Madeline Just, who lived in P.A. from 1952 until the late ’90s, received her medal at a special ceremony in Saskatoon last Saturday presided over by Saskatoon-Humboldt MP Brad Trost.
“She was very happy (to receive the award) and all of us, her family, are very proud of her,” Just’s daughter Arlene said to the Herald on her behalf.
Although Madeline currently lives in Saskatoon, she left deep roots in Prince Albert during the four decades-plus that she lived in the city with her husband Harvey -- like Arlene, a veterinarian.
“This is where she spent 45 years,” Arlene said. “This is where she was married, where her kids grew up, and this is where she spent time until my father retired. So essentially, this is where people would know her.
“The thing is that she was nominated in Saskatoon, because you can only be nominated in the area that you actually live.”
Raised on a farm in Forgan, Saskatchewan, Madeline Just attended the College of Nursing at the U of S and graduated from St. Paul’s Hospital School of Nursing in May 1950.
After meeting her husband, the couple moved to Prince Albert where they raised six children -- four girls, two boys -- all of whom are now professionals with degrees.
During Madeline's time in P.A., she volunteered with the Kiwanis Music Festival and the Margo Fournier boys’ choir, of which her youngest son was a member.
One of her most lasting contributions to the city was helping to set up the candy striper program at the Victoria Hospital, which enlists local youth to help out around the facility.
“They still have it,” Arlene said. “It’s a volunteer program … They have to be at least Grade 8 and they go to the hospital after school and they volunteer -- filling water jugs, taking the book cart around and things like that.”
After moving to Victoria in the late ’90s, Madeline served on the board of the Baptist Union of Western Canada and spent five years as president of the Baptist Women.
Her Baptist work led to extensive travels in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Europe, the Caribbean and the United States. She also served as a volunteer missionary in Bolivia in 1993.
Madeline was nominated for the award by her granddaughter Annalise Madeline Hanson, who wrote a letter to Trost recommending Harvey and Madeline Just as recipients of the Diamond Jubilee medal.
She’s committed to family and community. - Dr. Arlene Just
After Madeline was named a recipient, family and friends attended last Saturday’s award ceremony with her in Saskatoon.
While Lt.-Gov. Vaughn Solomon Schofield was unable to attend, she submitted remarks of congratulation to Madeline and 14 other recipients.
Arlene described the ceremony as “a very proud moment.”
“There wasn’t this big grandiose thing,” she said. “The lieutenant-governor wasn’t there, so it was more just the ceremony and the guests and then picture-taking and all that, and then there was just a really light snacky kind of thing, and just everybody stayed and visited.”
According to Arlene Just, the Canadian monarch’s choice of “service” as the theme of the Diamond Jubilee medals is not just appropriate for her mother’s history of volunteer work, but accords with her personal philosophy as well.
“She’s committed to family and community,” Arlene said. “Those are important to her.”