Edgar Baird has had distinguished careers in both forestry and
aviation. Following in his father’s footsteps, Edgar began
working in the forestry sector and is credited with founding the
Newfoundland chapter of the Junior Forest Rangers. At the age of
24, he became Chief Woods Ranger for Newfoundland and had the
responsibility of planning and organizing forest fire protection
initiatives for the entire province.
When World War II broke out, Mr.
Baird was appointed superintendent of the Newfoundland Overseas
Forestry Corps. Then, in 1940, he led a contingent of 960 men
out of St. John’s, the largest single battalion ever to leave
Following the war, Mr. Baird
returned home where, a few short years later, he led a group of
local residents who were lobbying to form a new town site in
what we now know as Gander. Up to that time, it had been illegal
to build any private homes in the Gander area. He is renowned as
the person who built the first private dwelling in Gander in
1951. He was later appointed the first chairman of the Gander
Local Improvement District. Under his tenure, most of the
municipal planning that served Gander for many years was
completed. Furthermore, he is noted to have closed his own
logging business and devote his time as a volunteer fire boss
during the great Bonavista North fire in 1961.
Mr. Baird has been honored twice
by the Town of Gander, having both a street and a local trail
named in his honour. In 1987, the Canadian Institute of Forestry
recognized his achievements and presented him with the Forestry
For more than 37 years, Gary Graham has played an integral role
in the development of the musical, cultural and artistic life on
the West Coast of the province. He has guided the musical
talents of thousands of young people as a classroom music
teacher, helped numerous choirs achieve national recognition and
served as a dedicated church organist and choirmaster.
Adjudicators from across the country have consistently noted the
high caliber of musical standards in the area, and Mr. Graham
has often been referenced as one of the reasons for these
Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador
(TNL) has benefitted from the outstanding talents of Mr. Graham
for more than 25 years. As the musical director for TNL’s annual
community musical, he has helped the careers of hundreds of
amateur performers through his guidance and direction. These
musicals greatly impact the City of Corner Brook, and their
success is largely attributed to Mr. Graham.
His passion for the musical arts
is seconded only by his devotion to the aged and infirmed of the
community. He has given untold hours to a local long-term care
facility, helping patients with their daily activities. He also
regularly visits the Alzheimer’s ward at the city’s hospital,
exhibiting unwavering compassion and concern regardless of the
age or condition of the patients.
The distinguished teaching career
of Gary Graham has instilled the highest standards of
discipline, performance and commitment within the hearts of
countless students in the western region of the province. The
seeds of many passions for musical expression and excellence
were planted by Gary Graham, a man who is reputed to bring
colour and sophistication to his community through his talents.
Often cited as one of the
greatest philanthropists that Newfoundland and Labrador has ever
produced, Paul Johnson has made extraordinary contributions to
the historical and cultural heritage of our province. His
primary purpose has been to initiate unique projects focused on
the history, traditions, nature and scenery of the province,
helping its residents appreciate the inherent beauty of their
Paul Johnson established the
Johnson Family Foundation in 1987. Since that time, many major
projects such as the development in St. John’s of "The Lookout"
on Signal Hill, the establishment of the Harbourside Park and
Gilbert Memorial, the establishment of the Railway Coastal
Museum and the Geological Interpretation centre, to name a few,
have been realized. He is renowned for his Grand Concourse
Authority, a partnership which brought together the resources of
the three levels of government and Memorial University
university to beautify the capital region and showcase its
spectacular heritage and natural assets.
These ventures have been pursued
by Mr. Johnson on behalf of the community without ever seeking
the recognition that his contributions have deserved. He has
also devoted much time and energy to organizations such as the
Salvation Army and Rotary. He has been awarded the Distinguished
Order of Service Gold Medal, the Order of Canada, as well as an
honorary degree from Memorial University.
The manner in which Mr. Johnson
conducts his philanthropic work attests to the man behind the
projects. He actively participates to ensure that the province
receives amenities of the highest quality and does so with the
single-mindedness that it is for the betterment of his
community. Paul Johnson is held in high esteem by the people of
the province for his work toward the beautification and
enjoyment of the province by residents and visitors alike.
Joanne MacDonald has made her mark on wheelchair sports in
Newfoundland and Labrador and, indeed, the world. She has
successfully competed at both national and international levels,
bringing home 61 medals and a host of national and world
records. Her achievements have been touted as being "unknown to
but a handful of Newfoundlanders," but her renown has
Ms. MacDonald became the heart
and soul of wheelchair athletics since her introduction to them
in 1973. Aside from her own accomplishments, she worked
diligently to develop the careers of other wheelchair athletes
in the province.
After a shoulder injury forced
her to retire from active participation in wheelchair sports in
1984, community activism became her new passion. She continues
to promote equality and dispel the myths and stereotypes
surrounding people with disabilities. She has used her own
experiences to reach hundreds of children throughout
Newfoundland and Labrador as she participated in school speaking
engagements. She is driven by a desire to share her strengths
and accomplishments with the larger community, namely the
Through her employment, Ms.
MacDonald has furthered her activism by working within the
rehabilitation field, community organizations and the federal
government. In fact, her work in the field of social and policy
development within the departments of Secretary of State and
Human Resources Development Canada earned her the Queen’s Golden
Jubilee Medal in 2002.
Susan Patten is a
distinguished business leader in the province, chairing the
Board of Directors of A. Harvey Group of Companies, a firm
founded by her grandfather in 1865. Her chairmanship has aided
in the diversification of the company, making it an operation
that is used as a standard by which other business ventures are
measured. She has rightfully earned the respect of her coworkers
and competitors, and serves as an exemplary model for the
business community. This respect is further demonstrated through
her appointment as a director of the Bank of Canada.
Ms. Patten has taken her business
skills and utilized them within the Girl Guide movement on a
provincial, national and international level. She has held
various positions from Provincial Commissioner of the Girl
Guides to treasurer of the World Association of Girl Guides and
Girl Scouts. She has served as chair of the Lieutenant
Governor’s Advisory Council on the Family and co-chaired the
Peter Gzowski Provincial Golf Tournament for Literacy.
The athletic community in the
province has significantly prospered from Ms. Patten’s
dedication to bettering the lives of the people of her
community. She has also focused on assisting with the spiritual
needs of her fellow parishioners through the numerous
challenging positions she has occupied within her church
Ms. Patten’s work ethic is
paralleled only by her volunteer ethic. She has made outstanding
contributions to the business sector of our province and
continues to be a pillar of its volunteer sector. Many residents
of Newfoundland and Labrador have been touched by both the
ability and compassion of Susan Patten.
Linda Peckford has worked
diligently to ensure the heritage value of her Change Islands
community is preserved for future generations. She initiated a
revival of rug hooking through the establishment of a guild that
is thriving and expanding beyond the confines of the province.
In the summer of 1995, Ms.
Peckford hosted the first rug school in Change Islands. With a
membership of 150, the guild imports some of the best teachers
in North America to display their skills at the annual rug
school. Additionally, the guild hosts annual displays of their
craftsmanship and has a heritage rug registry of more than 400
rugs. This cultural revival came about because of Linda
Her leadership abilities have
extended beyond that of rug hooking in her area. She received a
provincial award for starting Guiding in her community and a
national award for implementing the Scouting movement.
Furthermore, in conjunction with the Town of Change Islands, Ms.
Peckford has formed a heritage committee to lobby for the
community to be granted heritage designation.
The preservation of history,
culture and traditions in rural communities continues to be Ms.
Peckford’s foremost priority. She has made significant inroads
in facilitating the transmission of our culture and heritage to
Henry Shouse has greatly influenced the people in the Upper Lake
Melville area for more than 40 years in many aspects of
community life, including community services, arts and
recreation. One of his most notable pursuits was the creation of
the Trans Labrador Highway which effectively saw the wilderness
opened up to a transportation route that has influenced the
lives of numerous Labradorians.
In his early years in North West
River, he was instrumental in obtaining a cable car as an
alternate mode of transportation across the river. He also
influenced the building of an outdoor rink in North West River,
constructed an airstrip for small aircraft, forged the creation
of Snow Goose Mountain (now Mount Shana), initiated the creation
of walkways in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and actively sought
funding for the purchase of a handicap bus for the area.
Mr. Shouse has been very active
in municipal politics, serving as councillor, deputy mayor and
Mayor in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. He has been an active member of
the Joint Councils of Labrador, the board of directors of the
Federation of Municipalities on both provincial and national
levels. He currently serves on the board of directors of the
Goose Bay Airport Corporation and the board of the Northern
Postal Corporation. In the latter position, he has been diligent
in bringing about many improvements to postal services in the
The youth in the community have
been positively impacted by Mr. Shouse’s dedication as an
advocate for various programs and causes. Over the years, he has
operated a school bus business and carved a place in the hearts
of the children he transports. He has contributed to the school
system through various means, including the donation of the
first computer to a school in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. He
continues to act as an exceptional community leader, offering
advice on matters of concern and challenging residents to think
"outside the box."
Dr. Otto Tucker
A well-known educator in Newfoundland and Labrador and graduate
of Memorial University, University of Alberta and University of
Toronto, Dr. Tucker served as a Salvation Army officer/teacher
and school principal in various communities throughout the
province. After teaching at Acadia University and the University
of Toronto, he was appointed to the Faculty of Education at
Memorial University where he remained until his retirement in
A prolific author, he is known
for his humourous commentaries on the Newfoundland and Labrador
experience. He has also demonstrated his skills before the
cameras in several programs promoting the lives and culture of
Accompanying his accolades in the
field of education is his co-founding of the Wessex Society of
Newfoundland, an association which promotes Newfoundland’s ties
to the West Country of England. This connection has resulted not
only in material benefits to the province such as the
restoration of the Garland House in Trinity, but has also
resulted in educational benefits such as research and study
tours between both countries.
Many awards have been bestowed
upon Dr. Tucker such as the Canada 125 medal, the Heritage Award
of the Newfoundland Historical Society, the Silver Cross of St.
George and the honourary degree of doctor of law from Memorial
University. His efforts have made significant contributions to
both the educational and cultural sectors of our province. He
has assisted in the quest to help us identify our strong
ancestral ties that make us the proud people we are today.
Dr. James Tuck
Dr. Tuck is credited with helping to sustain the communities of
today, while delving into the roots of cultures that have
inhabited Newfoundland and Labrador over thousands of years. As
a driving force of the Archaeology Unit of Memorial University,
he has helped shape the careers of many aspiring archaeologists
from all over the globe. In fact, for many individuals in the
field, the name Dr. James Tuck is synonymous with archaeology.
Scholarly research, popular
writing, interpretation, education, training, mentoring,
community development and tourism have all been affected by this
man of international repute. One of his most notable projects is
the development of the Colony of Avalon in Ferryland into a
source of pride, motivation and economic development for the
area. Since the late 1980s, Dr. Tuck has worked hand-in-hand
with the people of the area to create business plans, train and
supervise archaeological workers, conduct visitations and
promote this visionary project.
In 1982, he was elected to
fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada. In 2000, he was
awarded the Manning Award for Excellence in the Public
Preservation of Historic Places. Then, in 2003, the Newfoundland
Historical Society awarded him its Heritage Award. He is also
the Henrietta Harvey Chair at Memorial University of
Dr. Tuck’s success in encouraging
community development based upon the interpretation and
promotion of historic sites is one of the factors that makes him
the most respected archaeologist in the province. But equally as
important is his ability to evoke a tremendous sense of pride in
place and identity.