NLIS 6
November 10, 2005
(Executive Council)
 

The following is being distributed at the request of His Honour, the Honourable Edward Roberts, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador:

Order of Newfoundland and Labrador recipients invested today

The Honourable Edward Roberts, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, today inducted eight members into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. Tim Borlase, Tom Cahill, Desmond Dillon, Susan Knight, Ingeborg Marshall, Shane O’Dea, Debbie Powers and Janet Story received this honour during a ceremony at Government House. Mr. Cahill was unable to attend the ceremony and his award was accepted on his behalf by Paul O’Neill.

"Each of these men and women has changed the cultural and historical landscapes of our province," said Mr. Roberts. "Their magnificent contributions have helped us to develop a stronger connection with our heritage, our literary past and our volunteer sector. We have truly benefited from their level of expertise and their commitment to Newfoundland and Labrador. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to each recipient of the Order."

The Lieutenant Governor, as Chancellor of the Order, presented each of the recipients with the insignia of the Order, a stylized pitcher plant, which was declared Newfoundland and Labrador’s floral emblem in 1954. The petals of the insignia are crafted with the provincial mineral, Labradorite. Each recipient also received a lapel pin of similar design.

Premier Danny Williams also participated in the ceremony and said that such events speak to the calibre and pride of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. "There is a character exhibited through these men and women that is reflective of what defines us as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians," said the Premier. "Today’s recipients have demonstrated a true passion for our province. Their pride in Newfoundland and Labrador is evident in their everyday deeds. It was a pleasure to share in this ceremony and personally congratulate these outstanding individuals on receiving this distinguished award."

The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour which benefits in an outstanding manner Newfoundland and Labrador and its residents. Any person or group may nominate an individual for recognition by the Order. 

Nominations for the next induction into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador may be made until January 30, 2006 and will remain active for a three-year period. This will allow for consideration of the full 2005 year when nominations are being reviewed. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.gov.nl.ca/onl 

Photo #1: Order of Newfoundland and Labrador recipients 
Front row (Left to Right) - Ingeborg Marshall, Premier Danny Williams, Lieutenant Governor Edward Roberts, Janet Story, Tim Borlase.
Back row (Left to Right) - Susan Knight, Shane O'Dea, Desmond Dillon, Deborah Powers
Missing from photo: Tom Cahill 

BACKGROUNDER 

Tim Borlase

Tim Borlase has distinguished himself in the Labrador community as a driving force for the arts and education. He has been actively involved in promoting and sustaining the arts and culture of Labrador for more than 30 years. He has modified, adopted and supplemented educational programs in all areas of curriculum to accommodate Aboriginal peoples in isolated communities in Labrador

Mr. Borlase is the founder and organizer of the Labrador Creative Arts Festival, an event which has brought students from various Labrador communities together to present their original scripts on issues of concern. Furthermore, he has been instrumental in the development and delivery of the Melville Music Festival, the Heritage Fair, the North Coast Sports Meet, and the High School Drama Festival. He is also the founder and director of the Mokami Players, an adult theatre group in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. He also oversees the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Arts Council, a volunteer group which brings in visiting artists.

Often touted as a catalyst for cultural expression and community growth, Mr. Borlase is credited with furthering the cause of arts and culture within our province as a whole. He is viewed as a living example of how cultural pursuits can be used to better the society in which we live. In a region often burdened with difficult social realities, he has proven the social opportunities that art can produce. He has shown those with whom he has worked that there is great beauty in tradition, expression and diversity.

The work of Mr. Borlase has transcended his own community to furthering the cause of arts and culture within our province as a whole. His dedication to the Association of Cultural Industries has seen him become one of the authors of the Cultural Policy for the entire province. Additionally, in this age of globalization and interconnectivity, being rooted in one’s own culture, heritage and history is essential for young people. For Tim Borlase, this may be seen as his greatest legacy.

Tom Cahill

Known as an individual who has chiseled inside the provincial soul and exposed the vibrant pulse of its people through his writing and various productions, Mr. Cahill has demonstrated the uniqueness of the Newfoundland experience and its place in Canada. For more than half a century, he has promoted our way of life through stage, television and radio, highlighting our colourful history through truth and humour.

All of Mr. Cahill’s productions and plays not only focused on a distinct Newfoundland theme, but contributed to the preservation of our unique culture, history and pride. In all, he has written and produced numerous plays and dramas for the Provincial Drama Festival, as well as for CBC television. Some of his most noteworthy productions include Yesterday’s Heroes, Tales From Pigeon Inlet, and Where Once They Stood.

He has won awards, including the Actra Union Award for the Sir Humprhey Gilbert Story as the best television production in Canada; the CBC President’s Award for consistently producing, with limited means, regional television programs; and the Anik Award for As Loved Our Fathers.

Mr. Cahill was an active member of the Arts Council of Newfoundland and Labrador for many years, and served as chairman for several terms. He has often been referenced as the foremost of our locally-born playwrights, as well as an inspired satirist and a gifted television producer. He is respected by not only the arts community, but the province in general, for the many contributions to which he has dedicated so much love and attention. He is credited with preserving our identity as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and positively influencing the literary and cultural life of the province.

Both provincial and national audiences have heard and seen our local story through the works of Mr. Cahill. He has become known as a renowned cultural figure in the province, with some regarding him a neglected genius. His works are considered to be classics, his dedication to the province he loves is overwhelming, and he is revered by a cultural community who acknowledge the effect he has had on their industry.

Desmond Dillon

Desmond Dillon has the distinction of being a renowned volunteer who gains much personal satisfaction from helping others whenever and wherever he can. His spirit of volunteerism is the very essence of his life and work. Through his career as a social worker, he worked with numerous community organizations and committees working to provide programs and services aimed at enhancing the well being of the community and its residents.

His work as a volunteer has been recognized by many of the organizations with whom he serves – the Canadian Red Cross, Royal Life Saving Society, American Red Cross – to name just a few. He has become a noted contributor to the global community, assisting with the California earthquake, flooding in Manitoba, Swissair disaster, Kosovar refugees, September 11th attack, and the Badger flood. He is noted as being a humble man who seeks no recognition for his outstanding accomplishments. He is a true leader, never asking of others what he wouldn’t do himself.

Mr. Dillon is an example of how one committed individual can quietly change a community for the better, one selfless, dignified act at a time. He has provided exemplary leadership to the Central Regional Health and Community Services Board from its inception to the present. He has accepted leadership roles under difficult circumstances and demonstrated excellence and competence throughout the process.

As a social worker, he has helped institute changes to the current childcare legislation that have bettered the lives of those in need and those who live in poverty in this province. This driving philosophy has also been demonstrated in his professional volunteer career as well. His dedication to the human services field is paralleled only by his dedication to ensuring respect for his fellow human beings. He is a true asset to the many organizations with whom he volunteers, and a motivation to his family, co-workers, friends and community.

Susan Knight

Susan Knight’s accomplishments are borne from her genuine love of this province, her immense appreciation for its culture and heritage, her inspiration of excellence and her amazing skill as a musician, choral director and teacher. She has shown the international community that this unique place is a centre of musical and cultural excellence. Under her guidance, many children have absorbed an overwhelming sense of place as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

In 1992, Ms. Knight founded the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Choir which she describes as a "cultural agency that expresses itself through choral music." Under her direction, the choir has performed and built cultural connections throughout the world. The accomplishments of this choir include many national and international tours, cultural exchanges with Iceland, Quebec, England and Finland, as well as prestigious invitations to perform for renowned audiences such as Her Majesty the Queen at Roy Thompson Hall and in New York City for the American Choral Directors Association.

Ms. Knight’s contribution to the appreciation of our culture is further demonstrated through the Cultural Enhancement Program of the Symphony Youth Choir. This program of instruction in traditional instruments such as strings, flute and percussion imparts the value, skills and knowledge base of traditional Newfoundland and Labrador cultural practices. It further enhances choristers’ musical development, as well as hones leadership skills which they, in turn, take with them into the community and all spheres of life.

In 2004 Ms. Knight received an honourary degree from Memorial University.

Ms. Knight also founded and is the artistic co-director of Festival 500: Sharing the Voices, an international choir festival which takes place in this province every two years. Additionally, she was the creator and artistic director of Making Waves, a Marconi Celebration Project held in 2001; creator and producer of Full Circle, a Viking Millennium Project; creator of "So You Always Wanted to Sing," a ground-breaking course for inhibited adult singers; as well as twelve published commissions. She describes herself as a "person of this place" with her hand at her heart, as she vows to do anything that she can do to ensure the value of this place in its own people and beyond here, to make sure that it’s here for other generations.

Ingeborg Marshall

Ms. Marshall is a renowned expert on the history, ethnography, and archaeology of the Beothuk Indians of Newfoundland. Over the past 30 years, she has meticulously and tirelessly carried out research on this indigenous culture. She has published widely, writing six books and 17 academic papers. She has also given 11 conference papers in regional and national venues. Her crowning achievement is her landmark volume, A History and Ethnography of the Beothuk (1996), now in its third printing.

Ms. Marshall’s research reaches a broad audience, including children of various ages. Two of her books were written specifically for young people and, one of them, The Red Ochre People, was adopted for the school curriculum for grades 5 and 6. She has been an adviser to the Newfoundland Museum on the Beothuk component of The Rooms’ permanent exhibition and has also written for the Memorial University Heritage Web site. The quality of her scholarly activity is reflected in all of her endeavours, as is her passion for truth and accuracy for telling the Beothuk story.

She has been described as one of the province’s living treasures, a distinction best measured by her years of personal commitment to the preservation of one aspect of the province’s iconography, namely the Beothuk Indians. She has contributed significantly to Aboriginal heritage, prehistory and history. Moreover, her research methods are exacting and multi-disciplinary, and have provided a working model for a generation of anthropologists inspired by her work.

As a person, she has always combined vitality and perseverance with a great kindness of spirit. She continues to maintain an active agenda answering inquiries, co-researching the life of William Eppes Cormack, and pursuing the search for still undiscovered Beothuk material. She has given this province many tangible results of her efforts. This is her legacy to the province’s remarkable heritage – a heritage to which she has dedicated her life.

Shane O’Dea

Having distinguished himself as a teacher, scholar and preservationist, Mr. O’Dea has also gained provincial and national renown for his service to the heritage community of Newfoundland and Labrador. He has demonstrated how one individual can make a difference through his knowledge of the architectural and material culture of the province, his commitment to its preservation and his ability to communicate that knowledge and passion. In fact, governments at all levels have sought his advice and appointed him to major heritage boards and committees.

Mr. O’Dea has been cited as a first-rate scholar and outstanding teacher who has inspired and enriched the lives of countless students at Memorial University. He has adopted, as a special field of interest, the built heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador and has become a recognized authority in the area. Not only has he demonstrated a knowledge of the architecture, building forms and techniques of our domestic, vernacular and public buildings and structures, he has committed considerable energies to their conservation, preservation and reconstruction.

Having served on innumerable national and provincial boards dealing with matters relating to the arts and heritage, Mr. O’Dea has played a significant role in the majority of preservation efforts and activities that have taken place in the province over the past 30 years. He has been instrumental in researching, documenting and maintaining our architectural heritage. He has ensured that the material history and the architectural treasures of the province will continued to be appreciated in the future, not through written descriptions, photographs and drawings, but as the real, the actual and the true item.

His influence is best described in the following: "For Mr. O’Dea, restoration and documentation are of prime importance in illuminating how the past is still alive and continues to impress a unique stamp deeply onto our present lives without our really knowing. The retention in solid and material form of those things that explicitly reflect our living past allow us to understand their potency in the present."

Deborah (Debbie) Powers

The name Debbie Powers is synonymous with the protection and best interests of animals in the province. As the Executive Director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) here in Newfoundland and Labrador, she has dedicated more than 30 years of volunteer work toward this cause…volunteer work that usually constitutes 24-hour days, seven days a week. She is unyielding and relentless in her pursuit of ensuring that animals receive the best care possible, investing her time and resources without any compensation.

Ms. Powers’ unwavering commitment to her community has been recognized by many. She has received the Newfoundland and Labrador Volunteer Service Medal, Women of Distinction Award, the Frederic McGrand Award, and the Canada 125 medal. While best known for her work with animal welfare, Ms. Powers has also been actively involved with the Alzheimer’s Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, the palliative care unit at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital, and was formerly a member of the Imperial Orders of the Daughter of the Empire. Her service to her community is unquestioned and unrivaled.

Many can testify not only to the dedication and long hours she gives to her work, but to the emotional sacrifices she must often make in rescuing animals from neglect and abuse. She has virtually single-handedly raised the degree of priority accorded to crimes of animal abuse in the province. She was also the individual who helped the new shelter from which the SPCA operates to become a reality. She is also a tireless fundraiser for the shelter as well, and her passion for the animals has often been deemed infectious.

Ms. Powers has touched the lives of many people in this province, most notably her co-workers at the shelter. She leads through example, showing those around her that person by person, event by event, animal by animal, everyone of us can make a difference. She genuinely cares about the animals, her community and, indeed, her province. It has been said of her that she truly has a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words, not just for the animals, but for all deserving creatures.

Janet Story

Janet Story is renowned for her outstanding contribution to the nursing profession, the preservation of its history, as well as her work with numerous volunteer organizations. Noted as being one the leaders in establishing the Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador (ARNNL), Ms. Story and a small group of nurses succeeded in establishing self regulation for the nursing profession in the province more than 50 years ago. She has worked hard to improve the standards of nursing education and its practice in the public’s interest.

Ms. Story has been instrumental in highlighting and preserving the nursing culture in Newfoundland and Labrador. She led the establishment of two nursing archives in the province: the professional archives at ARNNL House and the Lillian Stevenson Archives at the L.A. Miller Centre. As both the archivist and curator, she secured the necessary workforce to organize the papers of the first nursing school, the General Hospital School of Nursing, established in 1903. These documents are an important aspect of not only the nursing profession of the province, but the social history of the province as well.

Ms. Story’s vision of nursing focused on continuous educational opportunities for nurses and the subsequent improvement for the patients they served. In her tenure as the Director of Nursing at the General Hospital for 20 years, she implemented a homecare program to reduce the length of hospital stay for patients; conducted nurse utilization and activity studies to provide evidence for nurse staffing; established an on-site day care; contracted a nursing recruiter in the U.K. to recruit nurses to meet staffing shortages; and implemented the modern "unit nursing" workplace design to ensure nurses have everything at hand to deliver their services.

As an active member of many volunteer organizations, Ms. Story has been recognized for her selfless contributions with the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, a Canadian Red Cross Long Service Award, and honourary memberships in the Museum Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, Atlantic Region Canadian Association of University Schools of Nursing, General Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae, and the ARNNL. Known as a modest and wise lady, she is also a committed leader who has impacted the development of our province and many of its citizens.

Media contact: Melony O’Neill, Communications, (709) 729-0557, 728-7762

2005 11 10        11:30 a.m.

 

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