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Jean-Claude Vézina Par Jean-Claude Vézina

Mercredi, 16 janvier 2013

Rachel Garber receives the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal

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Have you heard of Rachel Garber? She is an ardent promoter of anglophone culture and rights in the Eastern Townships and has spent her days working to keep the English-speaking community alive and well. She has also built many bridges between the two linguistic communities. Her involvement earned her the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of everything she has accomplished over the past many years.

Gerald Cutting, President of Townshippers' Association, had asked NDP MP Jean Rousseau if the important work done by this big-hearted lady could be officially recognized. And so it was the medal was presented by Alain Robert, Rousseau's political attaché, in front of about 75 invitees at the Townshippers' office in Lennoxville.

"When I heard about the Jubilee Medal, I was astounded," said Garber. When asked what had motivated her to get involved in the anglophone community, she replied: "I don't have a master plan for my life. Life just happens. I simply did my job as well as I could. Every day, I did ordinary things. Many others do the same! But it's true that I feel much more comfortable working for the community than for a large corporation," she added.

In 1975 Garber moved to Montreal, where she worked in communications and art therapy. She and her husband settled in Newport in 1996 and she worked at Townshippers' Association from 2000 to 2010. "Being part of a minority in the Eastern Townships comes naturally to me because I grew up in a minority community," she explained. One term each year, she also teaches art therapy at Bishop's University.

Garber sometimes covers the news for The Record, the Eastern Townships anglophone community's daily newspaper. And for the past two years, she has also been writing a column for the Journal régional Le Haut-Saint-François. Her articles make interesting reading because her humour and imagination permeate her writing.

Garber is also a history buff who is working on a project for the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (Réseau du patrimoine anglophone du Québec), creating a Website named "The Identity of English-speaking Quebec in 100 objects." Garber explained: "It involves photographing and writing about 100 artefacts that, together, paint a portrait of the English-speaking communities and their heritage and culture."

According to Alain Robert, Garber is an information technology nut, who is trying to rejuvenate the entire Association by installing computers and communication software everywhere. "The community is rather resistant to change, he says, but she is so keen that she manages to persuade everyone to use this medium."

"I'm enjoying everything I do. I'm grateful to have these interesting opportunities, and I really appreciate the people I work with. And sometimes I even enjoy doing absolutely nothing! Living in nature, among nice, like-minded people in the Haut-Saint-François, is a real pleasure," she concluded.

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