receive this medal from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, but he chose instead to have it presented here tonight, and we’re all glad you did,” Henkelman continued.
More specifically, this medal recognizes Hinchliffe’s work in establishing the CFSV, and helping to build what it is today.
“We are proud to say that we have more than $2.8 million in assets that will continue to generate funds to support organizations and groups throughout the Swan Valley area,” said Henkelman.
Hinchliffe’s additional volunteer accomplishments that were mentioned included his 49 years as a treasurer for the Swan Valley Air Cadets Squadron, his role as president of both the Swan Valley Rotary Club, the Swan River Mens’ Curling Club, and his work in the executive of the Royal Canadian Legion Br. 39, where he served for more than a decade as the Sergeant-at-Arms.
“As a level three curling coach, he helped establish a junior curling club, helped coach teams, and for years, he devoted his weekends to holding curling clinics throughout the Valley and further afield,” Henkelman continued.
“Always community minded, Doug chose to return to this Valley and raise his family, and has been dedicated to helping make it a good place to live and work.”
Hinchliffe gave a brief speech after receiving this special honour, explaining how it was a group of four friends – including himself, Beggie Palsson, the late Rex Leach, and the late Conrad Robinson – were sitting around Dutchies and took on this idea of starting a local foundation.
“I belong to the Manitoba Community Service Council, and they mentioned a chap whose name is Thomas Sill, who would donate a $50,000 matching grant,” said Hinchliffe. “I mentioned the matching grant (to my friends), and all of a sudden, I had four cheques of $1,000 each, and that’s really how it got started in Dutchies one afternoon.”
Hinchliffe exited the stage to a standing applause from his fellow community members.

Jeremy Bergen