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Geoff Carpentier receives his Queen's Jubilee medal

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

SCUGOG: Scugog environmentalist and columnist for The Standard, Geoff Carpentier was amazed when he received his Queen's Platinum Jubilee Award medal from MP Erin O'Toole's office this month.

The Durham MP was presenting these medals to Scugog citizens, at a ceremony, at the Scugog Memorial Public Library, in October, but Mr. Carpentier was unable to attend at the time.

"I received the notification I was to be presented with the award when I was on a ship in the South Atlantic, guiding for Viking Expeditions. I was so pleased to receive that email but knew I couldn't attend the ceremony in person, in Port Perry. As the trip moved on, finally ending in early December. I was contacted by Erin O'Toole's office who arranged to have the award shipped to me. I couldn't believe how gorgeous the medallion was, until I saw it. It is a spectacular piece of artwork. I will cherish it, the lapel pin, and the certificate forever," he told The Standard.

According to Mr. O'Toole's website, the award "commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Accession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the Throne as Queen of Canada." It is given to residents who "have made a significant volunteer contribution to the community, an organization in the Durham riding, or for an outstanding achievement abroad which has brought great credit to Canada." The recipients were nominated by Durham-riding constituents.

Mr. Carpentier has lived in Durham Region since the early 1990s, having lived in Pickering and Ajax before moving to Scugog Township in 2011. He's served as a member of the Durham Environmental Advisory Committee, Ajax Environmental Advisory Committee, and the Scugog Environmental Advisory Committee. He is also a former member of the Lakeridge Citizens for Clean Water and is a current technical advisor to the Lake Scugog Stewards.

Some of the studies or projects he has worked on in Durham include: loon migration surveys; waterfowl surveys; shorebird surveys, as part of an international initiative to monitor the health of shorebird habitats and shorebird populations; upland game bird surveys; the hawk migration censuses, as part of the Hawk Migration Assoc. of North America; Christmas Bird Counts; butterfly census surveys and breeding bird studies.

As well as a columnist, Mr. Carpentier is also an author and a nature guide.

Mr. Carpentier explained it was an honour to be nominated for this award. "It is always an honour to have one's efforts recognized by one's peers. I try to give freely of my time and expect nothing in return but the satisfaction of helping others. This award is a wonderful 'payback' for my efforts. In this case, I was doubly thankful to have the award presented as part of the honours bestowed on the Queen, as part of her Jubilee celebrations, as she has done much for Canadians. My small contributions pale in comparison to hers, but it is so wonderful to be recognized as part of the tribute Canadians are paying to her."

Some of the other recipients included: Jonathan van Bilsen, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation Chief Kelly LaRocca, Jack Doak, Kent Farndale, Vanessa Page, and Dr. Steve Russell.

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