Cormier, Wal­lis hon­oured with YMCA Peace Medals

Awards cel­e­brate acts of peace within the com­mu­nity

The Amherst News - - CUMBERLAND COUNTY - BY DAR­RELL COLE dar­[email protected]­st­news.ca Twit­ter: @ADN­dar­rell

For many years Paul Cormier has touched the lives of so many young peo­ple in the Amherst area.

The high es­teem in which he is held is much like one of his men­tors – the late Dwight Jones. Cormier couldn’t help but think of Jones’ legacy on Nov. 21 as he was pre­sented with a Peace Medal by the YMCA of Cum­ber­land.

“It’s awe­some and un­be­liev­able to get this award, but as I was say­ing to Trina Clarke ear­lier to­day volunteers don’t do what they do for recog­ni­tion,” Cormier said. “I re­mem­ber a lot of peo­ple, peo­ple like Dwight Jones, who gave so much when I was a youth that I felt, when I was old enough, that it was my turn to give back.”

Cormier, who is em­ployed with Canada Post and has been an ac­tive mem­ber of the postal work­ers union, has been a piv­otal fig­ure in mi­nor bas­ket­ball for sev­eral decades as well as the Amherst Curl­ing Club. He played a prom­i­nent role in the re­cent re­nais­sance the Amherst Mi­nor Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion has un­der­gone.

“You re­ally see the ben­e­fit of what you’re do­ing in the smiles on the chil­dren’s faces,” he said.

Both he and An­drew Wal­lis were rec­og­nized by the or­ga­ni­za­tion with medals that cel­e­brate acts of peace by rec­og­niz­ing in­di­vid­u­als and groups who, with­out any spe­cial re­sources, sta­tus, wealth or po­si­tion, have demon­strated a com­mit­ment to build­ing peace within their com­mu­nity.

“It’s very hum­bling, to be hon­est,” Wal­lis said. “Amherst isn’t my home, but it has be­come my home in the 26 years I’ve been here. I’ve met a lot of great peo­ple and worked with a lot of great peo­ple in the school and the com­mu­nity.”

Wal­lis, who has also been very ac­tive in mi­nor bas­ket­ball, has been a key con­trib­u­tor to the Amherst Fire Depart­ment as a vol­un­teer fire­fighter and an or­ga­nizer of the as­so­ci­a­tion’s Rock­to­ber­fest fundraiser.

He also worked to try to bring a multi-sport com­plex to Amherst. He has also played a key role in the Cum­ber­land Snow­mo­bile Club that was re­cently named the top in­ter­na­tional snow­mo­bile club of the year be­cause of its trail devel­op­ment and work to pur­chase a new trail groomer.

“I’m for­tu­nate that I have the time to do some things to give back to my com­mu­nity,” said Wal­lis, who works with the Cor­rec­tional Ser­vice of Canada. “The way I look at it, you can ei­ther com­plain about it or do some­thing about it and I’m happy to vol­un­teer my time to make this com­mu­nity a bet­ter place.”

Trina Clarke, who is the CEO of the YMCA, said the peace medal pre­sen­ta­tion is one of her favourite ac­tiv­i­ties.

“When you work for an or­ga­ni­za­tion like the YMCA you have a sharp un­der­stand­ing of the im­por­tance of volunteers be­cause the Y would not be here with­out them,” Clarke said. “The same is true in the com­mu­nity. Many of the won­der­ful things that hap­pen in our com­mu­nity would not be here with­out volunteers.”

DAR­RELL COLE – AMHERST NEWS

From left, Vicki Weaver presents a YMCA Peace Medal to An­drew Wal­lis while Paul Cormier ac­cepts his peace medal from Shel­ley Car­roll dur­ing a cer­e­mony at the YMCA of Cum­ber­land.

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