Prince Philip leaves lasting legacy in neighborhood by means of awards program

‘It gives a tenet or a framework for all times expertise and it is extremely broad but in addition offers a basis that younger folks actually worth,’ says Highland Cadet Corps commanding officer

She didn’t at all times leap at alternatives once they introduced themselves, however studying the way to get out of her consolation zone and just do that has set Aurora resident Julia Garbe on the highway to her future.

Garbe, an engineering scholar on the College of Waterloo, is presently in a dream internship at Apple, a good distance away from when she first tentatively joined the robotics group at King’s Nation Day College. It’s a satisfying step towards a satisfying future, however a path she won’t be on proper now with out the Duke of Edinburgh and the worldwide awards program for college kids he based that also bears his title.

Prince Philip, the long-serving consort of Queen Elizabeth II, died final Friday at Windsor Fortress simply two months shy of his a hundredth birthday. Following his demise, flags throughout the neighborhood and the nation as a complete had been lowered in his honour as leaders paid tribute to his lifetime of service.

“A person of nice service to others – first as a adorned naval officer and later as a devoted chief within the areas of neighborhood engagement and philanthropy – the Duke at all times sought out the perfect in folks and challenged them to try for larger heights,” stated Prime Minister Justin Trudeau final week.

The Duke’s self-prescribed mandate of bringing out the perfect in folks and difficult them to try to larger heights is evidenced by the quite a few native college students who’ve come up by means of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.

The awards, which problem college students to set their very own objectives in 4 key areas to “take management of their lives and their futures” was first based in 1956 and established in Canada in 1964.

Since its inception, the award has reached multiple million college students unfold over greater than 130 international locations, to hold out volunteer work, develop new expertise, set private health objectives, and undertake an “adventurous journey.”

“It’s crafted in such a means that the person college students can create their very own award expertise,” says Main Brian McCue, Commanding Officer of the Aurora-based 142 SAC Highland Cadet Corps of St. Andrew’s School (SAC). “It gives a tenet or a framework for all times expertise and it is extremely broad but in addition offers a basis that younger folks actually worth. It actually will get them on monitor, which is superior.

“This system encourages younger folks to discover the problem themselves and to inspire themselves and develop self-confidence alongside the way in which and perception in themselves, striving to achieve objectives they by no means thought they might obtain.”

McCue turned concerned within the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards lengthy earlier than becoming a member of SAC as an educator by means of the Military Cadet program working with inner-city youth in downtown Toronto. By means of this work, he started volunteering with the awards Canadian workplace.

As information of Prince Philip’s demise was introduced final week, reminiscences of assembly the awards’ founder had been flooding again.

“He was very informal, liked talking with younger folks and award leaders as properly,” he remembers. “I had a possibility on three or 4 events to attend the gold stage award presentation with Prince Philip. He was very engaged with younger folks.”

In 2010, McCue attended one such gold award presentation at Toronto’s Royal York Resort that was not solely presided over by the Duke however attended by the Queen as properly. It was a sizzling July day and as quickly as Prince Philip stepped as much as handle that afternoon’s group of recipients, the facility went out leaving the ballroom in all however full darkness.

“He didn’t flinch,” he remembers. “He simply stepped ahead and spoke to the younger folks and stated, ‘Fortunately I’ve a really loud voice,’ and carried on. That was his philosophy: don’t simply speak about it; get out and do it.”

McCue is a loud voice for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards throughout the SAC neighborhood. Greater than 60 years on since its founding, he says it nonetheless resonates with college students as a result of it permits them to “craft their very own journey.”

“You may resolve in your [volunteer service] to go to the OSPCA and assist stroll the canines. The guy subsequent to you is perhaps serving to on the native hospital. Another person is perhaps doing it in a soup kitchen. Everybody’s award is crafted to their very own objectives and what they wish to see, the identical with their adventurous journey.

“One of many younger folks I took out was on the Bruce Path. We stopped for a lunch break and I believed, ‘Is all the pieces OK?’ He was standing by a fence and wasn’t actually participating within the lunch. I wandered over to him and he stated, ‘Is {that a} cow?’ He was a discipline and this 14-year-old had by no means seen a cow in actual life, solely footage. Positive sufficient, the cow wandered over and he was mystified.”

Julia’s journey with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards took her to an energetic volunteer position on the Aurora Cultural Centre, constructing her expertise by taking on the clarinet for the very first time, lending a hand to constructing a faculty in Ecuador, and setting out in a canoe in Algonquin Park.

“An important factor I realized is simply the behavior of volunteering and at all times leaping on the alternative,’ she shares. “For those who’re given the chance, at all times say sure and you’ve got a shot at one thing. You possibly can at all times be taught from any of the actions that you just do. Studying about myself got here out of growing that behavior and I don’t assume I might have been somebody who so actively volunteers and jumps at alternatives if given the prospect earlier than I began this award.

“One of many first large steps in my life that set me on this path was becoming a member of the robotics membership at my college. That Is one thing I used to be at all times interested by however by no means took the prospect as a result of there weren’t any women on the group, I didn’t have any buddies on the group, it was all folks I didn’t know. Once I received into the behavior of volunteering by means of the Duke of Ed, I believed, what may presumably go fallacious? Becoming a member of the robotics group utterly modified my life. If fell in love with robotics, determined to enter mechatronics and engineering on the College of Waterloo and thru a collection of various work experiences, I’ve now landed myself an internship at Apple for eight months.

“I might encourage anybody to offer the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards a strive. It’s a marathon, not a dash. It isn’t a fast factor you may get, however it is going to open plenty of doorways and construct habits that may actually change your life for the higher – and likewise the folks round you.”

For extra on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards in Canada, go to

Brock Weir is a federally funded Native Journalism Initiative reporter on the Auroran

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