June 22nd, 2024

Boora receives Queen’s Jubilee Medal honour for community service

By Cal Braid - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on February 21, 2023.

Businessman Bal Boora received the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal in a small ceremony Friday afternoon at the constituency office of Shannon Phillips, MLA for Lethbridge-West.
In presenting the award, Phillips was effusive in praising “his community service volunteerism at the hospital, the library, Meals-on-Wheels, Operation Red Nose, and the homeless shelter. He’s established a scholarship, he’s raised money for various causes to make this city a better place to live, he was nominated by the Monarchist League of Canada (…) there’s a reason he was nominated for this.”
With that she welcomed him to the podium, and pinned the medal to his lapel, adding, “these civilian honours are on the level of an Alberta Order of Excellence or an Order of Canada, and that is why it is my great honour and pleasure to congratulate you.”
Boora accepted the medal graciously and said that he had the opportunity to receive the award in Edmonton, but preferred to do it in his home community, “because this is where I did the work. I’ve been in Lethbridge for 41 years.”
“I’ve slowed down a little because I’m not a young chicken anymore,” he said. “I couldn’t have done this without you people. Your support has been so valuable. It’s not me, it’s the people of the city, because they accepted me. I learned this where I come from, from the family I grew up (in India). They were helping people, they were serving people.”
He recalled his “hair-raising journey” from Toronto to Brooks in the early 1970s. “I kept asking the railway conductor, ‘Are we there yet?’ He said, ‘Young man, would you please go and sit down? I will make sure that I let you off in Brooks, Alberta.’ The third day we were in Brooks.”
Boora talked about his work building irrigation infrastructure in southern Alberta, designing canals and reservoirs. In 2002, he started his own business doing financial management and advising. This year he plans to retire. About leaving India, he said, “I never looked back. This is it. I’ve lived here and will die here. There’s no place to go.”
The province planned to select 7,000 medal recipients in 2022 as a symbolic recognition of the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the throne. Recipients were nominated by their communities for their outstanding service and contributions.

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