The following is being distributed at the request of Her Honour, the Honourable Judy M. Foote P.C., O.N.L, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador:
At a ceremony today at Colonial Building, the Honourable Judy M. Foote, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, congratulated the remarkable recipients of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.
This year’s recipients are Robert W. Cormier, C.M., Dr. Catherine Donovan, Alan Thomas Doyle, C.M., Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Carla Emerson Furlong, Joseph D. Goudie, Dr. Proton Rahman and Maxwell (Max) Short. Seven of the individuals were present at today’s ceremony, and a presentation will be made to Alan Thomas Doyle, C.M. at a later date.
The recipients are receiving the province’s highest honour for their ‘demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting in an outstanding manner Newfoundland and Labrador and its residents.’
With today’s recipients, there is now a select group of just 135 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians invested to the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Biographies for each person honoured at today’s ceremony can be found in the backgrounder below.
Each recipient of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador is nominated for the award and is presented with a medal bearing the shield of Newfoundland and Labrador surmounted by the Crown. Members receive a certificate signed by the Lieutenant Governor, Chancellor and sealed with the seal of the Order, as well as a miniature medal and a lapel pin. Members of the Order are entitled to use the initials O.N.L. after their names.
More information on the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador can be found at www.gov.nl.ca/onl.
“The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador, first approved by Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in 2003, is our province’s highest honour and a part of the official honours system of Canada. The eight exemplary Newfoundlanders and Labradorians invested today join a prestigious group of 135 individuals who have received the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador since the honour was first bestowed in 2004. These eight recipients demonstrate deep commitment and dedication to our province and their fields of expertise. The impact of their work resonates not only within Newfoundland and Labrador, but our country, and internationally. It is my honour to recognize these outstanding individuals with the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Honourable Judy M. Foote, P.C., O.N.L.
Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador
“These eight individuals represent the best of Newfoundland and Labrador and they are true mentors and ambassadors for the province. While they may come from different walks of life and have varying experiences and contributions, they share a common drive to make the world a better place. It was a privilege to recognize them today as they receive the province’s highest honour in the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. I offer sincere congratulations on behalf of the Provincial Government and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Honourable Andrew Furey
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Office of the Premier
Biographies of those invested into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador
Robert W. Cormier, C.M.
Robert W. Cormier lives in Cape Saint George where his extensive dedication to the French language has had a lasting impact on his community, and the French education system in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Mr. Cormier is a graduate of Memorial University’s Faculty of Education and worked for more than 30 years as a teacher, principal and program coordinator.
Mr. Cormier is a founding member of the first French Association in Newfoundland and Labrador, Les Terre-Neuviens Francais, as well as a founding member of La Fédération des francophones de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador, the provincial francophone federation. He has served as president of both organizations.
Mr. Cormier has worked tirelessly to promote and preserve the French language and culture in this province. He quickly realized the importance of Education as a means of not only preserving the language but also promoting and instilling pride in it. From personal experience, Mr. Cormier knew that, although the people of his own community spoke the French language, they had never been given the opportunity to learn to read and write it.
In his leadership role, Mr. Cormier helped obtain French First Language education for students in this province. In 1988, the former French Immersion program, which begun in Cape St. George in 1975, was transformed into the French First Language program which is now offered in the francophone schools across the province. These schools are managed by the Provincial Francophone School Board, an important tool in giving francophones control over their education.
Although Mr. Cormier is retired, he continues to serve the community as a volunteer member on the Board of Directors of Les Terre-Neuviens Francais and the Board of Directors of Long Range Community Business Development Corporation.
Mr. Cormier was awarded Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee Medal and invested into the Order of Canada in 2002.
Dr. Catherine Donovan
For more than 30 years, Dr. Catherine Donovan helped build the foundation for Public Health in Newfoundland and Labrador. She is a retired professor of public health and former Medical Officer of Health at Eastern Health who worked tirelessly to promote and protect the health of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Dr. Donovan is a graduate of Memorial University and the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Donovan exemplifies true resiliency. At the beginning of her career as Medical Officer of Health in the early 1990s, she helped contain a HIV outbreak in Conception Bay North through her leadership and public health advice. By the end of her career, she helped navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Donovan dedicated much of her career to promoting health; she served as the Principal Investigator for the Newfoundland and Labrador Heart Health Program and for more than 15 years chaired the Provincial Wellness Advisory Council.
Before her retirement in 2020, Dr. Donovan played an instrumental role in the development of the Masters of Public Health and the Indigenous Health program at Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine where she acted as Program Chair, Associate Dean and Associate Professor before she retired.
Dr. Donovan is the recipient of many awards including the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for the Contribution to the Promotion of Heart Health, the Jansen-Ortho Inc. Award for Advancing the State of the Art of Public Health in Canada and the Nathan Gosse Award for Significant Contribution to Environmental Public Health in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Alan Thomas Doyle, C.M.
Alan Thomas Doyle is a musician, composer, writer and humanitarian from St. John’s. His immense pride and passion for Newfoundland and Labrador is infectious and he uses his platform to help those who need it most.
Mr. Doyle has been involved in dozens of foundations, causes and organizations such as Daffodil Place, Team Broken Earth, Children’s Wish, the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre, Memorial University, Smiling Land Foundation, and the Canadian Cancer Association, just to team a few. In 2018, Mr. Doyle co-founded the Dollar A Day Foundation, which has distributed more than $3 million to dozens of mental health and addictions programs in every Province and Territory in Canada.
In addition to his work as a humanitarian, Mr. Doyle’s music has united so many while spreading the province’s rich culture and heritage around the world. He has sold over 1 million albums with his work in Great Big Sea and Solo releases all of which have featured the sounds and influences of Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Music. He wrote and recorded a song with the Newfoundland Regiment Band, “Into the Arms of Home”, which touched the lives of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians as it commemorated 225 years of the regiment. He is a Best Selling Author and his most recent musical theatre project, Tell Tale Harbour, is the fastest selling production in the 60-plus years of the storied Charlottetown Festival.
Mr. Doyle was invested into the Order of Canada in 2018.
Dr. Janice Fitzgerald
Dr. Janice Fitzgerald is the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Newfoundland and Labrador.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Dr. Fitzgerald has led the public health response to the pandemic, with grace, patience and resilience. Her work has been instrumental in our province achieving the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the country.
Dr. Fitzgerald was notably a leader that residents of the province could rely on through hundreds of live COVID-19 briefings, alert system implementations and the navigation of public health measures.
Her mantra of “Hold Fast” reassured countless seniors and those with chronic illnesses. Her friendly videos educated residents during a stressful period and also brought comfort to families, especially those with children, whose lives had changed drastically during the pandemic.
Carla Emerson Furlong
Carla Emerson Furlong is a noted musician who has made outstanding contributions to the arts and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador and indeed, Canada. In addition, she spent decades as an avid volunteer in the community.
Ms. Furlong studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music and Juilliard. She studied under famous American harpist Marcel Grandjany. Despite her studies being interrupted by World War II, Ms. Furlong graduated from The Juilliard School in 1948. During the war, she served as a Cypher Technician in St. John’s.
In 1950, Ms. Furlong was appointed harpist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and performed with Halle Orchestra, and toured Great Britain with Vic Oliver’s Variety Show.
Ms. Furlong was instrumental in establishing the Harp Department at the Royal Conservatory of Toronto, performed with the Toronto Symphony and the Ottawa Philharmonic Orchestra, and recorded CBC Television and Radio shows. In 1962, she returned home to join the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra as principal harpist and helped establish the School of Music at Memorial University.
For more than 40 years, Ms. Furlong guided locals and visitors to learn about the architectural significance of the Anglican Cathedral. She generously gave her time to the Avalon Battalion Band of the Church Lad’s Brigade, Kiwanis Music Festival, as well as mentored students for examinations for the Trinity College and the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Ms. Furlong was a sought-after harp instructor. People travelled considerable distances to study with her until she stopped teaching, one year ago, at the age of 99.
Joseph D. Goudie
Joseph Goudie is a proud Métis elder widely recognized for his public service and outstanding heritage and cultural contributions to Labrador. His long and storied career began at CBC Radio in Happy Valley-Goose Bay as a broadcaster. In 1975, Mr. Goudie was the second Indigenous member elected to the House of Assembly, and made history as the first Labradorian to serve in cabinet. He spent more than thirty years perfecting craftsmanship as a master traditional Labrador canoe builder.
Throughout his life, Mr. Goudie raised awareness of Labrador’s unique cultures and tirelessly promoted its rich and diverse heritage to the world. Prior to entering politics, Mr. Goudie founded the Labrador Heritage Society and became its president. In that capacity, he was instrumental in the start of Them Days magazine, which is still active today.
His leadership and legacy continue in many cultural and heritage institutions such as Parks Canada and the Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve, Labrador Heritage Society, Labrador Metis Association, Labrador Winter Games, The Trapline Marathon, and the Great Labrador Canoe Race.
Mr. Goudie was awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers in 2017.
Dr. Proton Rahman
Dr. Proton Rahman is internationally-renowned in the field of health care. He was the Associate Dean of Clinical Research at the Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University. He is also a clinician scientist, professor of medicine, and staff rheumatologist at Eastern Health. Dr. Rahman is a graduate from Memorial University and the University of Toronto. His groundbreaking research and leadership has had a profound impact on patients around the world.
He is well recognized for his translational genetics research and has identified several novel susceptibility genes in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, as well as new genetic markers for disease progression and pharmacogenetics in other inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Dr. Rahman established a research program at Memorial University, pioneered the development of the Newfoundland and Labrador Genealogical Database, and lead the Janssen and Newfoundland and Labrador Health Innovation Partnership. He obtained over $68 million dollars in research grants and is published in top genetics and rheumatology scientific journals.
Dr. Rahman is the recipient of many awards including the University Research Professor, Distinguished Canadian Rheumatology Investigator Award, President’s Award for Outstanding Research, Arthritis Society of Canada Scholar, Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator Award, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
His efforts in leading the COVID-19 Predictive Analysis Team helped shape and guide the province’s pandemic response.
Maxwell (Max) Short
Maxwell (Max) Short has spent six decades advocating for the quality of life of fishing families across Newfoundland and Labrador.
Mr. Short is familiar with the fisheries industry having started at a young age after his family resettled from a northern community in the province. In the early 1950s, he fished with his father and grandfather in the Gulf of St. Lawrence where he developed his passion.
He made the transition from the fishing boat to the office in the 1970s, where he showed leadership and influence that fostered his many connections with the Federal Government. Mr. Short’s work was instrumental in securing the Federal Government’s support for fish harvesters and plant workers during the cod moratorium in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Mr. Short was a member of the Northern Cod Commission, the Canadian delegation to the North Atlantic Salmon Commission (NASCO), the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), and the Canada/France Advisory Commission. He was also a Canadian Commissioner to the Canada/Norway Sealing Commission.
From 1994 to 2003, Mr. Short was the special advisor to the Ministers of Fisheries and Oceans.