Local boy does good abroad

Jocelyn Turner
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Colin Gillis (centre), originally from Amherst, was presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his volunteer work in Richmond Hill Ontario. The Conservative Member of Parliament, Costas Menegakis (right) nominated Gillis for the award. Present during the medal presentation were: RCMP officer Const. Terry Russel, Colin Gillis and Costas Menegakis. 

AMHERST – In a recent ceremony in Richmond Hill, Ontario, former Amherst resident Colin Gillis received a high honour; the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his community work.

Gillis was recognized last week for his work with different charity functions and events for youth and the community. Gillis was also the driving force behind the Scottish Festival.

“The member of Parliament here placed my name and application,” said Gillis. “I was unaware of it until I got the phone call.”

Even with the big impact Gillis has had in the Ontarian province, he said he still misses home.

“I miss Tubby’s Take-out, although it’s not Tubby’s anymore. (I miss) Szeto’s Wok and the Big Stop for my feast of fresh seafood. I try to get home every year.”

Gillis’ mother, Janice, said her husband, Gillis’ father, was also heavily involved in the community of Amherst.

“His father was involved in the community a lot,” she said. “He was on the town council and he helped form the citizens committee and they used to meet at the West Highlands School and he was on the police association committee.”

Gillis said she is very proud of her son and is his father is proud of his accomplishments.

“He would be quite proud of him,” she said. “I am so proud.”

Even after receiving the medal, the younger Gillis said he isn’t sure he really deserves it and that he just likes helping out others. He admitted to once being a bit of a rebel in his youth but said, it doesn’t matter as long as something comes out of it.

“I teach my daughters that the experiences we go through whether they are good or bad don’t matter as long as you can make a positive contribution.”


Organizations: West Highlands School

Geographic location: AMHERST, Richmond Hill, Ontario

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