SUMMERSIDE — There is not one specific reason Hilda Bellows was nominated for The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
There isn’t even two or three, said fellow volunteer Terrilynn Gillett.
“There are many, many reasons, I nominated her,” Gillett explained. “She has a lot of credentials under her belt.”
Bellows was nomination by members of 4-H Newfoundland and Labrador, based on her life-long involvement with the organization.
Much like the organization’s motto, Bellows shapes youth to become self-reliant, contributing members of society.
The 44-year-old has been a member of the organization since she was 10 years old.
Bellows is now co-president of the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial council, and is past co-ordinator of the local Summerside 4-H Rockets club.
“She has revitalized the (Summerside) club,” said Gillett, which now has 60 youth participants and 20 adult leaders.
It is the largest 4-H club in the province and one of the biggest in Atlantic Canada.
“Not only is she a good influence,” said Gillett. “She’s a role model.”
Leah Loader, 17, said Bellows has shaped the north shore community through her mentorship.
In the past year, Loader attended various national 4-H conferences, under Bellow’s organization and leadership.
“She keeps things interesting,” said Loader, who has been involved with the club from childhood. “She gives us something to look forward to as we get older.”
Bellows won 4-H provincial volunteer in 2010, and went on to claim the national title as well. She is believed to be the first recipient of the 4-H Council's national award from this province.
Her success speaks for itself, said Gillett.
Further to the 4-H volunteerism, Gillett said, Bellows lends her positive attitude to many parts of the community.
Bellows volunteered for four years with the Hughes Brook—Irishtown—Summerside fire department, and in the school system as a parent of two boys, ages 15 and 12.
She also sat on the North Shore Early Childhood Association Board of Directors for five years.
Her advocacy through the association, helped the community receive a new resource centre in 2004.
“It’s the people that surround me that makes a good volunteer,” Bellows said humbly. “Volunteers are necessary to make a good place to live.”
Bellows also has a full-time job working in administration with Western Health, with 24 years experience as a registered nurse in emergency, psychiatric and medicine units.
The Jubilee Medal marks Her Majesty’s 60-year reign and recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions and achievements. The distinction will be presented to 60,000 Canadians this year, beginning in February.
Bellows received her medal at the provincial 4-H annual general meeting and banquet last week in St. John’s.
She said winning the award was very emotional for her.
“I thought of my grandmother, who was so proud of (Newfoundland’s) connection to Britain and the Royal Family,” she said. “And this award is from the Queen, herself.”
Bellows said the medal comes with a letter of instructions, personally signed by Gov.-Gen. David Johnston.
It states the medal is only to be worn in the presence of Her Majesty or Johnson, Bellows said.
“It’s not something to be taken lightly.”