Ladner resident Andy Basi is a recipient of the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers - a national award recognizing the contributions and achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields.
It is the highest honour for volunteer service that an individual can receive within the Canadian Honours System.
For 15 years, Basi has served as the chair of the Canadian Cancer Society’s South Asian advisory committee to help develop and deliver cancer prevention initiatives to different demographics. Notably, he helped translate educational pamphlets and videos into Hindi and Punjabi and established breast cancer self-screening clinics specifically for women of South Asian descent.
The Sovereign's Medal is the latest recognition for Basi’s volunteer work that dates back over three decades. He has also been a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee in 2002 and 2012 respectively.
“In my background (growing up) in England, I would volunteer in the church, boys clubs, etc. So it's just something I’ve always done,” explained Basi. “Then what happened is, in all my (professional) career, I've been in healthcare. So a lot of my volunteer work has been helping people with either disabilities or people in need, also raising awareness of health consciousness and wellness and stuff like that, particularly in the South Asian community.”
Basi has also been very active with Delta Hospital, serving three years on the foundation board.
He actually learned of his Sovereign's Medal back in 2019 and the pandemic put the officially ceremony on hold until this month. Basi was invited to receive the award at Rideau Hall on April 21 from Governor General of Canada Mary Simon. Unfortunately he tested positive for COVID and could not make the trip. The medal was couriered to him last week.
“I feel incredibly honoured and humbled to be recognized while doing something that I enjoy so much while helping our communities learn and grow,” Basi added.