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George Poblete Receives Queen's Sovereign Medal for Volunteers award

By Fe Paca-Taduran
April 26, 2017


OTTAWA, CANADA --- Scarborough, Ontario resident George R. Poblete,  received the Queen's Sovereign Medal for Volunteers from the Right Honourable Governor General David Johnston, during a formal presentation ceremony made at  the Rideau Hall at 1 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, on April  24, 2017. (in photo: Queen’s Sovereign Medal for Volunteers awardee George R. Poblete(left) with Right Honourable Governor General David Johnston)

George received this honour for his over sixty years of volunteerism here in Canada, in South America, and in the Philippines. George started doing volunteer work in his youth in the Philippines. While the Nuestra Senora Perpetua Socorro Church in Sampaloc, Manila, was in the early construction stage, George helped by soliciting donours and raising funds, managing their fiesta celebration, supervising fiesta games (palaro), and looking after the pyrotechnics (fireworks) during the event.

He got involved in the sport of judo and did his bit the development of the sport.  He organized judo clubs, managed judo tournaments and served with national judo associations. He became an officer of the Philippine Amateur Judo Association and the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation. He chaired the 1st Asian Judo Championship in Manila, which included nine Asian countries. He taught self-defense classes to young families.

The Pobletes moved to Montreal in Canada in the sixties. With his fifth black belt in Judo, he volunteered and taught judo five nights a week in the St. Laurent Neighborhood Association, in two schools and at the Orphanage at N. D. de Grace in Montreal. He also formed judo clubs in Montreal area business establishments.

George was involved with community associations and their projects in his new country. In 1969, while serving as the President of the Philippine Association of Montreal, he helped unify various groups into forming FAMAS. In the 1974 the  national convention of the United Council of Filipino Association in Canada held in Alberta, he was selected as an Outstanding Young Filipino Canadian. 

George and his family moved from Montreal to Toronto in the seventies, where as a volunteer, he continued to help build  "better youth in the schools and the community" through judo. He formed two active judo clubs in Scarborough schools. He organized annual successful Judo tournaments in Scarborough participated in by 400-500 judo fighters from Manitoba, Buffalo and other U.S. States, supported by their families and volunteers referees other workers.

In 1979, George was recognized as the City of Scarborough Volunteer of the Year. During the International Year of the Volunteer in 2010, he received the Mel Lastman trophy as Toronto Volunteer of the year. In the course of the years, he led his family of six children in coaching soccer, teaching judo, assisting boy and girl scout groups and being active participants in community association activities.

 Now on his octogenarian years, George continues to be active in helping others in community. He continues to serve in activities/projects of the Knights of Columbus (as an executive, with titles of PGK, FDD, PFN and an Honorary Lifetime Member), Block Rosary Crusades, Rosary in the Schools, and other Church Ministries. He hold the highest rank of KGCR, Knight Grand Cross of Rizal, in the Knights of Rizal organization, a worldwide civic fraternity with about 14,000 members and was awarded the Pro-Patria Medal, a Philippine Patriotic Presidential medal, the only medal recipient outside the Philippines. He and his wife Dolores are a part of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, a charitable religious group/oldest  Papal Order in Toronto. He still takes part at St. Barnabas church projects, serving breakfast weekly to school children and helping in the monthly Seniors program of the Parish.
In 2012, he received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal.
This year, the Governor General of Canada, the Hon. David Johnston  presented to  him the Queen's Sovereign Medal for Volunteers. His citation recognized George Poblete of Toronto, Ontario, "For more than 50 years, George Poblete has enhanced the lives of people in his community by supporting numerous causes with dedication and passion, particularly those related to youth and sports, Filipino culture and religious growth."

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