Henry Dick Receives 2011 Minister's Seniors Service Award



Henry Dick, of Linden, was the honored recipient of the 2011 Minister's Seniors Service Award at a ceremony held June 8 at the Government House in Edmonton. Henry, at 82 years of age, was one of five individuals and three organizations chosen from more than sixty nominations to receive this prestigious award for outstanding volunteer efforts toward seniors and the community. On the 14th anniversary of this award, Henry and the other recipients were thanked for their "heartfelt and unselfish contributions". To earn the distinction of being the best of the best volunteers, they are judged on the positive impact they have, the need for the service they provide, and the quality, diversity, and originality of that service.
Henry's impact on the community of Linden began many years ago when he was instrumental in starting a volunteer ambulance service, also rendering dispatch duties along with his wife, Martha. Once a native of Coaldale, Henry has lived in Linden since 1968. This once-volunteer service, out of Linden, eventually grew into what became the Kneehill Ambulance Society, servicing the communities of Trochu, Three Hills, Beiseker, Acme, Carbon, Torrington, Wimborne, and Linden, as well as throughout the County. In 1991 Henry retired and began volunteering at the Linden Lodge, slowing down enough to plant flowers, shovel walks, and cut grass, as well as assist seniors moving into the Linden Lodge. He organized entertainment for its residents and acted as first responder to emergencies. "Between 7 pm and 7 am, when no staff were present, Henry would arrive at the lodge within five minutes of receiving the call for assistance." Later he started volunteering at the Linden Nursing Home where residents also got to appreciate his caring and playful spirit, assisting them into bed and often siting at night with those in palliative care. "Playing a joke on a resident created a buzz for days."
With the award, a special plaque presented to Henry by Mary Anne Jablonski, Minister of Seniors and Community Supports, Henry also received a framed print by an Alberta artist. Also present for the awards ceremony and in commemorative photos were Premier Ed Stelmach, and Dave Quest, Chair of the Seniors Advisory Council.
"Henry has really stepped up to the plate for his community," said Darwyn Moon, Mayor of Linden. "This entire County will be forever grateful to him for his role in forming one of the first and what I like to believe, was one of the best volunteer ambulance services province wide. He is very deserving of this award and our community congratulates him. I can't think of anyone more deserving. He has always been an unassuming, behind-the-scenes model of inspiration and a wonderful source of historical information as well. He has been a volunteer at our Linden Lodge since day one and a little known fact, is that (as a hobby) he is a really terrific lock picker. I have sent countless residents to him who have locked themselves out of their homes."
Henry Dick is the second Linden Village resident to receive this honor, with Helen Toews of Linden receiving it in 2003 from a group of 90 nominations. Dave Falk was nominated in 2004 and the Seniors Outreach Program of Three Hills and District won the award as an organization in 2002.