This award was established in 1999 to award members who have contributed exceptional service often in one specific area of expertise. Flo was a very active volunteer in the library, transcribed and indexed many Manitoba cemeteries. She was known to haul around display equipment, books and brochures whenever there was an opportunity to have an educational heritage display at many events around the province. She passed away in 2000 and kept on giving with a gifted photocopier for the society.
The following awards were presented at the Annual General Meeting held Saturday, May 13, 2023, in grateful acknowledgement of exceptional service to MGS. Due to the pandemic, the 2021 Florence Cox Volunteer Service Awards were given this year.
More than one Florence Cox Award can be given each year.
2022 Angela Fiebelkorn, Rick Brown, Don White (Dauphin), Jim McGregor
2021 Shaun Hobson, Laura Crookshanks (South West Branch), Virginia Fox (Dauphin Branch)
Shaun came to the Society in 2012 and took her first role as Member-at-Large on the MGS Executive Board in 2020. Shaun saw her niche and decided to Chair the Cemetery Committee. A new role, Shaun took on the task of organizing the approximately 1,500 Manitoba cemeteries through an auditing system of her design. This system has many steps to confirm the accuracy of, and add to the transcriptions of the cemeteries in our database. This is an ongoing project, and she works with a dedicated team of volunteers to work through the data. Some tasks are field work (in the cemeteries themselves) and other are done from the comfort of your home through the computer and telephone. She introduced the Manitobans Remembered series which is hugely popular on Facebook with many genealogical societies all over North America, Great Britain and Australia sharing those posts. Members are welcome to submit their family members biographies to this collection. You can find her cemetery update reports in the monthly Generations digital journal.
Laura Crookshanks #4292, Member since 2010
President of the South West Branch of MGS 2013-2017, Co-President 2020-2023
Laura joined the Society and took a SW Branch membership in 2010. She became President three years later in 2013. Laura worked on organizing speakers and presenters for the monthly meeting, and thereby encouraging new membership in the Society. She strived to keep the speaker topics interesting and informative so members always had something to look forward to. The monthly meetings expanded to include Zoom during the pandemic and this was so successful that hybrid meetings (in-person and Zoom) have continued ever since.
Virginia Fox #5452, Member since 2011
President of Dauphin Branch 2018-19, 2021-23
Virginia hails from the Dauphin Branch and joined the Society and took a Dauphin Branch membership in 2011. She became President of the ranch in 2018 and 2019, and we re-elected in 2021 and has been President to this day. Virginia has a passion to lead Dauphin in a direction to get things back to the basics of how they started—tracking and collecting the data that researchers of the Dauphin area need to further their family history. She weathered a storm and prevailed. In her present term as President she has introduced a Genealogical Program through the local 4H Program which is proving to be doing well as the youth in the area are very involved.
Angela came to the Society to do her genealogy for her Manitoba family. She started her volunteer work indexing Manitoba newspapers for MANI. There were some vacancies on the MGS Board and Angela had talents in the finance field so she came on board as a Treasurer of MGS working hand-in-hand with Gloria McNabb the previous Treasurer who was working on a special finance project. As another vacancy occurred, Angela was asked to take on the role of Vice-President Communications. It is a very large portfolio that has travel involved to travel to the Branches and keep communications open between MGS and them. She was very effective in her role when we worked together in Dauphin. Angela had hidden talents and that was with computers. There were problems with the website and with MANI, so a Website Rebuild Team was formed which Angela Chaired. They met weekly for 8 month and the new MGS website launched on August 22, 2021, followed by the new MGS Store launch on Oct 25, 2022. Angela had experience with using WordPress to make websites and created the pages, naviagation, and inputted content from the team members. MANI fell under the VP Information Technology Department and Angela contributed as and when needed. With the vacancy of the Generations Editor position in 2021, Angela stepped in to do the journal and monthly newsletter as it was under her portfolio—often working from a distance as she was still in the working world on term positions in the Northwest Territories. Angela also does the job of Secretary and Recording Secretary when needed. Thank you Angela, you get to sleep a little longer now.
Rick joined MGS in 2005 and became a life member later. In 2019, Rick took on a more active role in the Society and in 2021 took the Projects Chair. This meant bringing all the projects in the Society back under his care as the Chair. It was a great task and he did it gracefully and tactfully so the Society as a whole knew what it was involved in and suggested better ways to accomplish the tasks at hand or just learning what was being done. He was very instrumental in the Cummin’s Map Project. Under his leadership, the project team keeps growing with new volunteers stepping up. You can keep track of all the projects in the Project Update column in the monthly Generations digitial journal.
Don White#4508, Member since 2006
Don joined the Society and the Dauphin Branch in 2006 and became President in 2016-2017. He tried along with others to keep the Brach whole and aligned with the MGS. It is believed that Don has done most of the available positions in the Dauphin branch, and has been a steady presence as the branch liaison to the MGS Council for many years. He now takes pleasure in doing the queries as he has a wealth of knowledge of the area.
Jim joined the Societ in 2015 and loves to show his passion of Scottish genealogy. Some call him Mr. Dependable as he is first in line to volunteer at Folklorama, Highland Games and any other place there is a MGS table to man. He works closely with Bill Curtis, Chair of Community Education in these community events. Together they get the word out about MGS in their community.
Thank you to Chris Irwin, Past-President of MGS for his work as Awards Committee Chair and for writing the bios on our winners.