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Executive Council
December 11, 2009

Order of Newfoundland and Labrador Recipients
Invested at Government House

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

The Honourable John Crosbie, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador and Chancellor of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador, invested eight individuals into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador at a ceremony at Government House today. Mr. Crosbie was joined by the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, who participated in today’s induction ceremony.

The inductees to the Order are Gerard Cantwell Blackmore, Donna J. Butt, Jon Lien, Hazel R. Newhook, Gladys Manuel Osmond, John Crosbie Perlin, and Margaret Pike. Alan Perry was invested as an honourary member of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. Geoffrey William Stirling will be inducted at a later time.

"It gives me great pleasure to welcome these individuals as our newest inductees into the Order, which is this province’s highest honour," said Mr. Crosbie. "I congratulate each of them and thank them for their personal and professional contributions to our province, which are certainly deserving of this award."

"The Order is a wonderful way to recognize the many outstanding Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who, on a daily basis, shape our province through their unbridled dedication and passion," said Premier Williams. "These newest inductees represent a spirit of innovation, creativity, generosity, and compassion that has profoundly impacted the lives of so many of our residents. I am extremely honoured to join them for this momentous occasion in their lives and for the province."

The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavor benefiting in an outstanding manner Newfoundland and Labrador and its residents. An individual who is not a Canadian citizen or current or former long-term resident of the province, but who has demonstrated excellence in their field, and has benefited the province and its residents in an outstanding manner, may be nominated as an honourary member.

As Chancellor of the Order, the Lieutenant Governor presented an insignia of the Order, a stylized pitcher plant, to each inductee, as well as a miniature of the insignia, a lapel pin and a certificate signed by the Chancellor and sealed with the Seal of the Order.

Nominations for the next induction into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador may be made until January 31, 2010. Any person or groups may nominate an individual for recognition by the Order. An independent group called the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador Advisory Council selects members to be invested into the Order after considering all nominations received.

For more information, please visit www.gov.nl.ca/onl.

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Media contacts:

Gary Cake
Private Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor
Government House
709-729-4494
garycake@gov.nl.ca
Elizabeth Matthews
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
elizabethmatthews@gov.nl.ca
Andrea Nolan
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
709-729-4304, 727-0991
andreanolan@gov.nl.ca
 

 

BACKGROUNDER
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 celebrated history.

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 future generations.

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 story.

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, Ontario.

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 this province.

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 future.

Jon Lien
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 their story.

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 youth.

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 Committee.

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 endeavours.

Margaret Pike
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 province.

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 province.

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 roots.

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 province.

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 door-to-door.

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.
 


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