Children, Seniors and Social Development
July 14, 2017

Minister Gambin-Walsh Announces Appointments to Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors

Today, the Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh, Minster of Children, Seniors and Social Development, announced the appointment of five new members, and the re-appointment of two others, to the Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors. The council advocates on behalf of seniors province-wide including issues facing older adults and identifies opportunities to promote independent, active, healthy aging.

The new appointments to the council are Noreen Careen of Labrador City, Doreen Chaulk of Deer Lake, William Eaton of St. John’s, Helen Handrigan of St. John's and Judy Pardy, Cartwright. Re-appointments to the council are Linda Oldford of Gander and Wayde Rowsell of St. Lawrence. They join the remainder of the council's current members, Leo Bonnell of Clarenville, Shirley Boone of Mount Pearl, Maggie Chambers of Flower’s Cove, Winston Childs of Pasadena, Maisie Clark of Campbellton, Damien Collier of Goulds, Cecilia Hickey of Grand Falls-Windsor, Joan Hutchings of Mobile and Shirley Letto of L’Anse au Clair. Biographical information is included in the backgrounder below.

The The Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors advises government in preparing for an aging population by ensuring that a seniors' perspective is reflected in policy development and in planning for future service delivery. The mandate of this council is to advise and inform government on issues, concerns and needs of seniors. The council provides a mechanism for seniors to have a strong voice in the development of comprehensive programming to support the independence and well-being of an aging population.

“With our government’s enhanced focus on our older adults, the Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors provides a valuable resource, helping ensure seniors remain healthy, active, engaged citizens, and that they are always provided with the respect and dignity they deserve. I would like to thank outgoing council members Patricia Burton and Josephine Waddleton for their dedication and advice. I would also like to thank outgoing chair, Leo Bonnell, for his commitment, having served on the council in the capacity as chairperson for 10 years. The valuable input of council members is so important to advancing seniors issues.”/> Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh
Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development

"Representing a diverse cross-section of seniors, and other individuals who are familiar with seniors' issues, the council has been a strong voice throughout the province. For more than 10 years, the council has provided valuable input and sound advice. As our population continues to age, I look forward to contributing; working with council and the minister in bringing seniors issues to the forefront.”
Linda Oldford
Incoming Chair, Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors

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Media contact
Krista Dalton
Children, Seniors and Social Development
709-729-3768, 685-6492


Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors

New Appointments

Noreen Careen, Labrador City
Having an undergraduate degree in women’s studies, Noreen Careen was Executive Director of the Labrador West Status of Women’s Council for more than 20 years. She served in a variety of roles with the Hope Haven’s Women’s Shelter for over 20 years and was involved with many other initiatives, from family resource centres to the Labrador West Housing and Homelessness Coalition and the Newfoundland and Labrador Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse through SeniorsNL.

Doreen Chaulk, Deer Lake
Doreen Chaulk has a lengthy history in health care in Newfoundland and Labrador. Graduating as a nurse she also received a Master’s in Science in 2001. She served in many capacities including faculty member at Western Memorial School of Nursing; Director of Addictions with the Department of Health and Community Services; and as Assistant Chief Executive Officer with Western Regional Health Authority.

William Eaton, St. John's
William Eaton received his Masters of Medicine in 1974. From 1980 to 2016 he was an associate professor with Memorial University and Eastern Regional Health Authority. He was a medical doctor in palliative care and full-time faculty in family medicine. He is also a member of the educational forum organizing committee with the College of Family Physicians of Canada; served as chair of the Alzheimer Society; and was recognized by his peers for his compassion and outstanding care to patients and families. He also has a wonderful sense of humor and often does musical comedy routines.

Helen Handrigan, St. John's
Helen Handrigan received a Masters in Social Work degree in 1978 and is now a retired social worker, having 35 years of practice in acute care, family court and tenant relations. Her last position was Senior Housing Officer with the City of St. John’s. Since 2013 she has served on the Board of Directors with SeniorsNL.

Judy Pardy, Cartwright
Judy Pardy has a lengthy history in socioeconomic development with communities in Labrador. She was previously Executive Director with the Southeastern Aurora Development Corporation and has served in many capacities including archaeology and recreation roles. She is currently involved with the Sandwich Bay 50+ Club and as a peer volunteer with SeniorsNL.


Linda Oldford, Gander
Linda Oldford spent 35 years with the Federal Government-Service Canada. During that time she was a union activist and held many positions, including three terms as the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s Director for Women. Ms. Oldford is 1st Vice-President of the Newfoundland and Labrador 50+ Federation; Chair of the 50+ Club in Burnside; the Recreation and Wellness Committee; and Crime Prevention Committee. She is also the 50+ representative on the Central Wellness Board and member of the Burnside Community Association and the Anglican Church Women. Ms. Oldford has a keen interest and involvement in Indigenous culture and is a member of the St. John's Native Friendship Centre. Ms. Oldford assumes the role of Chairperson of the Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors.

Wayde Rowsell, St. Lawrence
Wayde Rowsell began his volunteer service as a Board Member of the Newfoundland Association of Public Employees, while employed as a Laboratory Technologist with the U.S. Memorial Hospital. In 1985 Mr. Rowsell was elected to the St. Lawrence Town Council and re-elected an additional six times, serving five terms as mayor. He is a founding member of the St. Lawrence Heritage Society and served on the boards of the Heritage Run Tourism Association and Greater Lamaline Area Development Association. Mr. Rowsell’s many activities include health care, economic development, workplace health and safety, heritage and sports.

Current Members

Leo Bonnell, Clarenville
Leo Bonnell is a retired bank manager and community leader who resides in Clarenville. He has been active in local community affairs throughout the province and has held leadership positions with the church board, chamber of commerce, bankers association, Lions Club International, Rotary International and other organizations. He was chair of the Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors for the past 10 years, vice-chair of the Random Age-Friendly Communities Board and is an advisory member for the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Pan-Canadian Age-Friendly Communities Reference Group.

Shirley Boone, Mount Pearl
Shirley Boone’s lengthy history of volunteerism and charitable work includes Ronald McDonald House, Candlelighters, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Kidney Foundation and more than 25 years with the Children’s Wish Foundation. Ms. Boone served as a director with the Mount Pearl Seniors Independence Group and has been chairperson since 2010. In 2009, Ms. Boone was named Volunteer of the Year by at the Newfoundland and Labrador Administrators of Volunteer Resources and Mount Pearl’s Citizen of the Year in 2012.

Maggie Chambers, Flower’s Cove
Maggie Chambers, a community leader and educator, lives in Flower’s Cove. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree with specialization in primary education, from Memorial University of Newfoundland and worked as a primary and elementary teacher for 30 years, during which time she also led many extra-curricular activities for students. She was Co-chair of NORTIP, a Community Business Development Corporation; President of the Flower’s Cove Lioness Club; councilor with the Town of Flowers Cove; Eucharistic Minister for St. Barnabas Anglican Church; treasurer of the Straits Development Association; and a member of the Straits - St. Barbe Chamber of Commerce.

Winston Childs, Pasadena
Winston Childs was born in Lark Harbour and currently resides in Pasadena. Mr. Childs served with the Canadian Armed Forces and, after retirement, moved back to Lark Harbour. He was very involved in a number of community activities including co-authoring One Hundred Years or More, describing the first hundred years of St. James Church. He has been active in the Royal Canadian Legion, Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping and the National Association of Federal Retirees. Mr. Child’s voluntary activities have primarily focused on issues impacting seniors.

Maisie Clark, Campbellton
Maisie Clark was born in Port Blandford and resides in Campbellton. Ms. Clark taught school in this province and in northern Manitoba. Because her husband served with the Canadian Air Force, she lived in a number of communities throughout Canada, the United States and Europe, where she was active through volunteer initiatives and local governments. Ms. Clark has been very involved with Girl Guides of Canada, Lewisporte and Area Chamber of Commerce and Lewisporte Area Economic Development Committee. Ms. Clark served as the mayor of CFB, Gypsumville, Manitoba and has been Mayor of Campbellton since 2001. In 2013 Ms. Clark was named one of Newfoundland and Labradors Seniors of Distinction.

Damien Collier, Goulds
Damien Collier, who currently resides in Goulds, has been involved in the education field for 29 years, first as a teacher and then as a coordinator and program specialist at the school board level. His educational accomplishments include two Bachelor of Arts degrees, a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s Degree in Education. He has also been involved in a small business for a number of years. In addition, Mr. Collier has been an executive member of the Friends of Goulds Library for more than 25 years.

Cecilia Hickey, Grand Falls-Windsor
Cecilia Hickey is a former oncology nurse and an active volunteer who lives in Grand Falls-Windsor. She has 25 years of experience in the health care system in the central region of the province. As a volunteer, she has provided leadership to many organizations and committees working in a variety of areas, including lifelong learning, cervical cancer screening, palliative care and nutrition. Ms. Hickey currently serves on the board of the Exploits Valley 50+ Club and on the committee to make Grand Falls-Windsor an increasingly age-friendly community.

Joan Hutchings, Mobile
Joan Hutchings currently lives in Mobile and is a member of the O’Connor 50+ Club and secretary-treasurer of the Bay Bulls-Bauline Crime Prevention Unit. As a member of the Crime Prevention Unit, she deals with seniors issues on a regular basis. Ms. Hutchings feels that because such a large portion of Newfoundland and Labrador’s population is 65 or older, the province needs to pay particularly close attention to issues such as health, home care, social issues and transportation, especially in rural areas.

Shirley Letto, L’Anse au Clair
Shirley Letto was born and raised on Capstan Island in Labrador and currently resides in L'Anse au Clair. During the 1960s, Ms. Letto became a teacher and taught in Mary’s Harbour and Lanse au Loup. She then became self-employed in the tourism industry and currently owns and operates a hotel in L’ Anse au Clair with her husband and two sons. Ms. Letto volunteers in many activities in and around her community, some of which involve promoting the area as a tourist destination. From 2005 to 2008, Ms. Letto held a Board of Governors appointment with the College of the North Atlantic, representing Labrador. Ms. Letto is currently involved with the local seniors club.

2017 07 14                              2:45 p.m.