Newfoundland and Labrador’s Lieutenant Governor announced yesterday the newest inductees into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador is the highest honour of the province and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting Newfoundland and Labrador and its residents in an outstanding manner. The first investiture took place in 2004. The 2011 recipients are: Alton Best; Angus A. Bruneau; Sister Elizabeth Davis; Frances Ennis; Susan Green; Wayne Nesbit; Ches Penney; and Frances Vardy. Lanier Phillips will be inducted as an honorary member of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. For background information on the winners, read on.
Melbourne Alton Best
In the early 70s, Alton Best founded the band “The Flummies”. The award-winning Flummies’ first recording in 1986 “Four Songs from Labrador” was the start of preserving and promoting Labrador’s treasured traditional music and lyrics. Since that time, Mr. Best has travelled the coast of Labrador and beyond promoting our cultural heritage and sharing the music with countless audiences and supporting many worthy causes.
Dr. Angus A. Bruneau
Through extraordinary leadership and vision, Dr. Angus A. Bruneau has catalyzed change and inspired innovation in some of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most significant institutions. Dr. Bruneau was instrumental in the establishment of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Memorial University, inspired the creation of the Centre for Cold Ocean Resources Engineering and led the transformation of Newfoundland Power into Fortis Inc. Dr. Bruneau was also the founding Chair of Festival 500, and created the Angus Bruneau Student Leadership and Innovation Fund in Engineering.
Sister Elizabeth Davis
Faced with the daunting task of amalgamating six of the province’s busiest health care institutions, Sister Elizabeth Davis’ leadership abilities ensured the inevitable changes were undertaken with genuine sensitivity to the needs of clients and the impact on the lives of staff. Sister Elizabeth was also instrumental in the establishment of an electronic health information system in Newfoundland and Labrador, now nationally recognized as a centre of excellence.
Frances Elizabeth Ennis
Frances Elizabeth Ennis exemplifies the sentiment of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador as her contributions and efforts supporting culture, promoting literacy and standing for equality and social justice are felt in many communities throughout the province. Ms. Ennis is a co-founder of the province’s first community-based literacy program, Rabbittown Learners Program, and was a founding member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Literacy Network.
Susan Green’s commitment to addressing child hunger is demonstrated by her work over the past 25 years with the Committee for Hungry Children, the St. John’s School Lunch Association, Kids Eat Smart, and the Food Security Network. Through her involvement with these and other groups, her goal remains to make certain youth have access to adequate and nutritious food within the school system to ensure optimal health and academic achievement.
Dr. Wayne Nesbit
Dr. Wayne Nesbit is an inspirational teacher and influential scholar who has championed special education to generations of teachers in Newfoundland and Labrador. As a result of his unwavering commitment to support the educational needs of all children, this province can boast one of the best education delivery models in the country for children with disabilities.
Entrepreneurship is an important driver of economic growth, productivity, innovation and employment. Founder of the Penney Group of Companies, Ches Penney exemplifies the spirit of the Order through his tremendous contributions to the economy and business sector as well as to the charitable and non-profit sector through his involvement with the Canadian Red Cross Personal Floatation Device Loan Program, St. John’s Healthcare Foundation, the Salvation Army, Junior Achievement, Memorial University, Kinsmen Club and Rotary.
Lanier W. Phillips
On the frigid night of February 18, 1942, the USS Truxton, the USS Pollux and the USS Wilkes were shipwrecked off Newfoundland’s south coast. Lanier Phillips was among the 186 rescued from the Truxton wreckage. During the days that followed, Mr. Phillips came to the realization that there were places in the world that treated everyone equally, moving him to work tirelessly for civil rights. Tens of millions have heard Mr. Phillips’ eloquent story – always acknowledging the generous hearts of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Frances Vardy is a driving force behind the local arts and volunteer community on the west coast of the province. As founder of Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador and its accompanying Stephenville Festival, as well as long time member of the Board of Directors of Western Regional Hospital Foundation, she has quietly and efficiently enriched the lives of her fellow Newfoundlanders and Labradorians through her unselfish devotion to both the theatrical and health care community for more than 50 years.