TOSH teacher awarded Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal

Nancy MacPhee
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Dave Chisholm nominated by Vimy Foundation

SUMMERSIDE — It was an uncomfortable ceremony for a man described as humble and an inspiration to his students.

Three Oaks Senior High teacher David Chisholm was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal during a ceremony Monday at the school. Joining him was his family, daughter Mya (left), wife Julie and son Max (right).

Monday, Three Oaks Senior High School teacher David Chisholm was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, one of only four teachers from across Canada to be recommended by the Vimy Foundation to receive the honour.

In front of family, friends, colleagues, Legion members, veterans and students, Lt.-Gov. H. Frank Lewis presented Chisholm with the medal.

“He has helped bridge the gap of time since the World Wars, Vimy in particular, to the youth of today,” said Lewis. “This is not always easy. It takes a knowledge of the history you are trying to teach, some charisma, some patience and an ability to motivate and a great deal of nerve, optimism and persistence to make it all happen.”

Chisholm received the medal for his work in helping organize pilgrimages to significant European First and Second World War sites and his work within the school to recognize and remember veterans.

“It’s certainly more than I wanted or expected. I guess, in all reality, there was no want or expecting from why we started this,” said Chisholm.

Since 2006, Chisholm has led Three Oaks students on 10-day pilgrimages, the most recent last spring, pilgrimages organized by the Vimy Foundation.

“I feel a little embarrassed by the accolades and the words that were said today because there are so many other people involved in getting me into this,” said Chisholm. “It’s been a collective and a team effort and I really appreciate that. I feel uncomfortable but at the same time I do feel comfortable in accepting this on Three Oak’s behalf. I think that’s more appropriate.”

He admitted to being a changed man as a result of the pilgrimages, saying he now takes the time to thank veterans for the sacrifices they made, something he encouraged all in attendance to do.

“It’s a good way to show thanks and it’s needed. We all do need to go to Vimy and we do all need to go to these graves and we all do need to go to our own cenotaphs in our own towns and cities,” said Chisholm. “It’s never too late to start to say thank you and to start to commemorate the veterans that are here with us today.”

During the ceremony, Chisholm was also presented with a certificate of appreciation from the Summerside Legion and the Lest We Forget Committee.

“Dedication, passion, inspiration and humble, I can’t imagine four words that would describe a person any better,” said outgoing committee chair Joyce Phillips.

Dave Robinson, with the Vimy Foundation, made the trip to Summerside for the ceremony. It was Robinson who nominated Chisholm for the medal.

“David has helped inspire Canada’s smallest province to have the highest percentage of its secondary school students attend Remembrance pilgrimages to First World War and Second World War battlefields,” read Robinson’s nomination. “We are very fortunate to have had David leading the way in this regard at TOSH and he has helped to provide some very important and life-long learnings for our students.

“I have no doubt that they will see Remembrance Day in a very different light for the rest of their lives thanks to Dave’s efforts.”




Organizations: Vimy Foundation, World Wars, Forget Committee

Geographic location: Canada, Vimy, Summerside

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Recent comments

  • Robbie Bursey
    October 31, 2014 - 09:44

    WOW! For a second i thought that was Mr.D from the famous CBC television show. I fondly remember how Chisholm hated dress shirts and only wore Golf shirts to replicate the Mr.D persona. He also would like to say thanks to his wonderful co-worker Forrest Lilly, David finds daily inspiration in Mr.Lilly and looks up to him greatly and one day wants to be the teacher that Lilly is. Chisholm also wears magnet bracelets and necklaces to help with his very old withered bones from crippling arthritis. Chisholm suffers chronic sadness due to his favorite hockey team the Boston Bruins always loose to the great mighty Montreal Canadians, who are always the superior team. Also his other favorite team the New England Patriots as they've been playing awfully as always and even losing to Mr.Lilly's team the Miami Dolphins. The thing Chisholm can do that the Patriots and Bruins can't is get it together and win something.

  • Sarah
    November 20, 2012 - 23:04

    I am one of the very privileged students who got to go on not one but two of the TOSH trips. One being the first trip the school went on to Ortona, and the second to Vimy. Mr. Chisholm gave me a whole new perspective of what happened in the war and I thank him dearly for that! I got the opportunity to meet some great people including veterans that I still keep in contact with today. What Mr. Chisholm and the other teachers at TOSH and other island high schools are doing is an amazing thing and I’m hoping that I get the chance to go on one of these trips again someday as a chaperon because we can never thank those who have served or are serving us enough for what they have done or are currently doing.

  • Phantom
    November 20, 2012 - 11:46

    "He admitted to being a changed man as a result of the pilgrimages." Well that must explain everything, because "humble" sure as heck isn't the first adjective that comes to mind when I recall Mr. Chisholm from my days at TOSH. But anyways, congratulations on the Medal. It's important for kids (and everyone) not ot take their freedom for granted.

  • Nick
    November 20, 2012 - 09:30

    One of my favourite teachers ever. Good job Mr. Chisholm!

  • randy robertson
    November 19, 2012 - 22:06

    Well deserved Chissy...congrats!