Sixteen soldiers from Waterloo Region were awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal on Sunday afternoon.

The medals honour their service in the military and the community.

The ceremony, which also included a parade with 100 kilted members of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, was held in Uptown Waterloo. Minister of State Gary Goodyear handed out the medals, along with regional MPs Harold Albrecht, Peter Braid and Stephen Woodworth.

“It is an honour and privilege for me to celebrate the valuable contributions that local citizens have made in our community,” said Goodyear. “Today’s medal recipients are most deserving of this recognition.”

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne. The medals honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.

A total of 60,000 medals will be handed out this year.

The recipients from Waterloo Region are:

  • Sergeant Donald Garcia
  • Master Corporal Richard MacLean
  • Captain Gord Moir
  • Chief Warrant Officer Jason Robinson
  • Captain John Leffler
  • Sergeant Rebecca Moser
  • Sergeant Ronald Moser
  • Captain Andrew Straatsma
  • Corporal Natasha Gale
  • Corporal Chris Gomez
  • Master Corporal Lee Wilcox
  • Corporal Marcus Yeager
  • Master Corporal Jason Leasa
  • Master Corporal Eric Rivera
  • Master Corporal Derrick Roberts

Many of the reservists served in Afghanistan.

"I think that it's an excellent opportunity for the regiment to be out in front of the community so that they know the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada, and know they have a reserve army unit in this area," said Honorary Lt.-Col. Brian Rainville.

The event also marked a change in Honorary Colonels for Waterloo Region’s reservist infantry regiment. Tom Jenkins, the executive chair of OpenText, is succeeding Owen Lackenbauer, who has been Honorary Colonel since 2009.