Executive Council
December 8, 2006

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 Members Inducted at Government House

Eight Newfoundlanders and Labradorians were invested into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador today by the Honourable Edward Roberts, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, at a ceremony at Government House. Michael B. Adam, Sr. Kathrine E. Bellamy, Mary G. Furey, Bradley Gushue, Jamie A. Korab, Mark Nichols, Tobias F. McDonald and Bessie Merrigan were presented with the insignia of the Order. Russ Howard of New Brunswick has been appointed an Honorary Member of the Order, but was unable to attend the ceremony.

"Each of these individuals has brought great credit to Newfoundland and Labrador through their accomplishments," said Mr. Roberts. "They have positively influenced our province and its citizens in a variety of areas from sport to literacy. They have made exceptional contributions and have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to excellence in their various fields − an excellence which has enriched the lives of all of our citizens. The Order symbolizes our recognition of their efforts, and I offer my most sincere congratulations to each recipient."

The Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, participated in the ceremony and reiterated the impact these men and women have had on the residents of our province. "Today is a proud day to be a Newfoundlander and Labradorian, as we honour the best of the best. The women and men being invested into the Order today are all outstanding individuals who are an inspiration to us all," said Premier Williams. "From caregivers and athletes, to volunteers and those who give the gift of music, this group of recipients embodies the essence of what our province is all about. The talent, generosity and spirit of these people make me truly proud to participate in today's ceremony."

As Chancellor of the Order, the Lieutenant Governor presented each of the recipients with the official insignia of the Order, a stylized pitcher plant. The petals of the insignia are crafted with the provincial mineral, Labradorite. A lapel pin of similar design is also presented to the members of the Order.

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 31, 2007 and will remain active for a three-year period. For more information, please visit www.gov.nl.ca/onl

Photo #1: Order of Newfoundland and Labrador recipients

-30-

Media contacts:

Lori-Anne Companion
Government House
709-729-4494
loriannecompanion@gov.nl.ca
 

 

Elizabeth Matthews
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960, 351-1227
elizabethmatthews@gov.nl.ca
 

BIOGRAPHIES

Michael B. Adam
A native of Labrador, Mike Adam has displayed true sportsmanship throughout his curling career. This spirit of comradery has been a cornerstone of Mr. Adam’s curling career, and he was recognized with the 2001 World Junior Championship Sportsmanship Award.

Mr. Adam’s career highlights include: Canadian Curling Trials champion, 2005; WCT Players Championship runner-up, 2005; Newfoundland and Labrador curling champions, 2005; Bompi Cup champion, 2005; Canada Cup East champion, 2004; and the St. John’s Freedom of the City honouree; and an Olympic gold medal in 2006 in Turin, Italy.

In May of 2006, Mr. Adam’s received an honourary Doctor of Laws degree from Memorial University. Throughout 2006, he has been part of a tour of schools in Newfoundland and Labrador, in conjunction with the departments of Education and Tourism, Culture and Recreation, to encourage the youth of the province to follow their dreams and understand that attaining goals is a well-planned journey. Most recently, Mr. Adam’s was awarded the Luminus Award from Memorial University which recognizes the personal, physical and financial challenges experienced by individuals as they strive to eliminate barriers and make sport accessible to anyone who wishes to build upon a career in sports.

Exhibiting time and time again that years of dedicated work, unstinting effort and peerless achievement in both training and competition, Mr. Adam’s has proven that the realization of a sports dream is within the grasp of a focused athlete. The provincial Curling Association has established an Under 17 Championship and is contemplating an Under 14 Championship, thus reaffirming the renewed focus on the provincial curling community and the dreams of young athletes who began their careers like Mike Adams.

Mike Adams success in the curling world speaks to the generation of elite athletes that abound in Newfoundland and Labrador, and the great strides that have been made in the development of a vibrant sports community that is becoming more and more well-known and celebrated at Atlantic, national and international levels.

Sister Kathrine Bellamy, R.S.M.
It has often been said that singing is praying twice. Based on this adage and the extraordinary leadership and achievements in the music education of children in Newfoundland and Labrador under Sister Kathrine Bellamy, many prayers were raised to the heavens.

In 1967, Sister Kathrine embarked upon studies in music and literature at DePaul University in Chicago and the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She completed a bachelor’s degree, masters of music (history) degree and, in 1973, was awarded a PhD in musicology from the University of Wisconsin.

Exposing her students to an extensive musical repertoire, Sister Kathrine established classroom singing so that all 1,100 children in grades kindergarten to eight at Our Lady of Mercy School in St. John’s could have exposure to music. Additionally, she taught a 120 voice girls glee club and gave private music lessons. Throughout her illustrious career, she taught choirs for girls, boys and adult choirs and, upon her retirement from teaching, became choir director and organist at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist for almost 25 years.

Through her many years of teaching and inspiring thousands of children in Newfoundland and Labrador, a new generation of educators and leaders has emerged to pass on the gift of music. They have maintained her high musical standards and have contributed to not only the musical tradition of the province, but the culture and life of Canada as a whole.

Sister Kathrine Bellamy has also dedicated her efforts to community outreach to the less fortunate through food banks, housing initiatives and food sharing associations. She also became a published author in 2005, showcasing the extensive research she completed in Newfoundland, Ireland, England and the United States regarding the history of the Sisters of Mercy in Newfoundland.

Sister Kathrine Bellamy has been a gentle, loving yet powerful force to the many lives that she has touched. She has made her life a mission of leadership, dedication, musicianship and service to others.

Mary G. Furey
Having spent a lifetime as a volunteer, helping the needy and less fortunate in society, Ms. Furey knows first hand what commitment to others can inspire. Her commitment to her family in the face of adversity is nothing less than remarkable – the fruits of which are readily seen in the lives of the exceptional family she produced.

When difficult circumstances forced Ms. Furey to place her eight children in St. John’s orphanages, she began working in one of the orphanages. Toiling in obscurity as a cook, she kept a watchful eye over her children, ensuring they were properly cared for and educated. Once they were grown, she resigned and worked at various jobs within the community.

Upon retirement, Mary Furey embarked upon a volunteer career, working diligently for numerous charities including St. Pius X Parish, where she is currently involved; St. Patrick’s Mercy Home; and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

The steadfast love and devotion of this woman has resulted in thousands of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians reaping immense dividends from the exceptional children she raised. Her children produced a rich harvest for our people: teachers, writers, member of a religious order, a Senator, a banker, a former member of the Provincial Cabinet and the executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation.

Ms. Furey has achieved excellence against formidable circumstances, raising motherhood to a new level. Recognition of her efforts is, in essence, a recognition of all mothers in Newfoundland and Labrador who, over the decades, with courage and devotion, helped their children brave a perilous life and achieve outstanding results.

She embodies the true essence of the Newfoundland and Labrador spirit – ardent character, exceptional work ethic, and a perseverance to succeed against the most imposing circumstances.

Bradley Gushue
Bradley Gushue, a six-time provincial junior curling champion, has quickly become one of the most renowned curlers in Canada and, indeed, the world. At the junior level, in 2001, he won not only the provincial championship, but the national championship and the world championships as well.

Following his successful junior career, Mr. Gushue quickly became one of the province’s best curlers. He qualified for the 2003 Brier, finishing with a 6-5 record. By the 2004 Brier, Brad Gushue’s team finished with an 8-4 record, proving that he had now become one of the best curlers in the country. Then, in December 2005, the Newfoundland and Labrador rink successfully competed in the Canadian Olympic trials, winning the right to represent Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympics. Then, in 2006, he won the highest curling honour, an Olympic gold medal in Turin, Italy.

In May of 2006, Mr. Gushue received an honourary Doctor of Laws degree from Memorial University. Throughout 2006, he has been part of a tour of schools in Newfoundland and Labrador, in conjunction with the departments of Education and Tourism, Culture and Recreation, to encourage the youth of the province to follow their dreams and understand that attaining goals is a well-planned journey. Most recently, he was awarded the Luminus Award from Memorial University which recognizes the personal, physical and financial challenges experienced by individuals as they strive to eliminate barriers and make sport accessible to anyone who wishes to build upon a career in sports.

The affect Brad Gushue has had on the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, particularly the youth of the province, has been both immediate and long term. There are perhaps few citizens of the province who do not remember where they were as the final game played out on February 24, 2006. More young people than ever before in the province have taken up the sport of curling, with youth membership increasing by 80 per cent.

On many levels and for many different reasons, Mr. Gushue has affected the lives of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. There are many athletes who felt an affinity with him as the final end was played; there are numerous parents who understood the pride implied by a T-shirt worn by Brad Gushue’s father during the 2006 Olympic games which stated "Brad’s Dad," and the heartfelt pride of a young man who called his mother immediately following the gold medal win. There are many people who, although not involved in the athletic community, have felt the impact Brad Gushue has had on the province, immeasurably raising the profile of Newfoundland and Labrador on the world stage.

Jamie A. Korab
Jamie Korab has demonstrated excellence in his field with the realization of an Olympic 2006 gold medal in curling, thereby benefiting the province and its citizens in an outstanding manner. He embodies the very essence of the spirit of Newfoundland and Labrador, in sport and other areas of endeavour.

In May of 2006, Mr. Korab received an honourary doctor of laws degree from Memorial University. Throughout 2006, he has been part of a tour of schools in Newfoundland and Labrador, in conjunction with the departments of Education and Tourism, Culture and Recreation, to encourage the youth of the province to follow their dreams and understand that attaining goals is a well-planned journey. Most recently, he was awarded the Luminus Award from Memorial University which recognizes the personal, physical and financial challenges experienced by individuals as they strive to eliminate barriers and make sport accessible to anyone who wishes to build upon a career in sports.

Jamie Korab has been cited as one of the best prepared athletes to compete at the Olympic level. He has proven that hard work and a fierce passion for a sport result not only in the privilege of participating in a sport you love, but also result in securing a place in the sport history of our province. Mr. Korab has made great contributions to fostering the development of curling in the province, and now shares his experiences with others on how sport can bring together youth from every corner of the globe in the spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

Highlighting the raw talent of athletes in a province of only half a million people, Mr. Korab’s accomplishments speak to the excellence that permeates the athletic endeavours of countless young men and women in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Dedicated and determined have become the adjectives to describe influential athletes such as Jamie Korab – athletes who have inspired many of the province’s children to work diligently to attain their personal goals.

Mark Nichols
Born in Labrador City, Mark Nichols has the distinction of participating in three Canadian Junior Curling Championships and three Briers. He is also known for his promotion of sport as a contributor toward character building, as he understands the many valuable life lessons that are learned through team and individual sports.

Mark Nichols is renowned for the spectacular shot he threw during the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin. In the sixth end of the final game against Finland, he was responsible for running back a guard onto another stone which, in turn, picked another rock that was sitting on the button. This significantly impacted the gold medal game, helping Canada to score six points.

After helping secure the win for Canada, Mr. Nichols’ modesty regarding his accomplishment was most evident when he stated: "It was about time I curled that well. These guys have been holding me in all week." It is such modesty which permeates all of Mark Nichols’ accomplishments, including his victory in the final of the Hot Shots skills competition at the 2005 Brier. Following his monumental shots at the 2005 Canadian curling trials, he was cited as one of the most talented curlers to be involved in the sport.

In May of 2006, Mr. Nichols received an honourary Doctor of Laws degree from Memorial University. Throughout 2006, he has been part of a tour of schools in Newfoundland and Labrador, in conjunction with the Departments of Education and Tourism, Culture and Recreation, to encourage the youth of the province to follow their dreams and understand that attaining goals is a well-planned journey. Most recently, he was awarded the Luminus Award from Memorial University which recognizes the personal, physical and financial challenges experienced by individuals as they strive to eliminate barriers and make sport accessible to anyone who wishes to build upon a career in sports.

Mr. Nichols was also named the 2000 and 2001 Labrador City Athlete of the Year, and was named to two Canadian junior championships all-star teams in 2000 and 2001. His legacy will live on as the curler whose accuracy rate was near perfection during the game that placed Newfoundland and Labrador as the pinnacle of the curling community when the 2006 Olympic gold medal was realized.

Tobias F. McDonald
On February 24, 2006, Newfoundland and Labrador, along with the rest of Canada, stood united in sport as a gold medal game played out in Turin, Italy. Schools were officially closed to allow children the opportunity to witness one of the most monumental sporting events in the history of the province. Toby McDonald, in his coaching capacity, stood united in support on that same day with a group of men who won the privilege of displaying gold.

Mr. McDonald has had an illustrious career in the curling world as a coach and as a curler, having been a member of teams which participated at the Canadian National Curling Championships in the junior, mixed, and men’s competitions on 11 occasions, as well as the Olympic Trials, the Canada Winter Games and the Olympics. Coaching highlights include: the 2006 Olympic Gold Medallists, 2005 Tim Horton’s Olympic Trials Champions and the national 2006 Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Award. Toby McDonald’s curling highlights include being a member of the Jack MacDuff Team which captured the Brier in 1976 and being selected by his peers as the winner of the 1998 Ross Hartstone Sportsmanship Award at the Brier.

In May of 2006, Mr. McDonald received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Memorial University. He had been appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2004. Most recently, he was awarded the Luminus Award from Memorial University which recognizes the personal, physical and financial challenges experienced by individuals as they strive to eliminate barriers and make sport accessible to anyone who wishes to build upon a career in sports.

Toby McDonald has displayed unprecedented and extraordinary achievement throughout his sporting career, gaining lasting recognition for his incredible achievement in sport and recognition for the province overall. The selfless dedication and commitment which coaching entails, coupled with the excellence he has demonstrated in his field, puts Mr. McDonald in a category of his own. This dedication is best summarized in his comments following the Olympic gold medal game when he said: "We were focused on keeping our game at the level we needed to be at to win. To do that, we’d worked long and hard at controlling our emotions."

The success of the leadership showed by Toby McDonald in his many coaching endeavours, along with his vast rink experience in various capacities, has awarded him a celebrated place in the sporting history of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Bessie Merrigan
Bessie Merrigan has been a committed volunteer in the literacy movement in Newfoundland and Labrador for more than three decades. Employed as a coordinator of the Student Success Centre at the College of the North Atlantic in Corner Brook, this passion for literacy grew out of the devastating effects illiteracy was having on her clients. Ms. Merrigan was motivated to dedicate thousands of hours to promoting reading and writing skills for the young and old alike.

Bessie Merrigan began her quest to improve literacy from the ground up, becoming a tutor herself and, eventually, becoming engaged in training other tutors. She has been involved in the literacy movement for more than 30 years, including various positions at the local, provincial and national levels. From her initial attempt at helping adults around her kitchen table in the community of Buchans where she taught, to chairing national conferences on the subject, Ms. Merrigan is revered as one of the strengths of the Humber Literacy Council that has contributed to its continued growth.

Holding tightly to her belief in the importance of "literacy from birth to the grave," Ms. Merrigan has distributed the "first book" to newborns at Western Memorial Hospital. She has read to young children at Storybook Breakfasts and Books for Babies birthday parties. She patiently tutors adults, and provides encouragement to families with school-age children. She encourages seniors at the mall during the annual Loonies for Literacy campaigns, and she designs and sews quilts to raise money for resources for the local adult literacy program. Every conference on literacy on the local, provincial and national level has the distinction of having the Bessie Merrigan signature.

Bessie Merrigan has been recognized with the MUN Alumni Association Outstanding Community Service Award this year; the 2005 Canada Post Literacy Award; the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002; the 2001 Newfoundland and Labrador Volunteer Service Medal; and the Canada’s Literacy Volunteer Award in 1990. She has spearheaded a national strategic plan for literacy, as well as the set up of a new national office in Ottawa. Despite these accolades, Ms. Merrigan remains steadfast at the community grassroots level, whether it’s talking with a learner, printing signs or setting up tables at the local mall.

Bessie Merrigan epitomizes the volunteer spirit that has profoundly affected the lives of countless Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Russ Howard
Often touted as an honourary Newfoundland and Labradorian since he made history at the 2006 Winter Olympics, Russ Howard has contributed to the wealth of curling knowledge for which Newfoundland and Labrador has become known.

He is the innovator of the Moncton Rule which eventually evolved into the Free Guard Zone, part of international and Olympic rules. This distinction makes the 2006 gold medal win in Turin particularly significant, as it is likely that without the excitement this rule adds to the sport, curling would not have become an Olympic event in the 1990s.

In May of 2006, Mr. Howard received an honourary Doctor of Laws degree from Memorial University. Most recently, he was awarded the Luminus Award from Memorial University which recognizes the personal, physical and financial challenges experienced by individuals as they strive to eliminate barriers and make sport accessible to anyone who wishes to build upon a career in sports.

With 13 Brier appearances to his credit, as well as the record for the most Brier wins, Russ Howard is renowned for his ability to encourage other curlers to achieve their personal best. He is known as a charismatic, boisterous team player and an advocate for young curlers, as evidenced in his time as the honourary chairman for the Ontario Elementary Curling Championships.

The impact which the province has had upon Mr. Howard will be engrained in his heart forever. When a gold medal was placed around his neck, his affinity to Newfoundland and Labrador was sealed. He has been and continues to be a source of inspiration for curling enthusiasts, and has become a household name in the province.

2006 12 08                                 10:00 a.m.


SearchHomeBack to GovernmentContact Us


All material copyright the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. No unauthorized copying or redeployment permitted. The Government assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of any material deployed on an unauthorized server.
Disclaimer/Copyright/Privacy Statement