Saint John, NB — From November 12-19, during YMCA Peace Week, the YMCA of Greater Saint John, together with YMCAs across Canada, is celebrating the presence of peace in our communities and reflecting on the peace-building work that happens all year both inside and outside the YMCA.
During YMCA Peace Week, we honour those at the forefront of these peace-building efforts and encourage Canadians to ask themselves how they can bring change to their communities.
A special highlight of this week is the presentation of the YMCA Peace Medal to an individual or group who, without any special resources, demonstrates a commitment to peace through individual contributions made within their local, national, or global community. This year’s ceremony, held on November 16, 2022, honours Dr. Duncan Webster for his significant contributions towards peace-building and going above and beyond in assisting Newcomers To Canada.
“Dr. Webster has shown that no matter how busy you are, there is always time to offer support and help without judgement,” says Allan Hogg, one of the many nominators of Dr. Webster. “This is a very busy man taking the time to get to know the Newcomers in our city and making them feel that people do care about them and want to make them feel welcome.”
Dr. Webster, an infectious diseases physician at the Saint John Regional Hospital, has helped numerous Newcomers to Canada get their health checked after arriving. He ensures they receive the referrals they medically, mentally, and compassionately require while understanding their unique needs even when they do not speak English. He encourages the Newcomers to be their own advocates, gets them to speak up when they have a concern and that no question is ever stupid.
“It’s important that we work together to create peaceful communities where everyone feels that they belong,” says Shilo Boucher, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Saint John. “By celebrating YMCA Peace Week together, we are taking a stand and creating the future we want for our community, country, and world.”
When people act for peace, they build community by promoting a sense of belonging, fostering empathy, and embracing diversity.
“We all have opportunities each day to choose to act for peace. They may be small actions, but they make a big difference and create a ripple effect throughout our community. By sharing our message of peace, we can inspire others to become engaged in peaceful actions,” says Boucher.
About YMCA of Greater Saint John
The YMCA of Greater Saint John is a trusted charity that delivers lasting personal and social change. We are committed to nurturing the potential of children, youth and families, promoting healthy living and fostering social responsibility within the community. There are 19 locations throughout Greater Saint John. Together, we serve more than 22,000 people. Our focus on providing a sense of belonging and accessibility means we serve people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities through all stages of life. We believe that giving them the opportunities they need to reach their full potential will help them live healthier and happier lives.