UPDATED: Sooke resident honoured with Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

Ceremony to be held in Victoria on Thursday

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognize the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country and celebrate a wide range of voluntary contributions. (Master Cpl. Vincent Carbonneau/Rideau Hall)

It began with the Scouts.

Now, a Sooke resident has received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers for years of service to the scouting movement.

Paul Fenton, 50, is among 44 B.C. residents whose volunteer efforts were honoured by Gov.-Gen. Julie Payette. The medal was presented Thursday by Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin at Government House in Victoria.

“I was surprised by the award,” Fenton said of the honour. “I’m honoured to be recognized at a national level for my volunteering.”

Fenton, a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, progressed through the scouting movement while a youth in Niagara Falls, Ont.

He returned 15 years ago when his children joined scouts, and while some of his children have left the youth organization, Fenton has remained, first as a parent volunteer with the 1st Arbutus Group in Esquimalt and now as group commissioner for the 33rd Medical Services Group.

In the many years in between, Fenton, 50, has been on the committee for Camp Barnard in Sooke and the adult development trainer for Vancouver Island.

RELATED: 2,200 Scouts descend on Sooke’s Camp Barnard

Fenton said he’s remained with scouts because he enjoys it and “it allows me to be a kid.”

“It was a program I was really familiar with as a kid, and I wanted my kids to be involved in scouting as well.”

As an official Canadian honour, the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers incorporates and replaces the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, created in 1995, by then-governor general Roméo LeBlanc.

But the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers isn’t the first national honour for Fenton.

A few years ago, the sailor was awarded with the Member of the Order of Military Merit, which recognizes exceptional service by active members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

ALSO READ: Sooke author wins Governor General Literary Award

This story is an update from an earlier version.


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