The Prince Albert Fire Department honoured the first-ever winner of the Captain Vern Norfield Memorial Bursary on Tuesday.
© Daily Herald photo by Jason Kerr.
Photo Caption: From left to right: retired Prince Albert fire captain Ben Pelletier, his granddaughter, and Norfield Bursary winner, Alyx Orieux, and IAFF L-510 president Lloyd Zwack, who presented the award.
Alyx Orieux, a Grade 12 student at Rivier Academy, was awarded the $1,000 bursary to help with her trip to India. Once there she will help 25 other young Canadians build a school.
“I knew I could use this to help pay for my trip because my grandpa mentioned it to me,” Orieux says. “He called and told me about it and I thought it was a good opportunity.”
Orieux’s grandfather is retired Prince Albert fire captain Ben Pelletier. He spent all of his 35 years as a firefighter in Prince Albert. Not surprisingly, he’s excited as well.
“It’s pretty nice,” he says, “I’m really happy for her.”
“I should be thanking him,” Orieux says, while chuckling. “He’s the only reason I could apply.”
The Norfield Bursary was created last year in memory of former Prince Albert fire captain Vern Norfield. After his death, his family donated $25,000 to fund the award. The award was designed to help the children and grandchildren of any current or former Prince Albert firefighters. It emphasizes rewarding people who were pursuing worthy goals.
“It’s not specifically academic, sports, arts or anything like that,” says Lloyd Zwack, president of the Prince Albert Firefighter’s Association, and one of three committee members who evaluated the candidates. “It’s for somebody giving forward, somebody doing things for the right reasons and that’s why we chose Alyx.”
Orieux’s volunteer trip will take her to rural India near the city of Udaipur in northwestern part of the country. She’s working with Me to We, an organization associated with the international charity Free the Children. The trip will last three weeks, starting July 11, and cost her $5,000. She’s thankful she has the bursary to help her out, and acknowledges the difficulties in raising money.
“I worked full-time this summer to pay for (the trip),” she says. “I would still be able to go (without the bursary) but it would be much more difficult.”
Zwack hopes this will be the first of many Norfield Bursary winners, and says Orieux is a great first recipient.
“She’s very committed, driven, she’s going to do great work and she’s certainly going to be a leader in the future,” he says. “We went through the applications and we decided that Alex best represented what this bursary was all about.”