Inductees into the Order of
Newfoundland and Labrador
Gerard Cantwell Blackmore
The lore of this province, its people, and its
history are quintessential components that embody our
moral fibre. It creates in
each of us an unspeakable feeling and sense of what it
means to be a Newfoundlander and Labradorian. Gerard
Cantwell Blackmore, throughout his career and enduring
passions has put to words, songs and performances the
history, memories and recollections of this province. He
has captured the very essence of our provincial spirit
and presented it to us as a gift, adding another chapter
in our colourful and
Mr. Blackmore, born in the town of Grand Falls in
1942, has a long list of attributes – educator,
musician, writer, songwriter, composer, conductor,
producer and director. He has used them all to give this
province a sense of where we have come from, who we are,
and to pass on the history, traditions and pride to
As an educator, Mr. Blackmore incorporated methods of
teaching through theatre that were ahead of its time.
Going beyond basic book knowledge, he created his own
plays and music. Through performance, he instilled
confidence and social skills in his students, all the
while using the communities and their people as
extensions to his classrooms.
His work in helping establish the Folk of the Sea
Choir in the early 1990s came at a time when rural
Newfoundland and Labrador was undergoing monumental
change. After the collapse of the fishery, his vision
gave a voice back to a way of life that many saw
disappearing, capturing its heart, and keeping alive its
Having had in his audience for a variety of
performances such dignitaries as Her Majesty the Queen
and Prime Minister Chrétien, among many others, Mr.
Blackmore remained true to form in telling our story,
and showing us and the world the vibrant legacy we
share. After witnessing the opening ceremonies to the
1999 Canada Winter Games held in Corner Brook, Prime
Minister Chrétien acknowledged that Mr. Blackmore’s
production had set the standard for all future Winter
Games – a statement that played a role in his hiring as
a Creative Consultant by the next host city of London,
There is little doubt that his marrow was born from
the land and people that he so passionately captured
with his words and music. The artistic pieces Mr.
Blackmore has created will continue to inspire for
generations. His work is a testament of his love for
Donna J. Butt
The craft of entertaining is a long held tradition in
Newfoundland and Labrador. From fishing villages to the
towns and communities spread across this land, the art
of song, storytelling and acting has preserved our oral
tradition and captured our origins. Donna Butt, through
her talents and dedication, has become one of these
purveyors of culture, a caretaker of our past, a modern
day troubadour, and a reflecting pool of the present.
A native of Whitbourne and with family roots in
Spaniard’s Bay and Carbonear, Ms. Butt has been
instrumental in developing our most valued natural
resources in Newfoundland and Labrador: the people, our
stories, traditions and place in this world. From this
raw material she has helped create the Rising Tide
Theatre, REVUE, the Trinity Pageant – The New Founde
Lande, the Seasons in the Bight Festival, and the
Trinity Arts Centre.
Ms. Butt’s body of work has set a standard for how we
see ourselves, recount our history and tell our story.
Beyond the act of dramatizing our narrative, satirizing
our recent past and celebrating ourselves, she has
helped shape an economic model of tourism that has
boosted economies, employment and social awareness. Her
vision has helped cultivate the rich field of
entertainers across the province, leading to the
creation of a new tradition of festivals and pageants
throughout other communities.
The success of the Trinity Bight area as a major
destination for tourists exists, in part, to Ms. Butt’s
determination to see professional theatre alive in the
communities that inspire it. Her desire to bring our
history and culture alive has been vital to the
reclamation of the province’s tourism growth and an
instrument for how our stories are passed on.
Ms. Butt has had much deserved recognition for her
talents and artistic entrepreneurial spirit, having been
named the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council’s
Artist of the Year, awarded the prestigious Tourism
Award from Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, was
conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree from
Memorial University, and in 2003 was named a Member of
the Order of Canada.
There is truly no doubt that the rich tradition of
arts and entertainment is alive in this province today
because of people like Donna Butt. Her enthusiasm in
acting, directing, producing and writing has benefited
us all. As an entertainer she has become a conduit for
our history, a memory from our past, and a voice for our
When Jon Lien accepted a position at Memorial
University in 1968, he made an enduring commitment to a
new country, a unique province and a people that he
would serve. He brought new ideas to his students and
eventually to communities throughout the province. His
dedication to ecology and its interdependence helped
forge a new way of thinking among many Newfoundlanders
and Labradorians and beyond.
Hailing from South Dakota, Dr. Lien was first
enamored by the beauty of Newfoundland and Labrador and
its coves and bays. His principal research interest was
the application of animal behaviour to marine and
conservation management and as time went on he found his
way into almost every outport community in the province
through his research or whale and trap recovery program.
He bonded to the people, young and old. His ideas and
serious work ethic were admired and he became an
advocate for animal and fisherman alike.
Dr. Lien is credited with saving hundreds of whales
trapped in fishing gear but he always considered the
"endangered fisherman" as well, helping them mend their
nets after an encounter and encouraging them to tell
Schools and tour operations were given wildlife
specimens and educational posters to tell the story of
the province’s whales, fishing gear, seals and seabirds.
The Whale Research Group at Memorial University
developed a wide range of materials for public use. A
good deal of the special artwork was done by
Newfoundland artist, Don Wright. Both government and
industry benefited from Dr. Lien’s commitment to
education and a model for whale watching protocol was
also established. Students came from around the world to
study and work with the Whale Research Group and
experience the province’s rich marine environment. The
bio-psychology major at Memorial developed by Dr. Lien
and his colleagues was unique within Canada.
Dr. Lien was a leader in the creation of the Canadian
Parks and Wilderness Society- Newfoundland Chapter, the
Protected Areas Association of Newfoundland and Labrador
and he helped generate initiatives for National Parks
and Marine Protected Areas across Canada. He served
enthusiastically on the nine-member Federal Minister’s
Advisory Committee on Oceans until 2004 and especially
enjoyed his earlier work on the first Fisheries Resource
Conservation Council in 1993 and the Environmental
Assessment Panel for the Terra Nova Offshore Group with
Dr. Leslie Harris in 1996. For his work he has received
many notable awards.
He is at home behind a podium, in a fishing boat, in
the belly of a whale or in a fisherman’s kitchen.
Hazel R. Newhook
Every journey begins with a first step. Hazel Rose
Newhook did not take the well-trodden path on her
voyage; she broke new ground, overcame traditional
gender roles, and established a reputation built on
principles and doing what is right. Ms. Newhook’s
trailblazing compass has opened doors for people all
across this province. Her know-how in business has led
to highly successful ventures. And, her dedication to
her community and Newfoundland and Labrador has paved a
road for generations to come.
Born in Grand Falls on Christmas Eve 1914, Ms.
Newhook has established a reputation that signifies
dependability, trust, and willingness to give her time
to help those around her.
In 1947 when she moved to Gander with her husband
Harry, she bought a taxi company and started her
business career. This grew into a bus company, service
station, and an auto parts and specialty store. She was
known for helping people any time of the day or night,
365 days a year, a trait she would carry with her as she
entered public life.
Ms. Newhook gave her early years of community
involvement to the Board of Directors on the Gander
Chamber of Commerce, the James Paton Memorial Hospital,
as well as serving on the Board of Regents of Memorial
University. In 1975 she ran for the Gander Town Council,
and became one of the first women in the province to
hold the office of mayor.
In 1979, she was asked by Premier Brian Peckford to
run for the provincial district of Gander, soon after
becoming the second woman in Newfoundland and Labrador
provincial politics to be appointed to Cabinet.
After her retirement from provincial politics in
1985, she dedicated herself to her community of Gander
and became a fulltime volunteer, determined to solve
issues that existed in her area regarding women and
Ms. Newhook took an active role as the treasurer of
the Gander Status of Women Council, helped establish and
sat on the board for Cara Transition House, and served
as a member of the Alternative Members Organization, the
Goodwill Centre and the Outreach Social Action
In 1993 she was recognized for her successful
business career and inducted into the Atlantic Hall of
Fame for Women Entrepreneurs.
Ms. Newhook has had many careers throughout her life,
each aimed at giving and providing for people who need
it the most. She is truly a representation of all that
is good in this province, she is a role model for women,
and has set the bar very high for everyone.
Gladys Manuel Osmond
The power of a letter from home, reading words of
comfort, the reminder that someone out there is thinking
about you has the ability to lift spirits, provide
strength and comfort the homesick. For the members of
the Canadian Forces stationed all around the world,
Gladys Vivian Osmond has become that source of comfort,
the voice of love, and reminder of home. Since retiring
over 20 years ago, Ms. Osmond has dedicated herself to
making sure that no member of our armed services will
feel alone while on duty, and that wherever they are in
the world they are in her thoughts and heart.
Sending more than a thousand letters, cards, and
e-mails a month, Ms. Osmond is a direct line home for
members of the military. Whether they are hundreds of
miles offshore, under the hot sun in Afghanistan or
anywhere our Forces are sent, she finds them. Ms.
Osmond, known to some of the troops as Grandma, has
become for many, an inspiration and reminder of why they
do their jobs.
Ms. Osmond has spent her life, in some form, giving
to everyone around her. In her early days as a
schoolteacher in a one-room school, when school was not
mandatory, she encouraged children to attend classes.
With her participation, organizations such as the Scouts
and Cadets were established in the town of Peterview. As
a member of the clergy in the Salvation Army in this
province and Toronto, where she worked at a centre for
homeless and battered women, she warmed and comforted
the hearts of many.
In 1988 she moved to the town of Springdale to retire
and started a new career of morale boosting for members
of the Canadian Forces, as well as dozens of
missionaries around the world. Her letter writing
campaign influenced many around her. The playfully named
Valley Vista ‘Granny Brigade’ formed and took part in
writing to the Armed Forces and the consuming task of
mailing over 10,000 letters a year.
While Ms. Osmond has never looked for a reward for
her selflessness, she has been recognized most
deservedly for her work, receiving an Honourary
Doctorate of Laws from Memorial University, the Canadian
Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service, the Governor
General’s Caring Canadian Award, Certificates from more
than 50 Commanding Officers, a Commander’s Commendations
from General Rick Hillier, the Mariner of the Month on
the HMCS Regina, along with many more tokens of
gratitude, letters of thanks and well wishes from the
many people she has touched over the years.
Her letters to "Any Canadian Soldier" have provided
the comfort of home for thousands of military personnel
over the past two decades. Ms. Osmond in her actions has
shown the true spirit of this province – selfless giving
and always being there for those who need it.
John Crosbie Perlin
Philanthropist, organizer, conservationist and
volunteer are just some of the words that describe John
Crosbie Perlin. He has lent himself to many causes,
passions, and activities that will be felt for
generations. The broad wake trailing behind him will
continue to wash over this province and build momentum
as he carries on and persists in finding more of himself
to give to Newfoundland and Labrador.
It would be a feat to name all of the organizations
that he has helped found, chair, govern and volunteer
with over the years. In a more simple summation of his
character, Mr. Perlin is a humanitarian, an impassioned
caretaker of the environment, a promoter of culture, and
a human spotlight that has helped illuminate the
achievements of many in this province.
Mr. Perlin has been involved with over 50 charitable,
community, provincial and national organizations. In
some regard he has contributed to founding, operating or
maintaining organizations such as the Newfoundland and
Labrador Legacy Nature Trust, Wildlife Habitat Canada,
the Terra Nova Committee, The Newfoundland and Labrador
Drama Society, The Vera Perlin Society, The Newfoundland
and Labrador Community Services Council, the Royal St.
John’s Regatta, the Newfoundland Society for the
Disabled, the Quidi Vidi Rennies River Development
Foundation, the Perlin Family Charitable Trust, the
Fluvarium and many more.
Mr. Perlin’s work with the Quidi Vidi Rennies River
Development Foundation has transformed itself into much
of the Grand Concourse trail system that winds through
St. John’s. In part, his efforts led to the prestigious
designation of Royal being bestowed upon the Royal St.
John’s Regatta, as well as helping acquire a Coat of
Arms for the committee. He has been appointed by Her
Majesty the Queen as a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian
Order, later promoted to Commander. He is a Member of
the Order of Canada, has received the Queen’s Silver and
Golden Jubilee Medals, the Canada 125 Medal and many
other distinguished honours. He is a Knight Commander in
The Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of
Jerusalem in Canada, was National President of the Duke
of Edinburgh Award, the St. John’s Citizen of the Year
in 1988, and serves as the Chairman of the NL Salvation
Army Advisory Board.
There are a multitude of other activities,
organizations and accomplishments that Mr. Perlin has
been involved with not mentioned here. It is clear that
he has given himself freely and most wholeheartedly to
communities, people, the province and country. His
involvement is a precursor for success, and a sign that
a greater good will be the product of his
The true spirit of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians
can be seen in their actions, what they give of
themselves, and how they affect those around them.
Margaret Pike has exuded this spirit throughout her
life, having dedicated herself to a cause, tirelessly
advocating for the rights and respect of people with
disabilities, and in turn making a difference in the
quality of life for thousands of people across this
Ms. Pike has shown that once you set your mind and
heart to a cause, your potential for success is
limitless. In 1979 Ms. Pike became a member of the
Labrador West Association for Community Living, an
organization whose goal is to lobby for the full
inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.
Since that day she has become a tireless advocate,
educator and volunteer, bringing the issue of inclusion
to medical, educational and political associations
throughout the province.
Born in the town of Bloomfield, Ms. Pike made her way
to Labrador in 1974, and lived there until 2007. The
impact she has made in the communities where she has
lived will be felt for a long time. She sat on the board
of directors for the Labrador West and Canadian
Associations for Community Living, the Health Labrador
Corporation, and was a founding member of the Labrador
West Healthy Communities Coalition, and the Labrador
West Employment Corporation. She currently sits on the
board of directors of the Newfoundland & Labrador
Association for Community Living. Her dedication
to these groups, and her work with countless other
committees and associations have proven invaluable to
their success and progress.
With Ms. Pike’s guidance, the Labrador West
Employment Centre Corporation has successfully employed
over 100 individuals with meaningful employment. She is
also responsible, in part, for the creation of the
CACL/Ken Gage Memorial Bowling Tournament, the LWACL’s
primary fundraiser, which has raised over $200,000.
Guided by values of equality, honesty and compassion,
Ms. Pike has travelled the
province advancing the rights of people with
developmental disabilities. Her work has positively
affected thousands of people, their families and their
communities. It is Ms. Pike’s belief that all people
have value, a principle that is a cornerstone of this
The act of giving is a demonstration of love and a
priceless gift to the recipient. Ms. Pike is the epitome
of selfless giving, and symbolizes the good that we can
all achieve if we put our hearts and minds to a cause
and see it through.
Geoffrey Alan Perry
It was in seeing his own cultural and historical past
alive and well in a foreign country that forever has
tied Dr. Alan Perry to Newfoundland and Labrador. As one
of the founding members of the Wessex Newfoundland
Society, he has continually and most fastidiously
promoted, encouraged, and advanced the documentation,
preservation and education of Newfoundland and
Labrador’s history with that of its English and European
Now residing in Wimbourne, Dorset, Dr. Perry visited
this province in the 1980s to follow the path traversed
by the historical people of Poole, England, his
ancestors and countrymen. Upon his arrival he saw the
crossroads of his culture where the seedlings of life,
culture and history were transplanted to the New World.
Dr. Perry’s contributions to this province are felt
both here and in his home country of England. His direct
impact here can be seen in the founding of the Wessex
Newfoundland Society, the proposal and fundraising
efforts to restore the Lester Garland House in Trinity,
initiating the formation of the Trinity Trust Charities
in Newfoundland and England, the writing of the History
of Poole in Dorset for Volume Four in The Encyclopedia
of Newfoundland and Labrador, and bringing a BBC and
National Geographic film crew to the province to create
‘The People of the Sea’. Among other distinctions he has
received, Dr. Perry was conferred a Doctorate of Laws
from Memorial University.
The consummate purveyor of the province’s links to
Dorset, Dr. Perry has hosted on several occasions
students from Memorial University, providing them with
tours and an access to incomparable historical
knowledge. His work abroad in honour
of this province has resulted in the twinning of
Memorial University with Bournemouth University in
Dorset, an appointment to the Harlow Campus Board of
Trustees, and later to serve also as Chairman. For his
efforts, he was made an Officer of the British Empire
for his work in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Currently, together with Memorial and Bournemouth
Universities, Dr. Perry is involved with Cupids 400
festivities which will celebrate the establishment of
the first English colony in Canada.
Dr. Perry’s commitment to this province is enduring
and has left an indelible mark on our historical psyche.
Although he was born on the other side of the Atlantic,
his determination, dedication and respectability has
been a long sought-after import and cornerstone of this
Geoffrey William Stirling
A communications pioneer and visionary, Geoffrey
William Stirling, whose entrepreneurial spirit is only
equaled by his dedication to Newfoundland and Labrador,
has left deep footprints throughout this province from
pre-Confederation days to the present.
Born in St. John’s in 1921, Mr. Stirling has built a
career and life from the media enterprises he has
fostered from inception to success. Currently the
Chairman of the Board of Stirling Communications
International, the parent company of NTV, OZ FM, and
The Newfoundland Herald, Mr. Stirling’s
contributions to this province are forever woven into
its history and founding stories.
Mr. Stirling’s first endeavours
into the provincial psyche came in the form of The
Sunday Herald in 1946, which was for him a
labour of love and dedication.
He poured himself into his work by serving as the
writer, marketer, and printer and also put the final
touches on the process by delivering copies
Building on his initial successes in print and
shortly thereafter launching the province’s second radio
station – CJON, Mr. Stirling, in 1955, started the
province’s first television station in St. John’s – CJON-TV.
Out of this station grew others that dotted the
province, eventually becoming what we know today as NTV.
This first foray into the realm of television has left a
permanent mark on the people of this province. The
geographic isolation that once separated us was
diminished, opening not only "(our) window on the world"
but reflecting the culture of our people back upon
itself. This endeavour alone
helped shape who we were as a province and what it meant
to be a Newfoundlander and Labradorian.
Under Mr. Stirling’s vision, many careers have been
launched, and his contributions to community and
charitable causes are commendable and ongoing.
Mr. Stirling’s accomplishments are many. As a member
of the Newfoundland and Labrador Business Hall of Fame,
the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame, and
the Royal St. John’s Regatta Hall of Fame, this
broadcaster, printer, publisher, author, athlete, and
film maker has cut a wide swath across our land. He has
helped bring the world to our doorsteps, all the while
documenting with great care the people, culture and
heritage of this province, preserving it forever.
2009 12 11 10:20 a.m.