NOTE: Photos and biographies of the 2014 Order of Nova Scotia recipients are available at novascotia.ca/iga/2014recipients.asp .
Five outstanding Nova Scotians, internationally recognized as leaders in their respective fields, will be invested into the Order of Nova Scotia this month.
Premier Stephen McNeil made the announcement today, Nov. 4.
“Through their work, these Nova Scotians have made invaluable contributions to our communities and our province,” said Premier McNeil. “Their accomplishments and bodies of work have made Nova Scotia a better place to live. This honour is truly well-deserved.”
The 2014 Order of Nova Scotia recipients are:
— Walter Marven Borden, New Glasgow: Mr. Borden is an acclaimed poet, playwright, actor, community leader and social activist. In the late 1960s, at the height of the civil rights movement in Nova Scotia, Mr. Borden helped establish Kwaacha House, an interracial teen-oriented, drop-in and social education centre advocating the full equality of citizenship and opportunity for African Nova Scotians. Mr. Borden joined Halifax’s Neptune Theatre Company in 1972 and his one-man show, Tightrope Time, was an autobiographical examination of the politics of being black, gay and raised in rural Nova Scotia. For his work, Mr. Borden has received numerous accolades, including honorary degrees, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals, the African Nova Scotian Music Association’s Music Heritage Award, and is a member of the Order of Canada.
— Dr. Richard Ballon Goldbloom, Halifax: Dr. Goldbloom is an internationally acclaimed pediatrician. Over the past four decades, his leadership and vision have helped expand and develop the IWK Health Centre into one of the leading hospitals of its kind in Canada. Dr. Goldbloom promoted excellence in research and attracted experts in their fields, leading to many innovations in the treatment of children. He also began the Read To Me! program, which fights low literacy rates in Nova Scotia by providing reading materials to new parents. Dr. Goldbloom is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a recipient of the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals, and Chancellor Emeritus of Dalhousie University.
— Dr. Stanley Paul Kutcher, Herring Cove: Dr. Kutcher is a renowned expert in adolescent mental health and an international leader in mental health research, advocacy and health services innovation. He has served as associate dean, international health, and as head, department of psychiatry, Dalhousie University. He has improved mental health care in Nova Scotia through specialty clinical programs, first onset psychosis and mobile crisis care. A founding member of Laing House, he has led the development of school mental health programs, reaching students throughout the province. He established the mental health research program, recruiting top researchers and academics to Nova Scotia and was instrumental in establishing the Brain Repair Centre, and the International/Global Health Office. He has created TeenMentalHealth.org, an innovative knowledge translation resource meeting the needs of youth, parents, educators and health providers.
— Wanda Elaine Thomas Bernard, East Preston: Ms. Thomas Bernard is a respected educator, scholar and social-work practitioner. As past director of the Maritime School of Social Work at Dalhousie University, Ms. Thomas Bernard addressed issues related to racial and cultural diversity in social work education and in the community. She is a founding member of the Association of Black Social Workers and was also involved with the Black United Front, the National Black Coalition, and numerous projects within the African Nova Scotian community. Her work in the field of social justice has led to her induction into the W.P. Oliver Wall of Fame at the Black Cultural Centre. She has also received the Nova Scotia Human Rights Award, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and is a member of the Order of Canada.
— Ruth Holmes Whitehead, Halifax: Ms. Whitehead is recognized worldwide as a scholar, researcher, author, historian and mentor. For 40 years, as staff ethnologist and assistant curator at the Nova Scotia Museum, she worked to ensure the stories of the Mi’kmaq of eastern Canada and the Black Loyalists of Nova Scotia are remembered. This led to the Nova Scotia Museum hosting the most comprehensive collection of Mi’kmaw material and cultural artifacts in the world. The research for her most recent book, Black Loyalists: Southern Settlers of Nova Scotia’s First Free Black Communities, served as the inspiration for the Book of Negroes, the internationally acclaimed novel by Canadian author Lawrence Hill.
The recipients were selected from 117 nominations by the Order of Nova Scotia Advisory Council.
The 2014 recipients will be recognized at the 13th investiture ceremony on Dec. 3 at Province House in Halifax.
The Order of Nova Scotia was established in June 2001 and is the highest honour bestowed by the province. Recipients have the right to use the initials O.N.S. after their names.