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 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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Under Mr. Stirling’s vision, many careers have been launched, and his
contributions to community and charitable causes are commendable and
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.