Government of Yukon

November 13, 2012

Commemorative Diamond Jubilee medals awarded

WHITEHORSE—Diamond Jubilee medals were presented to a number of deserving individuals on Saturday by Premier Darrell Pasloski and Senator Daniel Lang in Whitehorse.

“I want to congratulate Yukon’s latest Diamond Jubilee medal recipients and thank them for their dedication to improving the quality of life in Yukon,” Pasloski said. “Volunteers are the foundation of successful communities and they often work quietly without public recognition.”

The volunteering and mentoring activities by medal recipients ranged from passing on traditional hunting skills to students, to improving school lunch programs, to encouraging excellence in sport.

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has exemplified the principle of strong and stable governance for six decades. She has served with dignity and her commitment is to be admired,” Pasloski added. “These medals are an excellent way to recognize the service of both the Queen and citizens of the Commonwealth.”

Commemorative medals have been presented to deserving citizens over this Diamond Jubilee year, in recognition of their significant contributions to their communities.


See backgrounder below.


Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications
Geri Dugas
Communications, Executive Council Office

Diamond Jubilee Medal Recipients

Sister Edith Elder

Sister Edith is a long-time religious leader and educator who used innovative techniques to maintain a positive school climate while serving as Christ the King Elementary School principal. Sister Edith knew every student by name within the first two weeks of school and formally recognized every student in the school for a special achievement at least once a year. Since her retirement she has accompanied Yukon youth to World Youth Day in Toronto and does the bookkeeping for Yukon Food for Learning. Sister Edith recently published her memoirs, entitled Embracing the Spirit Within: Inspirational Stories and Reflections.

Michael Lauer
Michael has been an active volunteer in the Yukon community for over 15 years. He is involved with the British Columbia / Yukon Heart and Stroke Foundation, Whitehorse Food Bank, Canadian Cancer Society, Kidney Foundation of Canada, Glacier Bears Swim Club and the Cycle to Walk Society. Michael is also involved with the Knights of Columbus and has served on the F.H. Collins Secondary School Council. He volunteered with the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society as well as the 2012 Arctic Winter Games and the 2007 Canada Winter Games.

Alain Masson
Alain competed at the 1984 Olympics in cycling and at both the 1988 and 1992 Olympics in cross-country skiing. In 1996 he became the sport coordinator and head coach of Cross Country Yukon. He has worked with the Canadian National Team as a technician at four Olympic Games and at multiple cross-country world championships. Alain remains the head coach of Cross Country Yukon and last year reached a significant milestone in his career when five Yukoners from the Yukon ski program joined the 16-member Canadian team at the World Juniors/Under 23 World Championships.

Araica McPhee
Araica has volunteered for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for the past 12 years. In 2004, she started the Whitehorse chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes and recruited a key group of volunteers to keep the foundation strong. She has advocated for the Yukon chapter of the Canadian Diabetes Association since 2004 and represented Yukon in Ottawa. Araica has also been a board member of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society since 2006.

Harry Smith
Harry is a harvest monitor in the Kluane area and works with Yukon schools to take students on annual bison hunts. He is well known for teaching traditional hunting skills to youth. Harry spends a lot of time in the Aishihik area helping hunters and visitors alike.

Lucy Steele-Masson
Lucy is a well-known role model for Yukon youth. Lucy has received the Yukon Female Athlete of the Year Award seven times, and the Government of Yukon Award of Excellence 10 times. Over the period 1984 to 1996, Lucy brought home 11 medals from the national cross country ski championships. At the 1987 Canada Games competition she captured a silver medal. At the 1991 Canada Winter Games, she captured three gold medals and one silver medal. Lucy did not stop there and went on to compete for Canada at the 1992 Albertville Olympics and has been known ever since as an Olympian.

Enid Tait
Enid spent many years volunteering with figure skating and skiing in Haines Junction. She was a Brownie and Guide leader as well as a Guide Commissioner. Enid is an outstanding role model and hardworking volunteer in her community and responds wherever she is needed. Enid is highly respected by the citizens of Haines Junction.

Sister Karen Schneider
During the late eighties and early nineties, Sister Karen welcomed expectant parents from the communities into her home in Whitehorse and supported them during their last few weeks of pregnancy. Sister Karen exercises her culinary skills while extending hospitality to participants at the Catholic educators’ retreats and also worked with parents to provide school lunches for students and staff. She coordinated receptions at the Sacred Heart Cathedral and helped with Confirmation and First Communion classes. Sister Karen is an enthusiastic gardener who is known for generously sharing her produce around the neighbourhood.

News Release #12-223