Ceremony Marks Investiture into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador

by ahnationtalk on September 30, 20151261 Views

September 30, 2015

In recognition of their outstanding contributions to the province, nine individuals were invested today into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Honourable Frank F. Fagan, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, presided over the ceremony, together with the Honourable Paul Davis, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.

“I am delighted to recognize nine outstanding Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. These individuals demonstrate exemplary qualities and have contributed immensely to their communities and their province, each in their own way. Their life’s work instills a sense of pride and their legacy will continue as an example to us all.”
– The Honourable Frank F. Fagan, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador

This year’s inductees are:

  • Selma Barkham
  • Harry Blackmore
  • Shannie Duff
  • Janet Gardiner (posthumously)
  • Earl Ludlow
  • David Parsons
  • Sterling Peyton
  • Frank Tibbo
  • Calvin White

Biographies of these individuals are provided in the backgrounder below.

“This province is made great by its people. We all know of individuals who dedicate their lives to those around them, their families, friends, neighbours and province on a daily basis. On behalf of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians I congratulate this year’s inductees who demonstrate these qualities, and who have made this a better province for all of us.”
– The Honourable Paul Davis, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador, which is recognized by the Canadian Chancellery of Honours, is the highest honour of the province. The purpose of the Order is to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner, Newfoundland and Labrador and its residents. Members of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador are selected by an advisory council following the review of all nominations received. The first investiture took place in 2004.

Nominations for the next induction may be made until January 29, 2016. Any person or group may nominate an individual for recognition by the Order.

For more information, please visit www.gov.nl.ca/onl.


  • The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner, Newfoundland and Labrador and its residents.
  • This year’s inductees are: Selma Barkham, Harry Blackmore, Shannie Duff, Janet Gardiner, Earl Ludlow, David Parsons, Sterling Peyton, Frank Tibbo and Calvin White.
  • Information on the Order, past recipients and the nomination process is available online at www.gov.nl.ca/onl.
  • Since it was established in 2004, 73 deserving individuals have received the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Media contacts:

Heather MacLean
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier

Donna Ivey
Special Assistant, Communications
Office of the Premier

Peter Noel
Private Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor

Individuals Inducted into 2015 Order of Newfoundland and Labrador

Dr. Selma Barkham
Dr. Selma Barkham is a Canadian historian and geographer who has made a remarkable contribution to the maritime history of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, the Basque Country and Spain.

Her years of research, starting in the 1970s, mostly in Basque, Spanish, and Portuguese archives brought to light and documented what was practically an unknown chapter in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador: the Basque cod and whale fisheries in the province, especially in the 16th century.

In 1977, she organized an expedition to southern Labrador that discovered archaeological remains of their stations at Red Bay and elsewhere, triggering extensive excavations on land and underwater in that location. In 1979 this site was declared a National Historic Site of Canada and it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2013, thus drawing worldwide attention to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Dr. Barkham endeavoured to do for the Northern Peninsula what her earlier work had done for the Labrador Straits: improve the understanding of the history of the region so that tourists might stop to visit other places of historic value and importance. With the difficulties facing the fisheries sector in the 1990s, she realized a need to promote heritage tourism and economic development in the area, including the south coast of Labrador, and became a co-founder of the Northern Peninsula Heritage Society.

Dr. Barkham has received numerous awards for her work. In 1981, she was awarded the Order of Canada for having made “one of the most outstanding contributions, in recent years, to the story of this nation.” In 1985 and 1993, respectively, the University of Windsor and Memorial University of Newfoundland awarded her Honorary Doctorates for her re-discovery of the Basque history, which has revised 16th century Canadian history. In 2014, the Basque government presented her with the Lagun Onari award, their highest honour for foreigners.

Among her many recognitions are the Gold Medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 1980, awarded then only occasionally for contributions of a national or international significance, and a Manning Award for Excellence in the Public Presentation of Historic Places for her work promoting historical tourism and economic development on the Northern Peninsula and in southern Labrador following in 2007.

The spin-offs from her discoveries in Red Bay and elsewhere on the Labrador coast and her work on the Northern Peninsula continue to have a direct economic and social impact in those areas of the province.

Harry Blackmore
Harry Blackmore has spent a lifetime ensuring the safety of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and his dedication to volunteering and safety has significantly benefited communities served throughout the province.

A retired Captain with the St. John’s Regional Fire Department, where he worked for 31 years, Mr. Blackmore has been active in volunteering for the betterment of the people of the province for more than 40 years and has worked tirelessly and relentlessly to secure funding for volunteer training initiatives and equipment procurements.

One of his greatest accomplishments came in 2013 with the construction of the Rovers Ground Search and Rescue Training Facility in the Town of Paradise. He has spent countless hours with boards and organizations, such as the Ground Search and Rescue Council of Canada, National Recreational Boating Advisory Council, Heart and Stroke Foundation, and Emergency Cardiac Care Committee.

Since 1996, he has been the President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Search and Rescue Association; from 2005 to 2015, he was President of Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada; since 1970, he has been the coordinator for Rovers Search and Rescue team serving the Northeast Avalon; and from 1970, he has been the Rescue and Safety Officer for Provincial Emergency Response Team.

Other leadership rules include project manager for New Initiative Fund for the Development of Training and Proficiency Standards from 2002 to 2006, Provincial Medical Coordinator for Provincial Scouts Camp from 1980 to 2012, and Chair of Gordon Bartlett Memorial Provincial Defibrillator Program from 1996 to 2000.

His volunteering and dedication has been well recognized with a Governor General of Canada Exemplary Service Medal in 1993, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, the Bronze Cross for Gallantry from Scouts Canada in 1992, the CASBA Award for Top Volunteer Dedicated to Boating Safety in 2004, and two Certificates of Achievement in Search and Rescue in Canada from the National Search and Rescue Secretariat in 1998 and 2006.

Shannie Duff
St. John’s and Newfoundland and Labrador are better places because of Shannie Duff. She has worked tirelessly for more than four decades to help preserve and promote the unique heritage and character of St. John’s, while also advocating for growth through good planning and appropriate development.

Known for her lifelong commitment to volunteer work, Ms. Duff has been a strong voice for affordable housing, heritage conservation, the arts, urban planning and health care. She is also an advocate for citizen engagement, accountability and transparency in municipal government and the important role of municipalities in fostering livable, people-friendly, urban environments.

She has given generously of her time and talents locally, provincially and nationally for more than 45 years, first as a volunteer, contributing to organizations such as St. John’s Heritage Foundation, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Drama Society, followed by her extensive career in municipal politics. First elected in 1977 as councillor at large, Ms. Duff served as mayor from April to June 2008 and November 1990 to November 1993, and also served as councillor and deputy mayor before finally retiring from politics in 2013. She served as MHA for the District of St. John’s East 1989-90.

Some of her accomplishments include being founding member of Newfoundland Historic Trust, Quidi Vidi Rennies River Development Foundation, and Cabot Habitat for Humanity. She has been recognized for her contributions with numerous awards, including the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal, the Heritage Canada Foundation National Award of Honour, the Gabrielle Leger Medal for outstanding contribution to Heritage Conservation, the Habitat for Humanity National Volunteer of the Year Award and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.

In 2003, she was named a member of the Order of Canada.

Dr. Janet Gardiner
Dr. Janet Gardiner was an accomplished businesswoman, philanthropist and role model who made significant contributions to this province’s business, education, charitable and arts communities.

She was a woman of firsts – the first female chartered accountant in the province in 1956 and the first woman to become Chair of Memorial’s Board of Regents, a position she held from 1991 to 1997.

Dr. Gardiner was tireless in her dedication to the education of students attending Memorial University. As a generous supporter of the Faculty of Business Administration, she sat on the advisory board for almost 20 years, she adjudicated numerous student case competitions, and she played a keyrole on the Gardiner Centre Entrepreneur of the Year Award selection committee, a centre named in honour of her late husband Peter. Her generosity knew no bounds, contributing financially to scholarships to encourage potential young entrepreneurs and to support study terms abroad and most recently funded the creation of a dedicated accounting classroom.

She sat on countless corporate boards, including Fishery Products International, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, and Mutual Life of Canada. From 1956 to 2006, she held the position of Treasurer and Director of Chester Dawe Limited and its associated companies.

She was a dedicated community volunteer as Treasurer of the St. John’s Board of Trade, Chair of the St. Thomas’ Anglican Church Finance Committee and Chair of the Salvation Army Citizens Advisory Board. Most recently, she served on the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Newfoundland & Labrador and the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee.

Her accomplishments, contributions and commitment to the community, province and country are well known having received numerous accolades and commendations including:

  • In 1991, she was made a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Newfoundland and Labrador for her contributions to the accounting profession.
  • She received honorary membership in the Financial Management Association in 1990, the Canada 125 Medal in 1992, and the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Rotary Club in 1998.
  • She was inducted into the Atlantic Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs in 1995 for her ability to overcome barriers and for inspiring women entrepreneurs in the region.
  • In 1998 and 2008, respectively, Ms. Gardiner received an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree and the J.D. Eaton Alumni Award from Memorial University for her lifetime contributions and accomplishments.
  • In 2009, she was appointed a member of the Order of Canada for her enduring contributions as an executive and volunteer for more than 50 years.

Finally, the arts community is forever indebted to her, as treasurer of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and as a committee member for the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre including the Concert Grand Piano Fund. She was involved with the Tuckamore Festival from its inception and most recently served as its Honorary Patron.

Earl Ludlow
Earl Ludlow’s pride in being a Newfoundlander, particularly as a native of Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo Island, is only surpassed by his pride in his family. His roots extend deep into the community as he and his family are strong believers in ‘giving back.’

Mr. Ludlow is Executive Vice President, Eastern Canadian and Caribbean Operations, Fortis. He is a graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland and a member of the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr. Ludlow contributes a great deal of his time to many charities and non-profit organizations, and he has given selflessly and enthusiastically to each of them.

As President and CEO of Newfoundland Power from 2007 to 2014, Mr. Ludow promoted a culture of volunteerism within the company and the community. It was during his tenure at the helm of Newfoundland Power that he became Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, 1st Battalion, helping to raise the regiment’s role both provincially and nationally. Mr. Ludlow was instrumental in bringing the importance of military service, veterans and their sacrifice to the attention of the business community. In 2010, in the aftermath of the destruction caused to Newfoundland by Hurricane Igor, he ensured that the Canadian military was kept abreast of Newfoundland Power’s commitment and focus on restoring power to its thousands of customers.

Mr. Ludlow is a long-time supporter of the Church Lads Brigade and a Governor of Commissionaires of Newfoundland and Labrador. He is a past member of the Board of Regents of Memorial University and the Advisory Board of Memorial University’s Faculty of Business Administration. Earl and his wife Valerie Co-chaired Memorial University’s “Havin’ a Time” Reunion in 2013. Mr. Ludlow served as a board member of the Anglican Homes Inc. (St. Luke’s Home), and has been a strong supporter of the work of Junior Achievement of Newfoundland and Labrador. Earl also served on the Board of the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation.

The Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation is forever grateful for his time and efforts in helping raise millions of dollars for radiation treatment simulators. This tremendous achievement greatly improved the effectiveness of radiation treatment in Newfoundland and Labrador, providing cancer patients with some of the best treatment available in Canada. It also helped attract top professionals to work and train here at home in this great province of ours.

Mr. Ludlow was presented with Memorial University’s Alumni Award for Outstanding Community Service in 2008. He has been named five times by Atlantic Business Magazine as one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOs and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2013. He has also been named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International and a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. Mr. Ludlow has also been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Dr. David Parsons
Dr. David Parsons has made a remarkable contribution to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador as a medical doctor, a friend of veterans, and a historian of our role in the Great War of 1914-1918.

Dr. Parsons has become the pre-eminent authority on the history of our Royal Newfoundland Regiment during the Great War. He has an extraordinary knowledge of the men who served and their accomplishments. Nobody alive today knows more about their history than he does, and nobody alive today has done more to preserve it than he has.

The author of two books, one of his books, Pilgrimage: A Guide to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in World War One, is an essential guide for anyone who wishes to follow the Trail of the Caribou from Gallipoli to France to Flanders. His other book is an authoritative work about Newfoundland’s Royal Naval Reserve, The Best Small-Boat Seamen in the Navy; The Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve, 1900-1922.

As one of the pioneers in geriatric medicine in the province, Dr. Parsons’ interest in veterans was intricately woven in his daily internal medical practice. He has a working knowledge of the military life and the medical problems associated with the violence of war and his dedication to their needs is reflected in his quiet diligent care.

Dr. Parsons has served as a medical consultant with the Newfoundland Telephone Company, Department of Veteran Affairs, and Consultant in Occupational Health to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and HM Penitentiary Service. These roles are a reflection of his knowledge and the level of respect for him in the community. He became President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association in 1970.

His career has had many highlights, including being the medical consultant for the Royal Commission on the St. Lawrence Mines, Consultant staff to the Veteran’s Wing of the General Hospital, Medical Consultant to the Workman’s Compensation Board, as well as Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine and the History of Medicine at Memorial University from 1970 to 1982. He has also received national recognition for his work with the Canadian Medical Association. He has received “Life Member” in the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association and “Senior Member” in the Canadian Medical Association.

Sterling Peyton
Sterling Peyton is a champion for business growth in Labrador. After a long career as a public servant promoting economic development throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, he has taken his vast experience and given it freely to the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce and businesses throughout the Big Land.

His commitment to the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce has been instrumental in transforming the organization into an influential entity for positive economic and social change in the Central Labrador region. He has been an active volunteer member of the Board of Directors for 10 years, serving as chair from 2009, as well as a period as chair from 2005-07. Under his leadership, the Chamber of Commerce grew into one of the most successful and dynamic Chambers of Commerce in Atlantic Canada and became one of the leading small membership chambers in Canada.

Some of his accomplishments during his time with the chamber include the establishment of a community investment program, which provides financial assistance to charities and other worthy causes throughout Labrador, and Northern business development events, such as the Northern Lights Business and Cultural Showcase, and Northern Exposure. These events and other activities have been responsible for developing countless partnerships between business, government and community stakeholders in Canada’s Eastern Arctic and North region and beyond. As a result, the opportunities and challenges of Canada’s Arctic and North have become more prevalent in the consciousness of Canadians.

Mr. Peyton’s hard work and dedication has also benefitted the region as a founding member of the Labrador Canoe Regatta Association and as a volunteer with the Labrador Winter Games since the very first games in 1983, including his role as chair of the 1989 Labrador Winter Games

As a result, Mr. Peyton’s lifetime commitment to Labrador has been celebrated by being named a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, recognizing his contributions to the way of life in Labrador in 2002. In January 2009 he was appointed as the first Honorary Colonel for Canadian Forces 5 Wing Goose Bay, a position that he still holds.

Mr. Peyton continues his pledge to the region as the current serving chair of Labrador North Chamber of Commerce.

Frank Forsey Tibbo
Mr. Tibbo, retired air traffic controller, has made a remarkable contribution to documenting Gander’s, and the province’s, aviation history. Without him, much of that history would most certainly have been lost.

In more than 50 years as a resident of the airport town, Mr. Tibbo has written extensively about the history of aviation in Gander, the Crossroads of the World, and the heroes, the crashes, and aircraft that have touched down in Gander at one time or another.

He has written four books on aviation, including Charlie Baker George, St.Martin-in-the-Woods, which documented the 1947 Belgian airline disaster near Gander of a Sabena DC-4 in 1946. His research and story-telling helped lead the U.S. Army to award a Legion of Merit to Captain Samuel Preston Martin III, the man who led a team to help rescue crash survivors. His work also led to the Belgian government’s decision in 1992 to award medals to Abbott Pelley and Bruce Shea for their role in the rescue effort.

For more than 20 years, Mr. Tibbo has also been an award-winning aviation columnist for The Beacon, Gander’s community newspaper, for which he has been recognized as the top writer in the Specialty Column category by the Atlantic Canadian Newspaper Association in 2012.

He was a Gander town councillor for 20 years, including time as deputy mayor for four years, and President of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador for three years.

In 2013, recognizing his contributions to the preservation of the history of the aviation industry, Gander’s town council passed a motion to add his name to a list of future street names.

On December 17, 2013, Mr. Tibbo was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee for the contribution he has made in the community and Canada and accomplishments as a community leader.

Finally, the list of organizations and boards, where he has donated his time and talent, include the Terra Nova School Board; Red Cross; Gander Flying Club, in which he was a founding member and gave many Scouts and Air Cadets their first aircraft ride free of charge; Gander Co-Op; Board of Co-Op Atlantic; Canadian Co-operative Association; Board of Directors of the North Atlantic Aviation Museum; and Board of Directors of the Gander International Airport Authority.

Calvin White
Calvin White, of Flat Bay, has played a vital role in the preservation and revival of Aboriginal culture in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The oldest of a family of eight, Mr. White began his quest for Mi’Kmaq rights in the late 1960’s by partnering with Conne River and Labrador to help organize Aboriginal families in many Newfoundland communities to form the Native Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, which later became the Federation of Newfoundland and Labrador Indians, where as president, he was instrumental in securing federal recognition for the Aboriginals people of the Island. In 1984 the Federal Government recognized the Conne River Mi’Kmaq as status Indians under the Indian Act, and in 2009, the Qualipu first Nation was recognized.

Mr. White has contributed countless hours to serving his community, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike. He organized and hosted the first ever Aboriginal Showcase of History and Culture on May 3, 2003. He dreamed of organizing a powwow on the west coast the island and in 2006, he organized and steered a committee, which still exists today, known as the Bay St. George Mi’kmaq Cultural Revival Committee.

Mr. White also recognized the importance of mentoring youth about their family history and the native movement, stressing that being native is not about the ceremonies or having a status card; it’s about how your treat others around you, respecting your elders, being courteous to all, respecting yourself, and taking care of one another.

He gave his time and knowledge to numerous organizations, such as the Newfoundland and Labrador Outfitters Association, Bay St. George Mi’kmaq Cultural Revival Committee, Festival Coast Tourism Association, and many government focus groups. He has also been an invaluable resource to Memorial University for their research regarding Aboriginal people.

Mr. White has been recognized numerous times for his dedication to Aboriginal causes and organizations. In 1993, he was one of many to be presented with commemorative medals for the 125th Anniversary of Canada, an award presented to individuals who have made significant contribution to Canada, their community and their fellow Canadians. In 2008, he won the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from Ulnooweg Development Group, presented to Aboriginal business owners with a long time commitment to business and business development.


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