Airdrie mayor honoured with Diamond Jubilee Medal
Jan. 21 wasn’t a typical Monday for Airdrie’s Mayor Peter Brown.
Instead of answering calls and emails and attending meetings as he usually does, Brown was at Calgary’s McDougall Place receiving a Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service from Alberta’s Lieutenant Governor Donald S. Ethell.
“I was very surprised, it was a humbling experience,” said Brown, adding he was among 50 recipients at the ceremonial event.
MLA Rob Anderson nominated Brown for the medal.
“Everyone knows who Peter is, but I don’t know if everyone knows how hard he works and how much he cares about the community,” said Anderson. “He puts in long hours… he is a good leader and a good mayor.”
Brown moved to Airdrie in 2002 and has been an active member of the community from the start.
Over the years, Brown has put in many volunteer hours for a number of community organizations, including Airdrie Minor Hockey, of which he was the vice-president and coached teams for years before becoming mayor. He was also a key figure in Airdrie’s bid for the Kraft Hockeyville contest in 2006, in which Airdrie placed in the final round.
Brown was also pivotal in Airdrie Faith Build (AFB), the grassroots organization responsible for the recent construction of two Habitat for Humanity homes in the community.
Linda Ray, of AFB, said her first connection to Brown was when he coached her son Kevin in hockey.
She said his coaching abilities really impressed her, as did his dedication to the community.
“When AFB was just a germ of an idea, the first one we called was Peter Brown, because we knew he had a heart for this community and that he was able to make things happen and that we would enjoy working with him,” said Ray. “He was with us from the word go… it speaks to his heart and who he is, a compassionate and caring man.”
Prior to becoming mayor in 2010, Brown worked for the City of Airdrie as a the chair of the Plus 55 Games, which was held in 2009. He has also been involved with the Airdrie Food Bank, Airdrie Lioness Club and volunteered to help feed 250 people on Christmas Day at the Town and Country Centre, during the annual Centre Street Church initiative last year.
Brown said he is currently the chair of the Airdrie Regional Air Show committee, which is planning the 2013 event, to be held July 13 to 14.
He is also chair of the Airdrie Regional Health Care Foundation and part of the Airdrie & District Agricultural Society.
With a background in marketing and fund development, Brown said he likes to make himself available to groups looking for help in those areas.
Brown added volunteering is a big part of his life.
“It’s a great opportunity to meet people to really get a chance to know your community,” he said. “It’s not about any kind of accolades or awards, it’s about giving back. All of my experiences volunteering have been rewarding and that is due to the phenomenal people I have had the opportunity to work with.”
Brown said he feels privileged to receive the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, adding there are a number of local residents who also deserve accolades for their commitment to the community.
Brown encourages residents to get involved in their community.
“As Nike says, ‘just do it,’” he said. “Pick something you are passionate about. Contact Volunteer Airdrie, they will put you to work.”
For local volunteer opportunities, visit www.volunteerairdrie.ca