RNC presents awards to two community-minded Corner Brook residents
CORNER BROOK — The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary recently honoured two Corner Brook residents by giving them Chief of Police Citizen Awards for their contributions to the community.
Mark Griffin, a former member of the Corner Brook Fire Department, and Gerard Lowe, guidance counsellor at Corner Brook Regional High School, were the recipients.
Griffin was selected for helping forge a connection between first responder agencies and between those agencies and youth.
For the last six years, he has been a part of the RNC’s annual Junior Police Academy held at Killdevil Camp each August. His presentation explains firefighting to children at the camp, including letting them try out breathing apparatus and bunker suits, and is often considered one of the highlights of the camp.
Griffin has also been one of the organizers of the annual Rusty Cup charity hockey game that pits members of the fire department against police officers.
He has also been involved with Corner Brook youth with the Kids for Christ program held at the Sunrise Ministries on a weekly basis.
Lowe, who has been Corner Brook Regional High School’s guidance counsellor for the last decade, has gone above and beyond those duties to help improve student life within the school and the community.
He was responsible for the development, implementation and success of the Corner Brook Regional High Pride Alliance, which has successfully united students and educators in supporting LGBT students at Corner Brook Regional High and has ensured that the school is a safe and inclusive school for all students.
This was accomplished by educating staff and students about the issues facing sexual and gender diverse students, establishing gender neutral bathrooms at the school and the development of Pride Week and Rainbow Days at the school.
Under Lowe’s direction, the school’s Pride Alliance developed and hosted the first LGBT high school conference, STANDOUT, for students, educators and allies in 2015, an event which more than doubled in participation from 100 to 200 people when held again in 2016.
Lowe forged new partnerships with allies for the conferences, including the RNC, which partnered and participated in STANDOUT2.
Lowe organizes the Corner Brook Regional High Remembrance Day ceremony, which now pays special tribute to Cpl. Brian Pinksen, a former Corner Brook Regional High student who died during active duty in Afghanistan in 2010.
This year, Lowe established the Art of Conversation, Confidence and Kindness Club at the school. This student club is aimed at building self-esteem, fighting sexism, performing acts of kindness and welcoming new students to the school.
He has also been involved in coaching high school hockey, minor hockey, basketball and softball and, as an organizer of the school’s breakfast program, was responsible for changing the program to a combination of a sit-down breakfast and a grab-and-go system that helps ensures the program reaches as many students as possible.
As if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Lowe also sits on the shelter committee for the NL West SPCA