Joan Whiston Volunteer Award

Established in 2017 to award members for their outstanding service over time. Preference is given to members who are not currently on MGS Council. Joan delighted in helping people get started on their family history journey and educated many through her classes and workshops. Joan passed away in 2016. She loved her Scottish roots, hailing from Edinburgh, and travelled back to fulfill her passion for family history many times and was thrilled to have had one last trip with her son shortly before her passing.

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 Joan Whiston Volunteer Award was given this year.

2021 – Aleta Foreman
2022 – Robert “Bob” Allebone


Aleta Foreman #5236, Member Since 2011
Computer and Network Chair 2018, Vice-President Information Technology 2019-2020, Membership Chair 2021, Vice-President Information Technology 2022-2023
Aleta came to check out the Society in 2011 and teamed up with Gord McBean looking at the technology side of things and MANI.  The job was quite involved and technology was growing steadily.  After a number of years, Gord decided to step back and the full scope became Aleta’s domain.  Even with others aiding her in MANI, it was decided that the problems with the Manitoba Name Index database could be resolved by being transferred to a commercial database.  She teamed up with Angela, Gloria and the programmer and kept working day and night for eight months.  It now has a new look and has greater functionality.  Besides all the busy times in the Technology area, Aleta also does the job of Secretary and Recording Secretary when required, taking on the duties required for compiling the Annual General Meeting and Reports.  Thank you Aleta for your dedication.

Robert “Bob” Allebone #6069, Member Since 2019
Acting President of Southeast and Winnipeg Branch, 2022-2023 President of Southeast and Winnipeg Branch, Research Team member and Thursday volunteer
I am sure Bob became a member of the Society in 2019 to do his genealogy but somehow someone found he had a greater talent.  He joined the Southeast and Winnipeg Branch Executive in 2020 and became Acting President upon the President’s resignation in 2021, and was elected President in 2022. I first met Bob over the question of the Indian Land Acknowledgement and he is a tough act to follow.  He has a flow of knowledge that I have not seen for some time.  Bob became known in the Executive as the go to guy for his wealth of knowledge, organizational skills and a great Team Member working between different Branches and Executives on a vast array of projects.  Although he volunteers on Thursdays with the Research team, you can find Bob at MGS on almost any day you drop in to the Resource Centre.  Your skills and knowledge are highly appreciated at MGS.  Thank you.

Thank you to Chris Irwin, Past-President of MGS for his work as Awards Committee Chair and for writing the bios on our winners.

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