RELEASE: Eight People to Be Invested Into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador

Office of the Lieutenant Governor
December 31, 2019

Eight People to Be Invested Into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador

The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador is the province’s highest honour and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an exemplary manner the province and its residents.

An investiture ceremony on January 29, 2020 at Government House will see four men and four women named to the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. This will be the 13th investiture ceremony since the first appointments were made in 2004, bringing the total number of recipients to 118.

This year’s recipients and the categories in which they are being honoured are:

  • Jim Burton, Portugal Cove-St. Phillips, Humanitarian

Contributions to society through his humanitarian, volunteer, environmental and entrepreneurial efforts.

  • Elaine Dobbin, Portugal Cove-St. Phillips, Humanitarian

Contributions to society focused on health and education, particularly her work with the Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

  • Robert Lyall, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Humanitarian

Contributions to society through his involvement with various boards and organizations supporting the Labrador indigenous community over a significant period of time.

  • Helen Murphy, St. John’s, Humanitarian

Contributions to society through her work on inclusiveness of people who feel marginalized because of mental health, addictions, poverty and homelessness issues.

  • Myles Murphy, St. John’s, Advocacy

Contributions to society through his efforts to ensure inclusion and accessibility for disability organizations with a focus on the deaf community.

  • Susan Rose, Broad Cove, Conception Bay North, Human Rights

Contributions to society supporting LGBTQ2S children and adults by creating supportive environments through training and education initiatives with a focus on K-12 education.

  • Gordon Slade, Mount Pearl, Volunteerism

Contributions to society through volunteerism leading to the preservation of culturally and historically significant regions of the province.

  • Bruce Templeton, Outer Cove, Volunteerism

Contributions to society as a community leader and humanitarian including his work as Santa’s assistant for over 40 years, making a difference locally and internationally.

Appointments to the Order are made by the Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador as Chancellor of the Order on the recommendation of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador Advisory Council. For more information about the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador, or to nominate someone, visit www.gov.nl.ca/onl. 

Quotes
“As Chancellor of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador, it will be an honour to invest eight fellow Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, who have made outstanding contributions to our province and people, into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador, the province’s highest level of recognition. I look forward to thanking each of them personally at the investiture ceremony on January 29 for the many efforts they have made, and continue to make, to ensure our province is the best it can be. These eight individuals are determined to make a difference where and when they can for which I thank them on behalf of all the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Her Honour Judy M. Foote
Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Every investiture ceremony for the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador is special in that it allows us an opportunity to recognize some truly remarkable people. The eight individuals being invested this year are certainly deserving, with each having spent decades of their lives in making this a better province for all who live here. It will truly be an honour to acknowledge them in person at Government House in a few weeks.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

Media contacts
Joshua Jamieson
Government House
709-729-4494
joshuajamieson@gov.nl.ca

Geoff Higdon
Office of the Premier
709-729-3558
geoffhigdon@gov.nl.ca

 

BACKGROUNDER

About the Recipients

Jim Burton, Portugal Cove-St. Phillips, Humanitarian

Contributions to society through his humanitarian, volunteer, environmental and entrepreneurial efforts. Jim Burton was born in Gander, grew up in Goose Bay, and currently lives in St. Phillips. He is an entrepreneur who maintains a number of businesses and he holds a pilot’s license. He has been an active Rotarian with the Rotary Club of St. John’s Northwest for 12 years and he has sat on the board of directors for a national charity called Hope Air since 2011. Jim has also served on several levels of volunteer committees with the Salvation Army of Newfoundland and Labrador, including its advisory board and the Springdale Street Re-Development Committee. He has served on the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (Atlantic Canada) board of directors, and champions fundraising efforts to benefit Daffodil Place and Hope Air, among others.

Elaine Dobbin, Portugal Cove-St. Phillips, Humanitarian

Contributions to society focused on health and education, particularly her work with the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Elaine Dobbin, C.M. has made a number of philanthropic contributions to improve the lives of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. A strong advocate for autism, she played a crucial role in creating the Opportunity Centre for Autism, leading the capital campaign committee. Since 2002, she has annually donated $50,000 to Memorial University of Newfoundland for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Research. In 2012, she provided a gift to enable the establishment of five new research funds. Dr. Dobbin was also involved in the fundraising effort to revitalize Bannerman Park and has supported organizations like the Iris Kirby House, the Janeway Children’s Hospital, the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Shalloway Choir, the CNIB, the Battle Harbour Historic Trust, and the Sealers’ Memorial to name a few. Dr. Dobbin received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and received the Order of Canada in 2015. In 2019, Memorial University bestowed her with an Honourary Doctorate.

Robert Lyall, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Humanitarian

Contributions to society through his involvement with various boards and organizations supporting the Labrador indigenous community over a significant period of time. Robert Lyall was born in Hebron and has lived in a number of different Labrador communities including Nutak, Nain, and North West River. He worked with Labrador Health for 35 years prior to his retirement and he has always made time for community volunteerism. He has served as the Chairman of the Okalakatiget Society for two terms and was the Vice President of the Labrador Inuit Association for two years. He also served in the roles of President, Vice President, and as a board member for the Labrador Legal Services and the Labrador Friendship Centre boards. He is a longstanding member of the Lion’s Club and has been involved with the Moravian church for 66 years. He is also a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Helen Murphy, St. John’s, Humanitarian

Contributions to society through her work on inclusiveness of people who feel marginalized because of mental health, addictions, poverty and homelessness issues. Helen Murphy was born in Freshwater and has spent a number of years as a music teacher in the communities of Mount Pearl, Carbonear, and St. Mary’s Bay. She has taught music and choral singing in schools and supported church choirs. Helen has also served as a community educator and worked with community groups such as the Rabbittown Community Association and the Naskapi Montagnais Innu Association. She regularly brings attention to environmental responsibilities and is involved with the Social Action Commission’s work that has touched on low level flying in Labrador, refugee legislation, fisheries, and women’s equality issues.

Myles Murphy, St. John’s, Advocacy

Contributions to society through his efforts to ensure inclusion and accessibility for disability organizations with a focus on the deaf community. Myles Murphy was born on Bell Island, but had to leave his family at the age of six to attend school in Montréal as it was the only education option for deaf children in Newfoundland and Labrador at the time. He went on to teach ASL and Deaf Studies at Saint Mary’s University, Memorial University, and the Collage of the North Atlantic. Myles was a notable contributor in the creation of the Canadian Dictionary of ASL, and in 1991 he collaborated with the CRTC to bring telephone relay services for the deaf to the Atlantic provinces. He was also a leader in the establishment of closed captioning for CBC’s evening news in 1995. Myles provides an essential connection between the deaf community and the health care system, collaborating with Memorial University’s School of Medicine in two groundbreaking studies – one on palliative care for deaf people and one on how deaf patients express physical pain. He is involved with a number of local, provincial, and national disability organizations and in 2002 he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Susan Rose, Broad Cove, Conception Bay North, Human Rights

Contributions to society supporting LGBTQ2S children and adults by creating supportive environments through training and education initiatives with a focus on K-12 education. Susan Rose started working as a teacher in the provincial public school system in 1985 and has always spoken out to support the most vulnerable groups. She recognized stigma and discrimination against LGBTQ2S at an early stage and used her voice to start building more inclusive communities. She developed the Newfoundland Amazon Network (NAN), a support group for lesbians living in the province which was a free call-in service at her own expense. In 2013, she was instrumental in assisting the provincial Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in providing a province-wide LGBTQ training initiative for the K-12 school system. As a result, Newfoundland and Labrador became the first province in the country to provide a training program for educators on these issues. She is also an active member of EGALE Canada and the Canada Human Rights Trust.

Gordon Slade, Mount Pearl, Volunteerism

Contributions to society through volunteerism leading to the preservation of culturally and historically significant regions of the province. Gordon Slade was born in North Harbour and started his career with the Canadian government working in the areas of fisheries conservation and protection. He was appointed Deputy Minister of Fisheries with the provincial government in 1975 and became the Federal Economic Development Coordinator for the Newfoundland region in 1982. He then went on to be the Vice President (Newfoundland Division) for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency in 1987, playing a major role in shaping the provincial oil and gas and ocean technology sectors. He later went on to become CEO of One Ocean, the liaison organization between the fishing industry and the oil and gas industry, based at the Marine Institute. In 1998, Gordon founded the Battle Harbour Historic Trust to preserve a culturally and historically significant region of Labrador. He has also volunteered to support initiatives including the restoration of Port Union, the Ryan Premises National Historic Site, and Red Bay National Historic Site – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2006, Gordon became the chair of the Shorefast Foundation’s board. He has received an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from Memorial University in 2014 and the Order of Canada in 2005.

Bruce Templeton, Outer Cove, Volunteerism

Contributions to society as a community leader and humanitarian including his work as Santa’s assistant for over 40 years, making a difference locally and internationally. Bruce Templeton is the only living Canadian in the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame. He is a nationally bestselling author of four books that chronicle his collected personal experiences from years spent assisting Santa. Since 1978, Bruce has made over 1,500 visits to children, community groups, organizations, hospitals, palliative care units, and retirement homes. He has was also involved with the Downtown St. John’s Christmas Parade for 40 years, and has helped to realize the magical PAL Airlines / 99.1 HitsFM Flight to the North Pole annually. He always approaches his assistance of Santa with the same important goal – to make memories for children. Bruce spreads the message that it’s your presence that counts, not the presents. As an avid Rotarian, Bruce has selflessly donated the author proceeds of all his publications to Rotary International’s End Polio Now initiative, but not before getting his funds matched by organizations like the Gates Foundation. As a result, Bruce has ensured more than 350,000 children throughout the world have received polio vaccinations and the global initiative has so far managed to reduce the prevalence of polio to only two remaining countries – Pakistan and Afghanistan.

About the Award

The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador is the highest honour of the province. The object 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. The first investiture took place in 2004.

Any Canadian citizen who is a present or former long-term resident of Newfoundland and Labrador is eligible for nomination to the Order. According to the legislation governing the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador, the exceptions are public officials such as; judges, members of the Senate, House of Commons, House of Assembly or legislative assembly of a province, members of municipal, town, regional councils or local service district committees who may not be nominated while they are in office. Posthumous nominations are not accepted. Organizations, groups, or couples may not be nominated; the Order is for individuals only. Additionally, an individual who is not a Canadian citizen or current or former long-term resident of the province, but who has demonstrated excellence in their field of endeavour, and who has benefited the province and its residents in an outstanding manner, may be nominated as an honorary member.

If you know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to Newfoundland and Labrador and its residents, you are encouraged to nominate them for the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.

At a formal ceremony, the Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, as Chancellor of the Order, will present each recipient with a medal bearing the shield of Newfoundland and Labrador surmounted by the Crown. A member will receive a certificate signed by the Chancellor and sealed with the seal of the Order, as well as a miniature medal and a lapel pin. The medal is worn with a blue, green, white and gold ribbon. Members of the Order are entitled to use the initials O.N.L. after their names.

The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador Advisory Council selects members to be invested into the Order each year after considering all nominations received.

Order of Newfoundland and Labrador Insignia

The insignia of the Order is in the shape of a stylized pitcher plant (sarracenia purpurea Linnaeus), which was declared Newfoundland and Labrador’s floral emblem in 1954. The petals are crafted with the provincial mineral, Labradorite. The pitcher plant is found primarily in bogs and marshland throughout the province. It has a large wine-red flower with a red and gold centre, and hollow pitcher-shaped leaves are attached to the base of the stem.

The insignia of the Order has at its centre the Arms of the Province, granted by King Charles I, in January 1638. The Arms incorporate some of the most ancient heraldic symbols, the unicorn representing Scotland and the lion representing England.

The gold elements of the medal represent the excellence of achievement that the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes. The Crown is taken from the official standard of the Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Chancellor of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. It symbolizes honour and merit, and recalls Newfoundland and Labrador’s place as a province of Canada, a constitutional monarchy, and as part of the Commonwealth. The insignia of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador was approved by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II on June 3, 2003.