Penticton airport stalwart gets royal treatment

Commissionaire David Kerr honoured with Diamond Jubilee medal to reward community involvement

  • Jun. 21, 2012 6:00 a.m.
David Kerr (left) receives his Diamond Jubilee medal from Steven Point

David Kerr (left) receives his Diamond Jubilee medal from Steven Point

For David Kerr, looking after the community always came naturally.

“My history was that I was an air cadet in Penticton, and it distilled the values and virtues of good citizenship and good leadership,” he said. “I just carried that on. I enjoy giving back to the community.”

Last week, he got something in return, receiving a once-in-a-lifetime medal commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

On June 15, Kerr, along with three others, received the Diamond Jubilee medal from B.C. Lt.-Gov. Steve Point at a presentation in Kelowna.

Feb. 6 of this year marked the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II taking the throne. In honour of this occasion, Canada and the U.K. created a one-time medal to both honour Her Majesty and, in Canada’s case, give recognition for outstanding members of the community.

The Canadian Mint created 60,000 of the Diamond Jubilee medals, which were given out to a number of prescribed individuals, such as senators, MPs and members of the Order of Canada.

As well, a certain number were given to non-government organizations to distribute as they saw fit, which is how Kerr came by this honour.

He works as a site supervisor at the Penticton Regional Airport through the Commissionaires, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding employment for former RCMP, military personnel and others. In Kerr’s case, he was an officer within the Office of National Defence reserves for 25 years.

The Commissionaires were given 80 medals to distribute, and Kerr was one of the recipients.

“It’s a very humbling experience,” he said. “I do have to share it with the other commissionaires that work in this area. It’s definitely a team effort, and most of the commissionaires or the people who work as commissionaires recognize the value in being part of a team. It’s very humbling to be singled out.”

This isn’t the first time Kerr has been recognized for his efforts. In 2007, he was named the Canadian Forces Officer of the Year by the Air Cadet League of Canada, and in 2002 he was named Penticton’s Man of the Year.

“David is the ideal commissionaire,” said Brian Garvie, director of client services with the Commissionaires and Kerr’s boss. “He is loyal and dedicated to the job, has great leadership skills and interacts in a very caring manner with the public.”