Years of involvement of Memorial Presbyterian Church members and ministers was recognized by Sylvan Lake’s Royal Canadian Legion with presentation of a Friendship Award during Sunday’s church service.
Joe Brink, a Sylvan resident and vice president with Alberta-Northwest Territories Command of The Royal Canadian Legion and Gordon Graham, first vice president of the Sylvan Lake branch made the presentation.
Brink, a veteran, served about 15 years with 3 Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry including two tours in Bosnia and two in Afghanistan. Following his last tour he was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross.
Following is the award citation read by Graham during the presentation:
Memorial Presbyterian Church has been involved in one form or other with the Sylvan Lake branch of The Royal Canadian Legion ever since the branch received its charter in 1946. The subsequent friendship and co-operation is no coincidence since the church and the branch are only a block apart; the church being just across the street from Memorial Park and the Cenotaph.
Every year, a number of the branch’s events and activities are, and have for decades, been supported or participated in by members of the congregation. The ministers of this church, Rev. John Yoos, Rev. Bob Wilson, and currently Rev. Jin Woo Kim, have collectively served as padre or chaplain for the branch for close to 50 years.
In addition to this appointment, they have also served as masters of ceremony for countless branch functions and have played an integral role in developing and participating in Remembrance Day services and other memorial tributes throughout the year.
The Men’s Group from the church looked after landscape maintenance of Memorial Park for years, long before the town took it over.
The Ladies Evening Guild helped raise funding to repair the base of the Cenotaph and they put in the flower beds until the town took over maintenance of Memorial Park.
On two occasions in the last year alone, the Ladies Evening Guild, unreservedly and without notice, opened their kitchen and hall to the branch Ladies’ Auxiliary, permitting them to meet their bookings, when events conspired against them and evicted them from their own kitchen.
One of the most significant events that this church is recognized for is their support and participation in the Remembrance Day community service.
Initially, this service was held outdoors at the Cenotaph with the padre or chaplain, a minister of Memorial Presbyterian Church, in the lead, cold or not, mostly cold. The choir and pianist have led the music each year. With the Town of Sylvan Lake Multiplex now the venue, the church is loaning a piano to provide musical accompaniment and the pianist and the choir are still part of the deal.
The above are only a few of the numerous and unreserved forms of support or assistance that one would receive from a good neighbour — or even better — a good friend.
In recognition of the significant and historical contribution made in assisting Sylvan Lake Branch No. 212 achieve the objectives of The Royal Canadian Legion, Memorial Presbyterian Church is presented with The Royal Canadian Legion Friendship Award.