It’s fitting then, that Smith was recently one of the recipients of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in commemoration of a lifetime of volunteer work, as well as a celebration of the 60-year-reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
With this in mind, she said being recently given the medal by Premier Kathy Dunderdale and Humber West MHA Vaughn Granter during a ceremony in the city, was quite a thrill.
“I was taught by my parents to always have respect for the monarchy,” Smith said. “Most of my friends say they would run 10 miles to see the Queen. I loved the Queen Mum and now the new royals coming up. Because it’s the Queen’s jubilee, its all that more special.”
As someone who started volunteering as a Sunday school teacher, Smith said while she doesn’t volunteer for accolades, it’s always nice to have you efforts recognized in some way.
“When you see the success of it, that’s what really makes it worthwhile,” she said. “Anyone who volunteers knows sometimes how hard it is but if you have fun along the way, that makes it that much better.”
Success while volunteering is something the 61-year-old local women has come to expect.
An active volunteer at All Saints Church for years, Smith has also chaired the Corner Brook Winter Carnival Committee in 1994 and was selected patron of the 2009 carnival.
She is also the chairperson of the Western Diocese and spent 11 years involved with the Red Cross Mask, as well as serving as a VON board member for five years.
But she said she’s perhaps most proud to have served as Associate Vice-President of volunteers for the 1999 Canada Summer Games, an event she said drew volunteers from around the region and became a true community feel-good story.
Smith said another fond memory occurred during the 1994 winter carnival, an event which featured 1976 Olympic bronze-medal winning figure skater Toller Cranston.
“It was such a full stadium there was hardly enough room for the carnival committee itself,” she said, noting similar events usually led to sparser crowds.
“Just to look around and see every seat filled up, that was very rewarding too.”
Now retired after working for more than 30 years at the Bank of Montreal, she said she plans to keep active and find a special place for her newest piece of jewelry.
“It’s a beautiful silver medal,” she said of the award which will likely rest in a shadow box. “I have to say I’m proud.”