While preparing my Book of the Week posts, and more generally while reading Labrador books, I have noticed that several Labrador authors have been named to either the Order of Canada or the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. So I thought that it might be interesting and worthwhile to compile a list of Labradorians who have been awarded those honours (whether they are authors or not).
The Governor General of Canada website has a very handy “Canadian Honours Search Page” that made the first half of this task easy. Searching by province lists 133 recipients in NL, all of whom are identified by place of residence. Looking through the list for Labrador places yields the following list of 7 people, from most recent to earliest year of appointment. Note that I may have missed other people with strong connections to Labrador, or Labradorians living elsewhere; this list only goes by the official place of residence as cited in the award.
Labradorian Members of the Order of Canada
- Ben Powell Sr., Charlottetown – 1996
- Bessie Flynn, Forteau – 1994
- Sybilla Nitsman, Hopedale – 1987
- Clara Evelyn Campbell, Rigolet – 1986
- Doris Saunders, Happy Valley – 1985
- Alice Perrault, Happy Valley – 1984
- Tony Paddon, North West River – 1978, officer 1988
No centralized Order of Newfoundland and Labrador recipient list seems to be publicized online, but I was able to review the individual recipient biographies attached to the annual news releases announcing the awards. Except for 2018, these do not explicitly identify a place of residence for each recipient, but in cases where I did not recognize the names (mainly people who weren’t Labradorian), I was generally able to determine from the text where they live, or at least where the achievements or contributions took place for which the honour was awarded. This method produced a list of 10 people from a total of exactly 100 honour recipients to date—which is roughly in line with the population ratio between Labrador and Newfoundland. Again, this list is potentially subject to error. My apologies for any omissions!
Labradorian Members of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador
- Paula Dawe, Happy Valley-Goose Bay – 2019
- Robert Lyall, Happy Valley-Goose Bay – 2018
- Sterling Peyton, Happy Valley-Goose Bay – 2014
- Gilbert Linstead, L’Anse-au-Loup – 2013
- Fran Williams, Nain – 2012
- Alton Best, Mud Lake – 2011
- Margaret Pike, Labrador City – 2009
- Max Winters, Happy Valley-Goose Bay – 2007
- Tim Borlase, Happy Valley-Goose Bay – 2005
- Hank Shouse, Happy Valley-Goose Bay – 2004
Since it was the authors among these luminaries who first piqued my interest, I should briefly note here some of the books that they have written. Ben Powell accounts for much of the bibliography on his own! I am aware of no less than 17 books by him: Labrador by Choice, 1984; In Canada’s North, 1985; Labrador, the Land We Love, 1986; The Letter that Was Never Read, 1987; In the Subarctic, 1990; Trapline, 1990; No Sound From the Dying, 1991; A Journey with Santa, 1992; Man of Labrador, 1993; In the Labrador Wilds, 1993; Too Many Drownings, Too Many Tears, 1994; Life on the Last Frontier, 1995; Men to Remember, 1996; The Future is In Your Hands, 1996; The Little Girl Who Saved Her Aunt’s Life, 1996; Sport Fishing in Labrador, 1997; and A Dream that Came True, 2000. There may be other titles that I have missed, and indeed a 2011 Telegram profile puts the number at 19.
Doris Saunders was also one of Labrador’s major literary figures, mainly as an editor, though she also wrote many articles and other short pieces. Her editorship included several books and many, many issues of Them Days. Other titles by the members of these lists include two previous Books of the Week (Alice Perrault’s History of Happy Valley, 1967 and Tim Borlase’s Songs of Labrador, 1993); various other books written, co-written, or edited by Borlase; and Dr. Paddon’s Labrador Doctor, 1989.