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Nova Scotia Community Values Awards Honours Valuable Citizens

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia — Since 2013, Community Values Awards have been bestowed by Nova Scotian wards or branches of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints every spring. The Truro Branch hosted the 2018 event.

Dartmouth Nova Scotia Stake public affairs director Anna Davison explained: “Honouring those who make outstanding contributions to their communities is important. We recognize exemplary citizenship and service and honour those who make a difference. We hope to unify the community at large and build stronger relationships within the community.”

The 2018 Humanitarian Service Award was given to Dick Cotterill. Born in the U.S.A., Cotterill has lived in Nova Scotia since 1972, which he considers a “tremendous gift.” “Life in Canada is wonderful,” he says. “As an immigrant, one feels a special blessing each day.”

Cotterill belongs to the Quaker faith (Religious Society of Friends) and is a special interest group leader through the Canadian Friends Service Committee (the peace and social justice agency of Canadian Quakers) and Correctional Services Canada. Working toward penal abolition, he advocates for better palliative care, early compassionate release and the banning of medically assisted death for the incarcerated.

Cotterill is also a member of the Truro Homeless Outreach Society, where more than 1,000 bed nights of shelter and 3,000 free meals for homeless people have been provided without any core funding from the government.

The 2018 Family Values Award was given to five generations of the Matheson family, who are from Brookfield, Nova Scotia. Tom and Flo Matheson raised a family of 10 children. Today the family counts over 130 direct descendants, most of whom are living in the Truro area. Thirteen families live on the same street.

The second, third and fourth generations were honoured earlier this year for sporting achievements. As players, coaches and teachers, the Matheson name is known far and wide in hockey, softball, baseball, curling, basketball, golf, volleyball, biking, swimming, skiing, skateboarding, bowling, figure skating, taekwondo and lacrosse. They have won local, provincial, national and international awards through home teams, school teams, university athletics and personal skill and determination.

Deborah Matheson and her cousin Melanie Miller accepted the Family Values Award on behalf of the Matheson family. They reminisced of growing up with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who supported all they did. Family members would be up early in the dark to drive to and from rinks, arenas and playing fields and to haul equipment, food and clothing to different locations. They were supported in fundraising efforts and school and church activities by their large clan with encouragement and an abundance of love.

The Matheson family’s fondest memories include annual family get-togethers on Boxing Day, an egg hunt at Easter time and a large gathering in July to celebrate birthdays, graduations and marriages. Being together is a priority that has made the family successful.

Deborah commented, “In over 40 years of attending these family gatherings, there has never been a fight nor an argument. … We just love being together.”

Branch president Stephen Brogan introduced the nominees. Each accepted their award and spoke of their love for family and involvement in the community. Stake presidency member Brad Johnson further commended them for their examples.

Dick Cotterill and the Matheson family have demonstrated how to improve one’s community through humanitarian service and through working to grow a family with love. Each of the Community Values Awards was well deserved.

Contributed by Anna Davison, director of public affairs, Dartmouth Nova Scotia Stake

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