Cormier, Wallis honoured with YMCA Peace Medals
Awards celebrate acts of peace within the community
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.”
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.