A Williams Lake man was recognized and rewarded for being a longtime volunteer with the Navy League of Canada-Chilcotin Branch.
Fred Vankuipers said he got a call from the Governor General’s Office last November asking him if he would accept the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers which he replied it would be an honour to.
“I was really excited because I spent the last 23-years with the Navy League of Canada, most of these years as President of the Chilcotin Branch. The Canadian Cadet program is probably one of the better youth programs in Canada.”
Vankuipers said it does something to you when you see these kids “age out” from being in Cadets for 6-years and some of them go on to join the Navy, the RCMP, and many other service organizations.
He’s proud to have helped out all the cadets he’s come to know over the two-plus decades he’s been involved with the Navy League of Canada-Chilcotin Branch
“I’m on Facebook all the time and I keep in touch with a lot of these cadets that have “aged out” and they’re always acknowledging me,” Vankuipers said, “One gal, in particular, had said to me that you’ve done so much for the kids here in Williams Lake and they don’t forget that too easily, it stays with them forever”.
Vankuipers comes from a family with long time ties to this branch of the service, his sister and brother-in-law have both served 27 years in the Navy.
The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country celebrating a wide range of voluntary contributions.