Six people from the area are finding themselves among elite company following award presentations last Thursday. The Neepawa and Gladstone residents were awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal during presentations at the Neepawa Royal Canadian Legion and at a care home facility in Gladstone. “These are people who have attained remarkable achievements,” MP Robert Sopuck said in an interview following the presentations. “They have been recognized for being community leaders as volunteers and business people.” The new commemorative medal was created as a prestige award to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne as Queen of Canada. The medal aims to honour Canadians who have made significant contributions and achievements. In Neepawa, recipients were recognized in front of a crowd of around 100 people at the Royal Canadian Legion hall Thursday afternoon. Ivan Traill was recognized for his contributions to the community as a Rotarian, resident volunteer and his work establishing NAC TV to ensure people across Neepawa and area, and now from around the world courtesy its new website, are able to follow activities in town. “Ivan has obviously helped build up something really special for this community,” Sopuck said. Another builder, Jim Pollock, received the award after building up his agricultural business Northstar Seed as both a local and international business. “He's a man who's embraced and participated in the global economy and has taken advantage of all of the technologies,” Sopuck explained. Two people with strong ties to the Natives were also honoured, and the entire Natives hockey club was there to support them. The always community-minded Kevin Harris was recognized for always putting others first and his involvement in many of Neepawa's initiatives, including the recently successful 23 Years Proud group. “There aren't very many projects in Neepawa that Kevin isn't involved with,” Heather Todoruk, who nominated him, commented. “He has made the community a better place.” Another active volunteer, Mary Ellen Clark, won the award after being nominated twice for the recognition. Her involvement in promoting healthy living, supporting a variety of community groups, and as a dedicated volunteer and billet for the Natives organization were key contributions mentioned from her nominations. “She covers it all,” was the well-worded comment on Clark's endeavours. Meanwhile, Gladstone's Leona Reid won the award after reaching 100 years of age last May and contributing to her community throughout her life. Reid's vibrant appearance also left crowd members in awe. “She's a truly remarkable woman. She's a pioneer...and it's an obvious achievement for her to reach the age of 100 years old,” Sopuck said. Later in the afternoon, dignitaries traveled to Gladstone to present former MLA Jim Ferguson with the award as well. “The years Jim was in government, he was part of a remarkable period of achievement,” Sopuck commented.