One of the nation’s highest honours was bestowed on Connie Legg on June 6.

The McNab/Braeside resident received the Governor General’s Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers at the township council meeting from Mayor Tom Peckett.

Peckett said it was an honour to be requested by Governor General David Johnston to present the award.

“One of the great things I enjoy about being mayor is I get to recognize and present things to various people in our community,” said Peckett to the large crowd of Legg supporters and family members. “This evening … I get to present a medal of recognition to one of our very, very deserving residents of McNab/Braeside, that being Connie Legg, who I have known for many years, who has donated of her time and herself for decades to help this community, this province and this country. She is an extremely well deserving person of this prestigious award.”

After Legg thanked him for the kind words she admitted that she was disappointed she would not receive the award from the Governor General at Rideau Hall. That soon changed after a recent visit from Peckett as they discussed her volunteer work and the joys of living in a rural municipality.

“It occurred to me that this is exactly where I should get my award, where I have lived for 32 years, surrounded by family and friends and celebrating the work of volunteers in our area,” said Legg. “I also doubt they would have let me speak at a fancy ceremony!”

Legg has volunteered over the years at the Arnprior Figure Skating Club, L’Arche, the Arnprior and District Family Health Team and with Hospice Renfrew.

She was nominated by Helen McGregor and in the award application it notes that it is a well-known fact that Hospice Renfrew would not exist without Legg.

“She is such a good volunteer, she was a founding member of the board of directors for Hospice Renfrew and she has done lots of stuff around Arnprior, McNab/Braeside and Renfrew,” said McGregor. “She is very good at all she does and she is always available for all kinds of stuff we have asked her.

“She is full of life, energizing and she always helps out other people to get them going.”
Jim MacKillican, was one of the founders of Hospice Renfrew along with Legg and he sponsored the nomination letter and calls her a leading light.

“It’s just great that she is being recognized in this way, it’s a Canadian recognition, but still very important she be recognized locally because this community benefited so much from what she has she done,” said MacKillican. “She is really more than a volunteer, she has been a leader and she leads by example and this has encouraged other volunteers. Her expertise in nursing and volunteerism has really been instrumental in the success of Hospice.”

They credit the retired nurse as being one of the founders of Hospice Renfrew. She is the current chair and has been with the organization since it started 14 years ago and has volunteered over 6,000 hours.

“Hospice is not about one person. I accept this award on behalf of all those who have spent many, many hours of volunteer time to ensure that the hospice would become a reality,” said Legg in her address to council. “Compassionate communities is a phrase used to describe communities where people out of kindness and compassion, care for one another. This is nothing new and is the way of life for people in most rural communities. McNab-Braeside is a prime example.”

Legg told this newspaper she was quite shocked when she found out about the award.

When I first found out I was overwhelmed because I didn’t realized I had been nominated,” said Legg. “I had to contact Hospice to find out if it was real. I was incredibly honoured. It is so nice to be recognized for doing something you love to do.”

Legg said she shared the award with her husband Doug for all of his support and calls palliative care a passion.

“Its such an incredibly gift to see something that is so important become so successful. I’ve got back far more than I have ever given,” said Legg. “You only get back what you put in and I think it is really important to give to your community. I have enjoyed every bit of volunteer work I have done.”