News and Events

College employees receive royal recognition

January 25, 2013

Honoured. Humbled. Privileged. These feelings were the common reaction of three college employees who recently received royal recognition with presentation of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Richard Gregory, social work coordinator, received the medal in November for his volunteer contributions over the past 20 years. Gregory has been very active in the areas of HIV/AIDS, human rights and equality for the LGBT community, and poverty reduction in both Medicine Hat and Calgary. It is this spirit of volunteerism that inspired him to work oversees in Africa in what he describes as his most life changing experience.  He has shared these experiences with his students in the classroom and created new ones by coordinating social work practicums in Africa.

“It was very much an honour to be recognized,” said Gregory, adding that it was also very humbling to be part of a group of people whose projects and stories were “awe-inspiring.”

Lyle Rebbeck, artistic manager at MHC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance and fellow Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient, echoed those sentiments.

“It was a humbling, uplifting experience,” said Rebbeck who also received the award in November at a ceremony with Premier Redford. “The company that I was with that day was outstanding.”

Although well-known on campus and in the community for his integral role in bringing the highly successful Medicine Hat Jazz Fest to the city each year, Rebbeck’s award was in recognition of his role as teacher and mentor to students who go on to pursue careers in music. Rebbeck has been teaching woodwinds and jazz improvisation and coaching woodwind chamber ensembles with Medicine Hat College since 1985 and has influenced and encouraged hundreds of students over the years.

On January 15, Dr. Ralph Weeks - along with other college and university presidents from across Alberta - was presented with the Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service and contribution to post-secondary education in the province.

“I’m honoured, I feel humbled,” said Weeks, adding that it is a privilege to be recognized alongside fellow MHC colleagues, Gregory and Rebbeck.

“They are exceptional,” praised Weeks. “I admire people like Richard and Lyle who make the college and community a better place to live and learn. They contribute in many ways, often in a quiet fashion and without recognition. It makes me proud of the people we have at MHC.”

The Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 60th anniversary of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. During the year of celebrations, 60,000 deserving Canadians are being recognized.