Janet Cox, O.N.L., R.N., S.C.M.
A registered nurse and certified midwife, Janet Elizabeth Cox first came from England in 1970 to work at the Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital in St. Anthony. She began her nursing career in this province as a staff nurse and midwife on the obstetrical unit and later went on to attain diplomas in Outpost Nursing and Public Health Nursing from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. She later served in various capacities throughout the Labrador-Grenfell catchment area, as well as along the Lower North Shore of Quebec.
During these years, Ms. Cox lived in small, very isolated coastal communities where she provided the only frontline health care presence. Over the course of her service in these communities she came to realize the very great impact that specific types of cancer were having on certain families. Her relationship with the families, her detective work and her careful research and documentation of their medical histories led Ms. Cox to conclude that there was a genetic cause to the high incidence and premature mortality from colon cancer – Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colon Cancer (HNPCC). Members of families with this genetic cause are at risk of developing not only colon cancer at a young age but also many other types of cancers. In consultation with Dr. William Fitzgerald, she set about introducing screening programs for those at highest risk. This resulted in the discovery and surgical removal of many cancers at an early, even pre-cancerous, stage.
What started as a registry of cases documented on index cards filed in shoe boxes has evolved into a computer-based program. Ms. Cox’s leadership in moving such studies from the realm of clinical research to practical clinical care has had a profound impact on the lives of countless patients and their families.
Ms. Cox was not only instrumental in establishing this life saving screening program but she takes an active role in the day-to-day administration of the program. She arranges client appointments, accommodations, diagnostic studies and even social entertainment for those travelling to St. Anthony. She goes above and beyond to get to know every patient and today, more than 700 individuals are involved in the screening program.
Her patients and the communities she serves continue to receive high-quality clinical and genetic services. The model that she developed of providing comprehensive and fully integrated family-based services was the basis for the 2010 introduction of a similar program province-wide.
Janet Cox is a caring, compassionate professional and a team player with a winning personality. She takes pride in her calling and is a strong advocate for the interests and well-being of each of her patients.
Tom Dawe, C.M., O.N.L., M.A.
Tom Dawe was born in Long Pond, Manuels, Conception Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador. He is a well known poet, has been a high school English teacher, a Professor of English at Memorial University, a visual artist, and a writer. His written work includes fiction, dramatic script, poetry, folklore and children’s literature. He was most recently invested into the Order of Canada.
Mr. Dawe has had an immeasurable impact on the arts community of this province and around the world. He has published seven books of poetry, three Newfoundland and Labrador folk alphabets and two volumes of short stories. His work has also appeared in numerous magazines, journals and anthologies around the world.
Mr. Dawe’s work has been studied in schools, colleges and universities – written about in reviews, articles and dissertations. In 2002, Martina Seifert’s comprehensive book, Rewriting Newfoundland Mythology: The Works of Tom Dawe, was published in Germany and the United States. He has also been the subject of a film in the television series Canadian Literature, produced by the Alberta Educational Communications Corp.
A mentor and source of inspiration, Mr. Dawe has given local writers a voice and an avenue to publish their work. In the seventies, he was one of the original founders of Breakwater Books, one of the founding editors of TickleAce magazine and the prose editor of The Livyer, a folklore journal. He also worked on Scruncheons, a creative writing journal of Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Mr. Dawe’s work, including his poetry, short story, drama, drawing, oil painting and water colour, has been honoured with numerous prestigious awards and prizes. He has twice been nominated to be Canada’s Poet Laureate. In 1999 he was awarded the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Arts Achievement Award. In 2007 he was elected to the Arts Hall of Fame as well as awarded a Writers Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador Lifetime Membership Award.
With his work generating a high level of interest here, nationally, and internationally, Tom Dawe has been called one of our greatest poets ever, Newfoundland and Labrador’s most authentic voice, and a great cultural ambassador.
In the eloquent words of renowned Newfoundland and Labrador artist Christopher Pratt, “No one has understood and made relevant the essence and substance of Newfoundland, and being a ‘Newfoundlander’, with greater insight. His poetry is subtle and eloquent. It is profound and at the same time accessible and entertaining. It identifies the universal in the everyday, which has given his writing and carried his sensitivity of the Newfoundland experience to audiences well beyond our shores….Tom is of this place, and of a fast fading generation of people who still remember, first hand, where we have come from. He is a truly great and inspirational Newfoundlander.”
Freida Gabrielle Faour, O.N.L.
A life-long resident of Corner Brook, Freida Faour is a dedicated and inspiring community leader whose impact on our province crosses the sectors of education, music and arts, municipal politics and family living.
Mrs. Faour is acknowledged as a leader in the field of municipal affairs, community well-being, and results-based environmental issues and concerns. As a municipal councillor, she was responsible for contributing to decisions of council on a variety of issues and concerns to residents. She coordinated solutions for traffic control in the city and represented Corner Brook on many regional committees including the Great Humber Joint Council and the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Municipalities. Further, she presented briefs to the CRTC Hearings in Ottawa in support of CBC programming in Western Newfoundland.
While her municipal contributions were immense, it is her role as a champion of the environment for which she is best known. As founder of the most successful environment-based organization in western Newfoundland, the Humber Arm Environmental Association Inc., Mrs. Faour hired staff and coordinated activities and initiatives on a volunteer basis. She made sewage treatment issues top of mind. She managed the 15-person board, invited stakeholder groups, industry, government recreational groups and municipal leaders together and used her outstanding manner and diplomacy to build partnerships. In 1997, her organization published the first Comprehensive Environmental Management Plan for Humber Arm/Bay of Islands. Today, the organization’s initiative, Trading Books for Boats, is one of the greatest contributors to education in the region.
Because of her intuitive nature and leadership, many environmental programs were introduced into schools, industry organizations and the community. The Freida Faour Environmental Scholarship was recently established, in her honour, for university students pursuing careers in Environmental Studies.
In addition to her immense contributions to the area through her role as a municipal councillor and an environmental steward, Mrs. Faour has been a valuable asset to the area through her vast volunteerism. She has dedicated her time to various Canada Day committees, the Telethon for Ethiopian Disaster, the Western Health Care Corporation, the Canadian Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Bay of Islands Musical Arts, the Canadian Organization for Development and Peace, and she is the current president of the Scottish Heritage Society of Western Newfoundland.
Freida Faour’s dedication to Newfoundland and Labrador has always been evident in her personal and professional life. Not only has she held the highest positions within her community, but she has done so while building and nurturing a wonderful marriage of over 60 years, raising successful and beautiful children and running a prosperous family business.
John C. Ford, O.N.L.
John (Jack) Ford was born in Port aux Basques on March 25, 1919, the son of Captain John and Julia Ford. Following completion of his education, in 1936 he went to work with the Newfoundland Railway as an apprentice machinist. In 1940, he volunteered for military service in World War II. He enrolled in the Royal Air Force and did basic training in England. He was then assigned to Seletar RAF base in Singapore.
While at Seletar, war broke out in the Pacific and Jack Ford was captured and taken prisoner. He was kept at the infamous Changhi prisoner of war camp at Singapore before being sent to Camp Fukuoka #2 in Nagasaki. There he worked as a slave labourer in the nearby Mitsubishi shipyard for the duration of the year.
Not only did Mr. Ford survive the atrocities of being a prisoner of war, but he also was a firsthand witness to the horror and devastation of the world’s first atomic weapons.
When the war ended, the Japanese POWs were released and Mr. Ford returned to England where in 1946 he was discharged from the RAF. He returned to his home in Port aux Basques and resumed his employment with the Newfoundland Railway. He married Margaret Payne and had one son, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Jack Ford’s riveting story of how he survived the war and his long journey home is told in The Jack Ford Story: Newfoundland’s POW in Nagasaki. Recognized around the world as a powerful recounting of the atrocities of war, his story has been featured in many major Canadian newspapers and radio, has been the feature of the well-known series Front Page Challenge and a CBC documentary Return to Nagasaki. Those who hear his story are left with a greater appreciation for the hardships our veterans experienced, and continue to experience, and a sense of pride in the heroism and courage shown by Jack Ford.
For several decades Mr. Ford has been visiting schools and service organizations to tell his amazing story. He continues to use these visits and speaking opportunities as a venue to condemn the proliferation of nuclear weapons and to advocate for world peace.
By meticulously preserving his wartime memories, including his account of his presence at a world history-making event, Jack Ford has made a significant contribution to Newfoundland and Labrador’s history. His courage and dedication have made him a role model for the youth of this province and he will be forever remembered as one of our outstanding heroes. In addition, by rising above the horrors of his experience and devoting 60 years to volunteer work with the Masonic Order and the Royal Canadian Legion, he is one of our distinguished veterans and worthy to be honoured by his fellow Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.
Mary Dyer Gordon, C.M., O.N.L.
Born in St. John’s, Mary Dyer Gordon is recognized internationally as an educator, social entrepreneur, best-selling author, child advocate and parenting expert who has created award winning programs informed by the power of empathy.
With a goal of changing the world child by child, in 1996, she founded Roots of Empathy, whose mission is to build caring, peaceful and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults.
The program has had proven and documented successes in breaking cycles of violent and abusive behaviors. Teaching children emotional literacy and developing their capacity to take the perspective of others are key steps towards collaboration and civility. They are indispensable steps towards preventing aggressive and bullying behaviors and building mental well-being.
The Roots of Empathy organization has helped Ms. Gordon achieve her vision of a society of compassionate and caring children who will pass on their legacy of empathy to their own children.
Many children in Newfoundland and Labrador are fortunate to be a part of this very successful program. Roots of Empathy was first introduced in eight classrooms in the southwestern region of the province. Since then the program has been delivered within communities from St. John’s to Port aux Basques and from Nain, Labrador to the Burin Peninsula. Children in every province of Canada receive her program and Roots of Empathy reaches to nine other countries on three continents.
Mary Gordon is well respected and has been invited all over the globe to share her creative ideas on new and better ways to address persistent social problems. She has been the recipient of several prestigious awards for her ability to envision solutions and for having the entrepreneurial skill and determination required to bringing her ideas to fruition.
Ms. Gordon is also the founder of Canada’s first and largest school-based Parenting and Family Literacy Centre, which she initiated in 1981. These centres have become public policy in Ontario with hundreds of schools involved. The Nelson Mandela Children’s Foundation also brought Ms. Gordon to South Africa to share her early childhood parenting expertise.
Mary Gordon speaks to and consults with governments, educational organizations, and public institutions. She is the recipient of several prestigious awards recognizing her contribution to innovation in early childhood education and international social entrepreneurship, including the 2009 Public Education Advocacy Award from the Canadian Teacher’s Federation. Her 2005 Canadian bestseller, Roots of Empathy: Changing the World Child by Child, was ranked as one of the Top 100 Books of the Year by the Globe and Mail, and, she is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal for her outstanding commitment to education and most recently was awarded The Queens Diamond Jubilee medal.
Constance Howley, O.N.L., R.N., N.P.
Constance Howley, who was born in Montreal and moved to St. John’s at age seven, graduated from St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital in 1975 as a Registered Nurse. From 1975 to 1988 she worked as a staff nurse on medical, gerontology, gynecology, oncology, forensic and intensive care units in British Columbia, England and St. John’s.
In 1988, Ms. Howley became a research nurse with Memorial University, assisting in research for HIV clinical trials through the Canadian Trials Network. This position started her on a career path that would impact the lives of hundreds of individuals affected by HIV/AIDS in this province and abroad.
Ms. Howley became a nurse coordinator of the HIV program in 1988, a time when there was an extraordinary amount of stigma and fear associated with the disease. Despite the discrimination she herself often faced because of her profession, she held the hands of those mourning the loss of spouses, partners, parents, children and friends.
Constance Howley played a pivotal role in the beginnings of what is now a provincial organization that provides a host of services to those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as to the general public. As a healthcare professional and voice in the community, she helped develop prevention strategies that would ultimately assist in controlling the outbreak of HIV/AIDS in the province in the early nineties.
Ms. Howley also advocated for enhanced access to healthcare for those living in rural communities, establishing travelling clinics in areas such as Conception Bay North and Corner Brook. For this, she received the Health Care Corporation of St. John’s Purple Award for Innovation.
Her other accomplishments include several honours including the Canadian Association of Nurses in HIV/AIDS Care Jill Sullivan Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice in 2003; invitations to guest lecture at over 100 HIV/AIDS presentations, as well as being a facilitator and consultant for various programs provincially, nationally and internationally. She has also co-authored multiple scientific papers, presentations and abstracts on HIV/AIDS and immunology.
In 2007, Ms. Howley took a 14-month leave of absence from the provincial HIV program to work as a nurse clinician in southern Africa with OHAfrica in Leribe, Lesotho, where she provided care and treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS and consultation and education to local healthcare workers. In 2009, Constance resigned from her position within the HIV/AIDS program and currently works as a Nurse Practitioner – Primary Health Care in coastal Labrador communities. She continues to guest lecture on HIV/AIDS issues.
There is no doubt that Constance Howley’s achievements in the areas of nursing and research are vast, but it is the direct impact she has had on the lives of people in this province that is immeasurable. Her compassion, leadership and professional achievements have had a profound effect on countless lives.
Captain Sidney J. Hynes, O.N.L., M.M., F.N.I.
Captain Sidney J. Hynes was born at Harbour Breton in 1955. At the age of 15, he left home to go to sea. He joined Marine Atlantic as an assistant steward, a company he would later serve as Chairman of the Board. This was the start of a remarkable career of contribution and commitment to Newfoundland and Labrador’s marine industry.
A quick study with a natural talent, Captain Hynes quickly pursued qualification as a ship’s officer. On receiving his Master’s Home Trade ticket, he became captain of an offshore supply ship. Following this achievement, he went on to command a wide range of vessels operating around the globe. Following the birth of his son in 1984, Captain Hynes came ashore and joined Transport Canada as a Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Surveyor and Examiner.
From 1986 until late 2007, Captain Hynes was President and CEO of Canship Limited. He built the company, which he helped found, into the largest Canadian-based fleet of deadweight tonnage, providing employment and opportunity for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.
His marine expertise was further recognized with the appointment by the Canadian Government as Chairman of the Board of Marine Atlantic in 2000. Over the next four years he managed the largest Crown corporation in Atlantic Canada, achieving record traffic numbers and the highest customer and stakeholder satisfaction rate on record. In late 2007, Captain Hynes took on new challenges after leading the consortium to take ownership of Oceanex Inc where he also serves as its Executive Chairman.
Despite his great corporate success, Captain Hynes has never forgotten his roots in the shipping industry. He has a clear desire for the betterment of workers. He introduced many policies and practices to ensure a fair and safe working environment for all.
Captain Hynes has been an industry leader and a visionary in the marine transportation sector for more than two decades. He has combined his professional and technical marine experience with strong business knowledge to develop private industry opportunities that have had enormous social and economic benefit to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Captain Hynes has clearly demonstrated excellence and achievement as a marine industry leader who has brought significant social and economic benefit to our province. He continually inspires through outstanding vision, leadership and commitment. The value of his many accomplishments goes far beyond the important positions he holds and the important mandates he executes. His most impressive record of achievement reflects a true professionalism and the best personal qualities which have earned him the highest respect of all he has met.
Susan Frances (Fran) Williams, O.N.L.
From her first vocation in the field of nursing to her term as the only female leader of the Labrador Inuit Association in its journey toward the signing of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement; from her pioneering leadership as an Executive Director of the OKalaKatiget Society to her continuing willingness to provide emotional support to families impacted by suicide and sudden tragedies as a member of the Nain Crisis Response Team, Susan Frances (Fran) Williams has lived a life committed to supporting the health and identity of her community.
Born in 1944 to Amos Frieda and Verona Boas of Hopedale, Fran Williams learned early and hard lessons about the fragility of the way of life of the Labrador Inuit. As a result of tuberculosis, she spent much of her youth away from her home, seeking treatment. During those years away from home and family, she experienced the profound loss of her culture and language. As a result, every act of her life from that point on was guided by her desire to contribute to the health and culture of her people. So began a remarkable and selfless life of service.
Not only did Ms. Williams graduate from high school (a rare occurrence for Inuit women at that time), but went on to complete nursing studies in 1967, the first Inuit woman from her hometown to do so. Within a year of graduation she was posted at the International Grenfell Association’s Hospitals in St. Anthony, Northwest River and eventually Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
After five years in the nursing field, Fran Williams realized that her mission was greater than ministering to the physical needs of her people. In her quest, she accepted a position with the Company of Young Canadians in Labrador. She became an Inuit Education Specialist for the provincial Department of Adult Continuing Education and later became a liaison worker with the Status of Women.
In 1980, Ms. Williams was elected as the first and only female president of the Labrador Inuit Association. Her four-year tenure saw important advances on the path toward Inuit self-government.
It was her role as LIA President that made Ms. Williams realize that self-determination required a voice. With this in mind, she moved from the LIA to the newly formed OKalaKatiget Society Broadcaster, located in Nain. Known as the OK Society, the organization offers information and entertainment programming on radio and television in both Inuktitut and English.
Ms. Williams has certainly played an integral role in the emergence of the Labrador Inuit as a confident people with a clear vision of the future. For her achievements in preserving and enhancing the language and culture of her people, and for the courageous role model she is for young Inuit women, Fran Williams is richly deserving of membership in the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.