A North End man who’s dedicated the past several years of his life to bettering his home community is being honoured in a big way later this month.
Kyle Mason, executive director for the North End Family Centre, which he founded in 2009, is to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his service to the community.
"When I found out I was shocked. I was not anticipating that," Mason said.
Mason, who grew up in the North End, returned to the area in 2008 after spending some time working outside of the city, including time spent as a minister at Alive Family Church in Stonewall.
Through the North End Family Centre, Mason and his staff provide some common comforts for residents who drop by, such as its community living room. The centre also offers such things as phone and internet access, laundry facilities, a clothing exchange and other programs for community members.
It also stages different community events throughout the year, most recently its annual Christmas party.
For Mason, he sees it as a win not just for himself, but for everyone who has worked at the centre to make it what it is.
"I think truly, as honoured as I am, I’m accepting on behalf of a very large group of current and former staff members," he said.
"I’m just one guy who’s been fortunate enough to lead a fantastic team."
Mason is to receive the medal Jan. 27 during a ceremony in Mississauga, Ont.