A long-time Rimbey resident has been recognized with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.
Barb Patey was more than a little surprised to receive the medal in the mail recently.
After all, she is a very busy lady and for her, helping out and volunteering, is about as natural as breathing.
Patey, who is a great-grandma, grandma and mom, is pleased and humbled to receive the medal, but it seems her greatest reward from volunteering is nothing more and nothing less than the good feeling she gets inside.
“Volunteering makes you feel good inside. It’s just a good feeling,” she said, with a gentle smile that reaches her eyes.
Patey, her husband Bill and their two young daughters moved to Rimbey in 1975. With her husband often away from home while working in the oil industry, Patey said she wanted to keep busy.
She became involved with Rimbey Home Health Services and volunteered to take library books to the manor for the residents to enjoy.
She later became part of FCSS.
“FCSS was a big thing for Rimbey and it still is,” she said.
Over the years her volunteer work took on a life of its own and during the time she has lived in Rimbey, there are very few organizations that Patey has not been involved in.
She has been part of the Handi Van Association for a number of years and is a member of the Rimbey United Church ladies group. She has served as Rimbey Legion president twice and has been given an honorary life membership. She has volunteered for the Lions Club at the Rimbey Raceway and helped out with the heart fund. She is on the FCSS committee for the prevention of falls.
Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease a few years ago has not held this charming, sweet lady back one bit. She continues to enjoy bowling, golfing and quilting.
And, she has even taken up boxing, which she says helps with hand, eye co-ordination. The training is held at the Parkinson’s office in Red Deer.
“It is fun and it helps all the way around,” she said. “You can just feel the energy.”
In a letter to Patey, Governor General, David Johnson said volunteers such as herself are fundamental to the well-being of the country, reflecting the rich diversity of Canada’s people and the many talent and interests which enrich the society.
“What they have in common is the support they provide to their communities at the grassroots level and the positive impact they have on the lives of others, helping to make our neighborhood and our nation stronger.
“The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers celebrates such individuals, who give so much of themselves to others, and to thank them for their contributions.”
For Patey, receiving the medal is truly a great honor, but one can be sure that the joy of living she so willingly shares with others doesn’t come from outward recognition, but from within.
“Life just seems to be good,” she said.