Diamond Jubilee Medal Awardees
The Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty’s dedicated service to our country. And at the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.
From coast to coast, from every sector in the Canadian society, there are 60,000 recipients of the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal. And in the Filipino community in Manitoba, the awardees have made outstanding contributions to their communities and the country.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper participated in the inaugural presentation of the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal to 60 Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to their communities and Country. The Prime Minister joined HIs Execellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston. Governor General of Canada to present the medals at Rideau Hall last Feburary 6, 2012, this date commemorates Her Majesty the Queen’s accesision to the throne on February 6, 1952.
Governor General David Johnston said: “Six decades ago, a young Queen began her reign, one focused on service to others. Her Majesty has experience and seen many hardships but also many joys. Through it all, she has remained dedicated to serving the crown and the people of the Commonwealth. As a representative of the Crown in Canada, and as one who always admired the Queen’s steadfast devotion, I am pleased to honor this occasion to present the 60 Canadians with the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said: “On this day exactly six years ago, our government was first sworn into office by then Governor General Michaelle Jean. But it was on this very day 60 years ago- in other words, over a period ten times as long – that her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll acceded to the Throne as Queen of Canada. Six decades later, we offer our deep appreciation for her lifetime of devotion. On this occasion, we inaugurate an honour recognizing that same spirit of service among Canadians across the country, The Diamond Jubilee Medal, which the Queen has personally approved,is the cornerstone of our celebration of her 60th year on the throne – an honour intended to recognize thousands of Canadians for selfless devotion to their fellow citizens and to our country. Thus, in this grand room, we see the good heart of a great nation. The recipients of this medal are drawn from every walk of life in every region of Canada, in all its magnificent variety. Ladies and gentlemen, you exemplify the virtues that built our country, the principles that guide it, and the hope that draws it forward. When I consider Canada’s future, the spirit of service reflected in those here today, and the thousands of other Canadians who will be awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medal over the course of the year, it gives me great hope for our country. As Prime Minister, on behalf of your fellow Canadians, I thank you and I congratulate you.”
Nominating officers include Senator Jun Enverga, Members of the Parliament, Pat Martin and Kevin Lamoureux, and Premier Greg Salinger.
Since 1959, the couple’s pioneering spirits have become the cornerstones in the foundation of the Filipino Community in Winnipeg. Their initiative and with the help of other kababayans, they founded the first Filipino Association . When the Filipino immigrants arrived to work in the garment industry in Winnipeg in the late 60’s, in the 70’s and 80’s, Dr. Roland and wife Irene helped in the settlement process for the new arrivals. As a result, they became adopted parents and became more involved in the well-being of their kababayans. Dr. Roland Guzman became an honorary consul general which lasted for 21 years. The husband and wife team was one of the founders of the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba and helped raise funds to build the centre. Other initiatives include Fil-Can Disaster Relief Committee, Philippine Heritage Committee and adviser of of some regional associations. As a founder of Knights of Rizal, he became the first Chapter Commander and initiated the promote Rizal’s life and ideals. Dr. Irene Guzman is also active in Ladies of Rizal and in PCCM as a past asst. treasurer.
Dr. Magsino is the 1st Filipino to become a Dean of Education at the University of Manitoba. As an educator, he becomes an inspiration of many kababayans especially the youth to pursue higher learning and to achieve excellence in any undertakings.Dr. Magsino, together with his wife, Leah Enverga-Magsino, have become involved in the Filipino community . One of the founding members of the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba, he was able to help realize the dreams of the Filipinos to have a centre. He became the president of PCCM, and actively involved in various groups such as Knights of Rizal, UST Alumni, QPAM and other professional associations. With his exemplary contributions to the Filipino community, he was awarded the Order of Manitoba; and a distinguished award given by the Philippine government.
When Rod and Linda arrived in Winnipeg in 1974, they were surprised to see a thriving Filipino community in the city. This triggered their interests to volunteer. After finding works, they enrolled at the University of Manitoba as night students to pursue some courses needed to challenge the demand in the work force. Between work and study, Rod and Linda found time to volunteer. Being a journalist in Manila, Rod started writing his column in the Filipino newspaper and this led to publication of the Filipino Journal in 1987. Between work and study, Rod and Linda helped organize The Institute of Philppine Studies, UST Alumni, and other regional associations. Rod ventured in business, in theatre and in films. Through these initiatives, Rod inspired young people to harness their talents. He became a PCCM president in 2009-2010; and was elected president of Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba. In 1996, Rod won the Rizal International Poetry Contest, sponsored by the Knights of Rizal. He is the current president of MACFFA. Presently, he is working with his son, Ron, in the expansion of the Filipino Journal and other publications in Manitoba and in Alberta.
An activist, Fred has the innate leadership in rallying the Filipino community into action. One classic event was the 1993 case against a major supermarket chain in Winnipeg. De Villa, with the help of other leaders, rallied the community to join the protest and the demonstration and the boycott. Other ethnic groups joined. The Filipinos won and the case become a wake-up call for other businesses. Fred became the interim-chair, an ad-hoc, Filipino Coalition for Human Rights and this led to Fred’s nomination for Manitoba Human Rights Achievement Awards in 1998. Fred also initiated to stop the mainstream media not to identify the ethnic background of an accused person. Added to his activism, Fred helped organize many Filipino associations. For many years, he became mayor and ambassador of the Magdaragat Pavilion during the Folklorama festival. Fred was one of the recipients of the 100 Outstanding Filipinos in Canada. He helped raise funds for Heart Foundation, Seven Oaks Hospital, Fil-Can Disaster Relief Fund as a co-chair, YM-YMCS Winnipeg and Philippines, as one of the founding members. Currently, Fred heads the Winnipeg Filipino Business Council, a group which facilitates free discussion on various issues; and thru his effort, WFBC rallied and won to reduce the immigrant landing fee from $975Cdn. to $475Cdn. The latest long-deserved award, 2004 Outstanding Filipinos in Canada, is a credit to de Villa’s crusading efforts to promote the cause of the Filipinos in North America.
A well-known household name, Lito’s involvement in the Filipino community spans many years of dedications and commitments. His role in the broadcast media, as a News Director of CKJS, Lito has an advantage to rally the cooperation of his kababayans in every aspect of community development. Not only providing hometown news to his nostalgic kababayans, Lito also provides a forum to voice out some issues affecting our community. Currently, he is the president of the Philippine Association of Manitoba and the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba. As a co-chair of the Fil-Can Disaster Relief Fund Committee, he has been active in fundraising to help our kababayans who are victims of the natural disasters in our home country. And through his leadership, the Nayong Pilipino, sponsored by PAM during the Folklorama festival in August, has become the front and centre in the promotion of our Filipino culture and heritage.
As a community volunteer, Perla has been involved in the community since her arrival in Winnipeg. In 1976. Perla was instrumental in bringing 97 young women to Winnipeg from Netherlands for the garment industry in Winnipeg. Her vast experiences in volunteerism exemplifies her involvement in the Filipino Community. in Magdaragat Philippines where he excelled in the promotion of the Philippine culture and heritage and thus, she became the adult amassador general in Foklorama 2003; She has been associated to the various local volunteer gouprs , to mention a few, like International Centre, Mr. Carmel Clinic, Sexualtiy Education Resource Centre, Manitoba Intercultural Council. She has been involved in education as a liason officer and currently involved in the search of outstanding students for the Knights of Rizal. Presently, she is the President of Philippine Heritage ‘Council of Manitoba.
A volunteer extraordinaire, Joy has been involved in the Filipino community for many years. She focuses her energy on entertainment and education which has led to the founding of a training school for talented members in the community. She uses her innate talent and creativity to achieve their goals. She has a long list of achievements which include as director of various plays and musicals, to name a few, “Miracle on Main Street”, Highlights Performing Group’s fundraising gala for Juvinile Diabetes Foundation, and “Quest For Money Tree”. Joy was the fundraising coordinator for Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba, and artistic director, producer/coordinator of various musical and variety shows. Last May 2012, Joy directed “Dial Up for Gambling”, Good Neighbours Senior Drama Program to create awareness on the gambling problems among seniors. To date, she is the Artistic Director of Highlights Performing Group.
Ron has been instrumental in continuing the legacy of his late mom, Linda, in the field of journalism. Since he took over as Publisher of the Filipino Journal, a pioneer in Western Canada, the newspaper expanded its content and its coverage. In 2008, Alberta Filipino Journal started its publication to serve the Filipinos in Edmonton and Calgary and its neighbouring cities and towns. Ron, as a publisher, has been involved in many fundraising events in the Filipino community and with other groups like Cancer Care, Winnipeg Harvest, Festival du Voyageur, and Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. He has started helping and promoting local talents in the field of photography, volunteerism and journalism.
Tom has been involved in the various fundraising initiatives in the Filipino community and has led many humanitarian missions to several countries including Peru, the Philippines and Guatemala. He was the past Project Manager of the federally funded elder abuse project, Innovative Cultural Approaches in the Prevention of Elder Abuse ( ICAPEA). Tom is the current vice-chair of the Manitoba Ethnocultural Council. And also, the present Area Commander for Western Canada for the Order of the Knights of Rizal.
One of the leaders in the Filipino community, Julie has been involved in many fundraising events. As one of the founders of Asian ConNEXTion Agency, she has the time to address the needs of the new immigrants or the “bagong dating”. Her involvement in the Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba, as a co-chair in the Asian Festival at the Forks in May, broadens her role in the promotion of the Philippine culture and heritage. Julie is very active in the Manitoba Filipino Street Festival, Filipino Senior Group of Winnipeg, Ladies of Rizal, MACCFA, and presently, as the governor of the Batangas Association of Manitoba.
A compassionate community support worker, Gigi, as her friends call her, has been a volunteer for many years. Her ways of helping people especially those who suffer from abuse, in any forms, are known to many people, especially whom she helped and met. Despite dealing with extremely difficult and with sensitive topics, Gigi has been a comfort and advocate for those who suffer from abuse, from family members, friends and others.
One of the organizers of the First Manitoba Filipino Street Festival in Winnipeg, Aida exemplifies the genuine leader who wants to make a difference. A colourful celebration, the Manitoba Filipino Street Festival has become the showcase of our rich Philippine culture and heritage. Last year’s event was very successful and the officers and members led by Aida have started planning the festival for August presentation. Aida is the president of the Filipino Senior Group of Winnipeg. And she has been involved in many fundraising events with her dance group.
One of the leaders in St. Peter Parish Church, Luchi has initiated many fundraising activities to raise fund for the new church building. Her exemplary leadership has become the inspiration for others in terms of dedication to Catholic faith and the values of volunteerism. Many years ago, Luchi headed some fundraising projects with the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba.