On June 17th, 46 people were recognized for their achievements and contributions to the community with a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medallion.
This was one of the initiatives to honour Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years of service and dedication to Canada as well as to celebrate Canadian achievements of the last seven decades.
The awards were presented by Abbotsford MP Ed Fast at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium.
Congratulations to all recipients and thank you for making Abbotsford a stronger community through your public service.
Four of the recipients with close ties to Archway are featured below.
2022 Recipients of the Queen’s Jubilee Medallion
Walter and Mabel Paetkau, along with their two young sons, moved to Abbotsford in 1966. Walter was under assignment with the Mennonite Conference to develop service projects.
As he got to know the social agencies, organizations, and churches in the area, it led to service projects involving a variety of individuals and organizations from the local community, including the Christmas Bureau.
Eventually, a number of likeminded individuals came together in 1968 to establish a community services organization. It was initially established as Matsqui-Sumas-Abbotsford Community Services and is now known as Archway Community Services. Walter was the founder and led the organization for 31 years.
The agency grew into a large, multi-service, multi-funded organization under one board and administration. Services included family and youth services, senior services, legal aid, a food bank, recycling, and multicultural programs.
Over the years Walter was presented with several awards. A very special one was the naming of the agency’s central building, the Walter H. Paetkau Centre. Following his retirement in 2000, Walter served as the voluntary manager of Circle F Horse Rescue for 15 years. His sons called it ‘horse social work’. In 2019 he authored the fifty-year history of the agency called “It Takes Raindrops to Fill a Lake”.
Archway founder Walter Paetkau with MP Ed Fast
Meagan Dowedoff Photography
Mabel Paetkau was recognized at the ceremony for her extensive work with refugees. Mabel’s work with refugees began in May 1979 with the influx of the Vietnamese ‘Boat People’ when she volunteered to coordinate the care for a family. She then accepted a Mennonite Central Committee assignment to direct the refugee program across BC. Over 1000 newcomers found their first homes through her coordination over the ensuing years. Following the initial influx from Vietnam, refugees also came from Laos, Cambodia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Sri Lanka, Poland and other countries.
In 1988, she became a full-time member of the Immigration and Refugee Board where she helped those seeking refugee status. She served as a board member until 1994 upon which she retired to enjoy gardening, family and friends, including many from the refugee community.
Mabel Paetkau with MP Ed Fast
Manpreet Grewal has been with Archway Community Services since 1989. Her role as Director of Multicultural and Immigrant Integration Services oversees programs and services that help our community address the needs of individuals with language and cultural barriers and assists thousands of immigrants and refugees integrate into community life each year. Manpreet has overseen the establishment of several community-based programs including pre-arrival services, crime prevention and diversity education for the community at large.
Her work has included not only developing and managing programs at Archway in the past 30 plus years, but also contributing at the provincial and national levels to build cohesive and inclusive societies which are welcoming of new immigrants.
As a freelance journalist, Manpreet has been a contributing writer for the Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Province and the Abbotsford News as well as producing and hosting shows with CBC radio, Channel M and Shaw television.
Manpreet is presently a Director for Fraser Health Authority. Throughout her career Manpreet has served on various boards and Foundations.
Manpreet holds a master’s degree from the University of Delhi and a Diploma in Journalism from the London School of Journalism. Most recently, she earned the designation of Chartered Director.
Archway Director Manpreet Grewal with MP Ed Fast
Steve worked in the Abbotsford School District his entire career as a secondary school teacher, school principal and system leader. Among other highlights, Steve is most proud of opening Robert Bateman Secondary School where he was the first principal.
Steve has always been busy in the community. He has ‘served the children of the world’ in the Kiwanis organization for over twenty years. He has been on a variety of non-profit boards including the Abbotsford Youth Commission, the United Way of the Fraser Valley, the Abbotsford Kiwanis Foundation, and most recently, Archway Community Services, where he currently sits as President of the Board of Directors.
Most memorably, Steve volunteered in a variety of Games including, the Western Canada Summer Games in 1993, the BC Senior Games in 2008, and BC Summer Games of 2004. Steve was then privileged to serve as President of the Abbotsford 2016 BC Summer Games hosting thousands of athletes and coaches.
To round things out, Steve remains busy as an educator. He is a sessional instructor for Western Washington University in the master’s program of Education Leadership.
Steve is the proud father of three wonderful children and four delightful grandchildren. He spends his leisure time happily with his wife, Louanne, kayaking, bird watching, gardening, hiking and golfing.
Archway Board President Steve Carlton with MP Ed Fast