Two St. John’s women are traveling to Ottawa this week to be honoured by Gov. Gen. Julie Payette in a ceremony at Rideau Hall.
Michelle Sullivan and Bethany Downer are among the 39 Canadians who have been invited by the Governor General to be “recognized for their excellence, courage or exceptional dedication to service,” according to a statement by officials at Rideau Hall.
Sullivan is being presented with the Meritorious Service Medal, which celebrates Canadians who have performed an exceptional deed or activity that brings honour to Canada. This award has both a military and civil division.
In the civil division, Sullivan is being honoured for her work with the Brigus Historical and Conservation Society, helping raise money to preserve heritage buildings and other sites in the region.
Downer is being presented with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, which is an award that honours the work of volunteers across Canada.
As a student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Downer founded One Step Shoe Recycling in 2014. Over the past five years, the organization has collected thousands of used shoes from across Canada and redistributed them around the world in developing countries, promoting community involvement, sustainability and social justice.
Among the other award recipients are scientific researchers, doctors, military members and other volunteers.
The ceremony is set to take place in Ottawa on Thursday.