Commissionaires BC awards Bursary to Criminology Student

Twenty year old SFU student Canon Wong has a goal of joining the Vancouver Police Department at the age of 22. The average age of a successful applicant is 26. Canon is doing everything he can to prepare himself for a career in policing, including joining the Canadian Forces as a reservist, and working as a guard with Commissionaires BC. He also volunteers with the South Vancouver Community Policing Centre.

Working for Commissionaires has been rewarding in more ways than Canon anticipated, as last week he was awarded the organization’s Charlie Brown Memorial Bursary, valued at $1,000. Frank Richter, Chair of the Board for Commissionaires BC, presented Canon Car-Lung Wong with the award at a ceremony at Commissionaires’ Vancouver office on 28 June 2012. Canon will be entering his final year of a four-year criminology degree at SFU in the fall, and the bursary will go towards his tuition.

Charles Monteith “Charlie” Brown was Commissionaires BC’s longest serving commissionaire. “One of Charlie Brown’s greatest pleasures was giving back to his community. ‘Giving back’ was a clear message that Charlie wanted to send to everyone he worked with,” says Jim Billinger, member of the Charlie Brown Bursary Selection Committee. “This year Canon Wong was the stand-out applicant. For someone so young and with so many years of ‘giving back’ ahead of him, the Selection Committee was really impressed by Canon’s determination to make a success of a career in which he would be actively serving others.”

Canon began working with Commissionaires in March 2011 in the reserve division. His jobs as a security guard at the RCMP’s E-Division and with the New Westminster Police Service where he works as a custodial guard overseeing prisoners have allowed him to gain first-hand experience of working in policing environments.

“The formal and informal education I have gained by being involved in a small way with operations at E-Division and the New West Police services has been invaluable,” says Wong. “Also, as so many commissionaires are former members of the Canadian Forces or police, I have had the chance to experience the kind of professionalism, camaraderie and team-work that I value so much.”

“Canon is an exceptional young man, and I am so pleased that Commissionaires can serve as a positive spring board for young people such as him, who are just about to enter a career in policing, or the military,” says Board Chair Frank Richter.

Canon found out about the bursary when he was on the organization’s intranet website and saw a news item about last year’s recipient.

In order to help pay for tuition and living expenses, and to help his single-mom Monita with family expenses, Canon also works as a bank teller and helps out at the VPD’s Tactical Training Centre as a role player during training sessions. Canon plans to submit his application to the VPD next year, and is eager to begin a career that he feels so passionate about. “I like the idea of being able to make a positive difference in my community. I want my work life to be about more than accomplishing daily tasks. I want to give back, and work in a professional environment that stresses team- work, commitment, and personal sacrifice,” says Canon.

The Charlie Brown Memorial Bursary
Commissionaires BC chose to honour the spirit and the legacy of their longest serving commissionaire Charles Monteith “Charlie” Brown by creating a permanent fund in his memory. Charlie served Commissionaires BC with pride for 45 years and seven months, only retiring when he found he became less sprightly, at the ripe old age of 83. The purpose of the Charlie Brown Memorial Bursary is to provide an opportunity for a member of the immediate family or a direct descendent of a commissionaire or honorary commissionaire, to further their development in either an academic or practical field. Charlie would be proud to know he was continuing to help a member of Commissionaires’ family to better themselves.

Commissionaires BC –
Commissionaires BC is an independent, self-supporting, not-for-profit security organization. By operating in this manner, the company is able to fulfill its mandate of providing meaningful work to former members of the Canadian Forces and RCMP. The organization also hires individuals without military or police experience. Services include: security guarding, enforcement, identification services, training and security consulting. Commissionaires in BC protect air and sea-ports, border crossings and government facilities. They work in educational facilities, commercial enterprises and residential complexes.

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Patricia Robitaille
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