A local musician has been recognized by the Governor General.
Kleefeld-born Robb Nash says he received a Meritorious Service Medal in Ottawa this past week.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” observes Nash, “a lot of the people getting these awards are doctors and people from the military who are missing limbs… it’s amazing that just by playing music you get put into some of these categories.”
Nash began his career several years ago after surviving a car accident that should have been fatal: that was when he decided to use his second chance at life to make a difference.
Today, Nash travels between prisons and detention centres with the goal of coming alongside teenagers who are struggling with self-image or suicidal thoughts. He received this award for his ongoing efforts to help the Canadian youth.
“One in five teenagers in Canada has seriously considered suicide in the last twelve months,” stresses Nash. "These are massive stats and that is just the type of war we are fighting.”
Nash has been the recipient of several awards since he started making music, but he says the surprise never wears off.
“Every time I get a call like this, I’m always blown away by the fact that people in the government are aware of what we do.”
To emphasize the kind of elite company he was in, Nash shares a story from this past week. “I was backstage with these other guys who are receiving awards when someone turns around, looks at me and says, ‘can I have another glass of champagne please’ and I thought: ‘oh, he thinks I’m a server!’”
Rather than explain himself to the thirsty gentleman Nash went off and got him a drink. He laughs the whole thing off, willingly admitting that he does not always feel of the same stock as other Canadian heroes.
“It’s quite something,” he comments, “I’m just a kid from Kleefeld Manitoba.”
Still, Nash says he is grateful for the recognition and believes any exposure is useful as he continues to spread his message to people across Canada.
Meanwhile, those interested in hearing Nash perform are in luck. He will be singing the national anthem at the Steinbach Pistons game in the T.G. Smith Centre on Thursday.