MFRC volunteer honoured by the University of Victoria

MFRC volunteer Muriel Dunn receives the Valued Elder Recognition Award from (left) Lorie McLeod, Executive Director of the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation, and Scott Hofer, University of Victoria Director of the Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health, at the Salvation Army Citadel. Photo credit University of Victoria

MFRC volunteer Muriel Dunn receives the Valued Elder Recognition Award from (left) Lorie McLeod, Executive Director of the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation, and Scott Hofer, University of Victoria Director of the Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health, at the Salvation Army Citadel. Photo credit University of Victoria

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

One of the Military Family Resource Centre’s (MFRC) top volunteers has been recognized by the University of Victoria for her outstanding community work.

Muriel Dunn, 80, was honoured by the Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health and the Elder Care Foundation with a Valued Elder Recognition Award at the Salvation Army Citadel on Sept. 30.

The ceremony was in recognition of the Government of Canada’s National Seniors Day on Oct. 1, and Dunn was one of 16 Capital Regional District residents who, over their lifetime, have given exemplary service to helping others, in particular between 2000 to 2016.

“I am very pleased and humbled to be receiving this recognition,” said Dunn. “I was shocked and surprised that I was receiving this reward because I don’t see volunteering as hard work, but more fun and something I truly look forward to doing.”

The native of Smithers, B.C. has taken volunteer roles at the base since she and her late husband PO1 (Ret’d) Denis Dunn moved to Victoria in 1954. He was a medical assistant in Royal Canadian Navy vessels, and she was a student nurse at the time, graduating 1957.

She retired from nursing 17 years ago and said she wanted to volunteer to stay active and engaged with people in the community.

Her involvement with the MFRC began in 2003 when she first volunteered at the non-profit organization’s second hand store on Esquimalt Road. But after the facility closed a few years later she pitched in at other MFRC functions, such as Formation Fun Day, ship deployments and homecomings, and military nights with the Victoria Royals hockey team and Harbour Cats baseball team. Dunn is also a regular volunteer at Mount Saint Mary’s Residential Care Home, and also finds time to volunteer for the Naden Band selling their CDs during their annual holiday season concert in December.

MFRC Community Integration Co-ordinator Ekaterina Gregory nominated Dunn for the award, along with staff at the Mount Saint Mary’s Care Home.

“She is dynamite, very reliable and always seems to be the first person to answer our calls for volunteers at our events; we can always depend on her,” says Gregory. “She loves to volunteer, and is very warm, sociable and engaging, and she has amazing communication skills.”

Dunn was uncomfortable at first about receiving the award because of the “humble nature” of her personality, says Gregory. But she warmed up to the idea when she realized it would encourage others in the community to volunteer.

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