Toronto – February 10, 2023 – Several respected and valued members of our UFCW family have been awarded with the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal. This award is given to Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to their communities.
In Alberta, Local 401 President Thomas Hesse was awarded the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal celebrating President Hesse's efforts in giving a voice to working people over the course of his career with UFCW, and particularly in the last few years as President of UFCW Local 401. Rachel Notley, Leader of the Official Opposition, nominated Thomas for the award, recognizing his and Local 401 members' diligent work fighting for union members and all Albertans.
"This is really an award for all Local 401 members," said President Hesse. "As president of our local union, I could not do what I do without the strength, solidarity, and support of our members."
Local 401 Recording Secretary and Union Labour Relations Officer Charmaine St. Germain’s contributions were also recognized. Her nomination by MLA and Deputy Leader Sarah Hoffman acknowledged Charmaine's work in multiple areas, including women's rights and Indigenous rights.
In Saskatchewan, long-time UFCW activist and National Representative Lily Olson was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medal. Lily was nominated by by current and past Saskatchewan NDP MLA's Nathaniel Teed and Ryan Meili for her work in the labour movement and her contributions to Saskatchewan.
In Manitoba, UFCW 832 member Nojimu "Jim" Ogunnoiki from Garda received the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal recognizing community spirit, service and reconciliation. This was not the first time his community work was recognized at such a prestigious level – he also received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.
Jim is recognized for his 50 years of community service, especially with the Afro-Caribbean Association of Manitoba (ACAM), the Yoruba Language School and Black Entrepreneur Day. He established the ACAM Job Fair in 1999 to help newcomers find employment and combat racial imbalances in the workplace; the job fairs connect hundreds of Manitoban attendees with potential jobs and education paths.
“It’s my love of humanity that drives everything I do,” says Jim.
In the Atlantic Provinces, long-time UFCW activists Mark Dobson and Tim Hosford received Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medals. Mark recently retired from his role as UFCW Canada Regional Director for the Eastern Provinces and President of the UFCW Canada Eastern Provinces Council. Tim recently retired from his role as a UFCW Canada National Representative.
In addition to advocating for UFCW Canada members and all food and other core industry workers for many years, they were also both very active in Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada fundraising.
UFCW Canada congratulates Thomas, Charmaine, Jim, Mark and Tim for the well-deserved recognition for their outstanding contributions!
Thomas Hesse's award ceremony
Charmaine St. Germain
Nojimu "Jim" Ogunnoiki's award ceremony
Mark Dobson's and Tim Hosford's award ceremony
Lily Olson's award ceremony