The Prince Edward Island lieutenant-governor's office is awarding a special coin to Islanders who have done good deeds for their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Trevor Jain, an emergency doctor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, commissioned and designed the COVID Warrior Coin, according to a news release from the lieutenant-governor's office.
Jain reached out to the lieutenant-governor's office in early spring for help distributing the coins to Islanders.
"He thought that it might enhance the honour the distinction if people came here to receive their award or if I was presenting the award to them," said P.E.I. Lt.-Gov.Antoinette Perry.
"My idea too was that it would give every Islander the opportunity, really, to recognize someone or to be recognized for going the extra mile, so helping others through this pandemic."
'I am just delighted'
Perry said her office sent letters about the award to mayors and councils in each of P.E.I.'s 59 municipalities and two Mi'kmaw First Nations.
Each community received three forms to nominate people, organizations or businesses who could receive the coin.
"Many people have given of themselves to enrich the lives of others by doing outstanding acts of goodwill. As community leaders, municipal councils know their residents best," the release said.
Municipalities have until July 18 to nominate Islanders for the award.
Perry said she hopes to hold in-person presentations — following COVID-19 protocols — to award the coin to recipients soon after that. Recipients may also choose to receive their award in the mail.
"I am just delighted," Perry said. "I'm all for volunteers and people helping other people."
"I was brought up by a mother who made sure that I always recognized people who helped me and people who helped anyone in the community. So I've grown up with that idea, you know, because I did so much volunteering myself and it was part of our family's way of life."
Perry said an independent committee will review the nominations but only to ensure her office has enough information about each candidate, not to choose who receives the award.
"It's the Island way of life to help any one in need," Perry said.
Later this year, the general public will be able to nominate people, organizations or businesses for the award. Perry estimates this might be in late summer or early fall, after the ceremonies are held for the first round of recipients.
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