Nine seniors were recognized for their hard work and volunteerism at the 2023 Seniors of Distinction Awards.
The awards are meant to recognize the diversity, contributions and achievements of older persons and seniors throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
This year there was a total of 19 nominations for the 2023 Seniors of Distinction Awards. The successful recipients for this year’s awards include:
Gertrude Bromley of Conche graduated as a registered nurse in 1971, and became a nurse practitioner in 1975. She was employed with Labrador-Grenfell Health Services on the Great Northern Peninsula from 1971 to 2008. In addition to her normal hours of work, Gertrude was regularly called upon to help with emergencies in Conche and other towns in the region, and she provided constant advice to people working with seniors and persons with disabilities. Gertrude has volunteered on numerous committees and for various causes including school council, town council, housing for seniors, mental health and addictions and nursing recruitment. For the past six years, she has served as a voluntary board member with the Labrador-Grenfell Health Authority. Gertrude takes great pride in her community and has helped organize community concerts, plays and other social events. She helped conserve Conche’s history by having story boards erected at prominent sites within the community. Gertrude’s contributions extend outside her community and include raising relief funds for Haiti, as well as victims of Hurricane Fiona and the war in Ukraine. Gertrude also spearheaded activities to support The Gathering Place, The Salvation Army, Sick Kids, Operation Smile, the Red Cross, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Janeway. Gertrude is described as community-minded, loyal, generous, empathetic, fair, and simply kind.
Howard Butt was born in Twillingate where he married the love of his life, Dolly, in 1961. He finished his formal schooling in 1956 and started teaching in a two-room school in Bluff Head Cove on Twillingate Island. Howard graduated from Memorial University with Bachelor of Arts and Education degrees in 1970. He continued his teaching career in Twillingate, finishing at Twillingate Central High as an English teacher and vice-principal. His approach to teaching was described as enthusiastic and energetic. Howard is described as an inspiring role model in various areas of community life, including as a father, teacher, community member, and advocate for persons with disabilities. Howard’s role as a parent, in particular to two children with disabilities, is most inspiring. Howard and Dolly have been very active as volunteers to provide unique opportunities for persons with disabilities, including summer camps and social activities. Howard has made countless contributions to his community in various roles including: organizer at the Southside United Church for approximately 50 years; treasurer of the Twillingate – New World Island Minor Hockey Association; member of the board of directors for the Notre Dame Bay Memorial Hospital; member of the Newfoundland Rangers covering the Northeast Coast; and journalist/community reporter for the Lewisporte Pilot newspaper. Howard is described as an exceptional man with an exceptional personality that is filled with humour and insight. As one person said, “Rarely in life can we pinpoint the person who has changed our whole outlook on humanity – Howard is indeed one such human being.”
Sarah Foster (also known as Sadie Huxter) of Springdale has been a volunteer with the Green Bay Community Employment Corporation for 22 years. She is very dedicated and supportive of that organization’s efforts to reduce barriers for persons with disabilities. Sarah is also a longtime volunteer with the 837 Northeast Air Cadet Squadron, the Springdale Women’s Institute, her local Lions Club and others. She has taken an active leadership role with the Lions, including two terms as president and one term each as first and second vice-president. Sarah was the first female member of her Lions Club and the first female to serve as president. Sarah is described as the epitome of volunteering and giving back to the community.
Martin Brendan Hynes
Martin Brendan Hynes was born in the community of Port au Port and later moved to St. Lawrence, where he served as a postmaster with Canada Post and on a regional management board for Canada Post for the Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas. He retired in 2004 with 35 years of service. During his career, he also obtained a diploma in Business Administration from Memorial University. Martin has been involved in several organizations and committees, including the RCSCC 269 Endeavour Sea Cadet Corps, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, St. Lawrence Come Home Year committees, St. Lawrence Soccer Association and community dart league executives. His most recent efforts involve researching history of veterans from the Boer War, World War One, World War Two, the Korean War, peacekeeping duties and the Afghan War. During his time with the Endeavour Sea Cadet Corps, Martin obtained the rank of Lieutenant, served as a cadet instructor, and became highly involved with the annual USS Truxtun & USS Pollux Memorial Services. In 2003, Martin received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and has also received the Navy League medal for 30 years of service. Martin has also served as a councilor with the Town of St. Lawrence, a member of the Burin Peninsula School Board, and as a Eucharistic Minister. Each year in July and November, Martin places a handmade white cross of memory in front of his property and the town’s municipal building. He makes a special effort to place flags of remembrance at the grave sites of veterans during remembrance week.
Albert Legge was born in Whiteway and attended school at Whiteway and Green’s Harbour before graduating in 1965. He later obtained Bachelor of Science and Education Degrees from Memorial University. Albert taught at Epiphany Elementary in Heart’s Delight from 1970 to 1975, and at Holy Trinity High in Heart’s Content from 1975 to 2000. Since retiring, Albert has developed a keen interest in photography and enjoys other hobbies such as gardening, fishing and dog training. Residents of Whiteway recognize Albert’s contributions as deputy mayor and president of the 50+ Club. He has also held numerous volunteer positions, including public representative on the Newfoundland and Labrador College of Veterinarians, President and Vice-President of the Retired Teachers’ Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, chairperson of the Whiteway Heritage Society, and founder and present manager of the Whiteway Community Garden and chair of the Garden Committee.
Joyce Morgan of Port de Grave has been involved with many volunteer organizations over the years, including the Port de Grave Peninsula Heritage Society, the Christmas Boat Lighting Event at Port de Grave, 2022 Come Home Year, and St. Luke’s Church, where she has livestreamed all of the church services since the COVID-19 pandemic. This livestreaming has been particularly meaningful for individuals living outside the province during funerals and grave-side burials. Joyce has spent time visiting seniors in their homes, helping with everyday activities such as medical appointments, shopping, banking, and teaching others to use various communication devices. Joyce has always engaged individuals, politicians, governments, historical associations and historians in a respectful way that ensures others’ ideas are considered and included. Joyce is an avid photographer and can be found at most community events taking pictures or videos to preserve history. Her photos and videos have been shared around the world. Joyce and her husband are recreational boaters, and had the privilege of cruising from Portsmouth in New Hampshire to Cartwright in Labrador.
Fraser W. Piccott
Fraser W. Piccott of St. John’s has long been an advocate for persons with disabilities, and has volunteered to make Newfoundland and Labrador more inclusive. Fraser demonstrates the impact one volunteer can make in a community. He has served as chair of the former Provincial Advisory Council for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, Vice-President of Inclusion Canada and President of Inclusion Canada-NL. He currently serves as a member of the Bowring Park Foundation, as a member of SeniorsNL’s Board of Directors, as founding chairperson and active volunteer with Avalon Employment Incorporated, and as interim chair of the Disability Tax Credit/Registered Disability Savings Plan Uptake Task Force. Fraser is described as innovative and relentless in his efforts to support individuals with disabilities, and his efforts are described as immeasurable in their positive societal impacts.
Lorna Warford of Irishtown-Summerside has demonstrated a deep commitment to improving the lives of others through her volunteer work and philanthropy. Lorna’s positive impact on her community can be seen through her involvement with various organizations, including the HIS Firettes, the Irishtown Recreation Committee, the Irishtown Mountain View 50+ Club, the NL 50+ Federation, and Girl Guides of Canada. She has also served her community as mayor and a member of council. Lorna’s leadership is described as an inspiration to others to get involved and make a difference. While her community involvement is well known, Lorna’s kindness and support to neighbours and friends is just as commendable.
Angela M. Woodford
Angela M. Woodford of Harbour Main-Chapel’s Cove-Lakeview has been a steadfast volunteer for over 60 years, and contributes in a humble and unassuming way. She is first to admit that nothing would be possible without the support of all volunteers and residents of the town. She advocates for many causes in her community through her volunteer activities, including as a family bereavement coordinator, chair and member of her parish council, lector, Eucharistic Minister, and chair of the Fundraising Committee. Angela also coordinates youth summer employment for her community, is the food bank coordinator, town recreation coordinator, and has served as a Girl Guide leader. She was stage manager for Centre Stage Players; a member of the Ladies Auxiliary for the Harbour Main-Chapel’s Cove-Lakeview Volunteer Fire Department; and a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion, North Arm Branch. Angela was a teacher for over 30 years, and vice-principal for four of those years. During her career, she served in many school-related volunteer capacities.
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