Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, The Honourable John Harvard, P.C. O.M.  
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News Releases
July 15, 2004

Eleven Manitobans to receive
Order of Manitoba

Lieutenant Governor J. Harvard
To Preside over Investiture


Eleven Manitobans will be invested into the Order of Manitoba, the province’s highest honour, at a special ceremony to be held at 4:00 p.m., today , in Room 200 of the Legislative Building.

Lt. Gov. John Harvard, chancellor of the order, will preside over the investiture of deserving Manitobans who are being recognized for their individual demonstrated excellence and achievement that has benefited the social, cultural or economic well-being of the province and its residents.

The members to be invested this year are:

  • Mr. Leonard Cariou (New York);
  • Sister Theresa Champagne (Thompson);
  • Dr. Harvey Chochinov (Winnipeg);
  • Dr. Henry Friesen (Winnipeg);
  • Ms Virgina Guiang. (Winnipeg);
  • The Honourable Benjamin Hewak (Winnipeg);
  • Mr. Vern Hildahl (Winnipeg);
  • His Worship Samuel Katz (Winnipeg);
  • Dr. Arthur Mauro O.C. (Winnipeg);
  • Dr. Don Robertson (Norway House); and
  • Mr. Val Werier (Winnipeg).

“The Manitobans we are honouring today are truly deserving of this recognition for their accomplishments and contributions to the province,” said the lieutenant governor. “Upon investiture, members will receive the insignia of the order and are entitled to use the initials O.M. after their names for life.”

Dr. June James (Winnipeg), who was also recommended to receive the honour, is unable to attend the July 15 ceremony and will be invested at a later date.

Appointments are made by the chancellor on the recommendation of a seven-member advisory council. Individuals who are currently members of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, House of Commons, Senate or judiciary are not eligible for membership while they hold office.

Leonard Joseph Cariou

Len Cariou has demonstrated excellence and achievement in the visual and performing arts field. His first professional appearance as an actor was at Winnipeg's Rainbow Stage in the 1960 production of "Damn Yankees". He went on to perform for several years at the Manitoba Theatre Centre and from there launched a very extensive acting career at Ontario's Stratford Theatre, the Guthrie in Minneapolis and on Broadway where he stared in two award winning musicals and earned best actor nominations. He returned to Winnipeg and became artistic director of the Manitoba Theatre Centre for the 1975/76 season.

Over the years, he has performed in many parts of the world and in many different theatres, movies and television. He has won many awards for his work. He is credited as being one of North America's finest classical actors.

He has benefited Manitoba through his outstanding talent and his ongoing commitment to Manitoba and to the arts community in particular.

He is honorary chair of the MTC Endowment Fund.

He played a victim of Alzheimer's and donated his services, raising millions for Alzheimer research. The Winnipeg Chapter of the Alzheimer foundation benefited from a special gala screening of the film.

Sister Thérèse Champagne

At age 20, Thérèsa Champagne entered the Congregation of the Missionary Oblate Sisters whose mandate it is to tend to the needs of the poor and make bilingual and religious education a priority. Sister Champagne taught for more than 34 years in public, private and residential schools through the Prairie Provinces.

Northern Manitoba needed someone to serve as a pastoral minister to the Cree, Métis and white population living in outlying communities of the Keewatin-LePas Archdiocese. She travels between the communities of Thompson, Thicket Portage and Wabowden ministering to the needs of the community.

Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov

Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov has devoted the past decade to palliative care research. His program of research has explored various psychosocial issues in the end of life care. Because of his work, more is known about the prevalence of depression in patients nearing death, and health care providers are better able to detect and treat clinical depression in the terminally ill. His studies on "Desire for Death" (published in the American Journal of Psychiatry) and "Will to Live" (published in The Lancet). The work on depression and suicidal thinking in patients receiving palliative care is bed rock in any consideration of legalizing assisted suicide. This work persuaded the Special Senate Committee, to support improved end-of-life care for all Canadians. His work on dignity is ground breaking. Chochinov and colleagues have brought light, clarity and relevance to this important concept.

Dr. Chochinov's work has been widely recognized and he has been the recipient of several awards and honors. He has been a lecturer and invited scholar to most academic institutions across North America and abroad. He has been a Medical Research Council of Canada Scientist, and a Canadian Institute of Health Research Investigator. He is the recipient of this country's only Canada Research Chair in Palliative Care, and with recent funding has established one of Canada's only palliative care research units designated to study psychosocial issues as they pertain to end of life care. He has spearheaded the development and launch of the Canadian Virtual Hospice, an interactive network for patients, families and health care providers, dealing with life-threatening illness and loss.

Dr. Henry G. Friesen, C.C., F.R.S.C.

Dr. Friesen is a highly qualified doctor who received his MD degree in 1958 from the University of Manitoba and was trained as an endocrinologist at the New England Medical Center in Boston. His research work on growth hormones at McGill University resulted in the therapy of growth hormone in dwarf children, which treatment is now being used all over the world.

Among in his peers, he is considered a “living legend" in the field of endocrinology due to his research into the isolation and purification of human prolactin, which stimulated numerous investigators to study the characteristics and mechanisms of action of this hormone. His research showed that an excessive amount of circulating prolactin was responsible for infertility in women. This laid the foundation for the development of a highly effective drug "Bromocriptine" for the treatment of infertility. He is the author of more than 460 publications in the field of endocrinology.

He serves as President of the Medical Research Council and was a prime moving force for starting the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He is the Founding Chair of Genome Canada and has served as President of several other national organizations.

Virginia Guiang

Virginia Guiang immigrated to Winnipeg in 1969 from the Philippines. A teacher by profession she has volunteered and contributed to her community in the following ways:

A founding member of the Cosmopolitan Group of Winnipeg, she served as president of the Philippine Association of Winnipeg (1988-91) and, cultural director of the Philippine Folk Dance Ensemble (1970-78). She is a founder and adviser of the Filipino Domestic Workers Assoc. of Manitoba and a founding member of the Coalition of Filipino-Canadians on Violence Prevention, 1995. Serving as a member of the Mayor’s Race Relations Committee (1986-1990), she is also a tireless supporter of the Manitoba Women’s Advisory Council, Multicultural Grants Advisory Council and the Board of Directors of St. Boniface Hospital Research Foundation.

She initiated and played a role in the acquisition of the new Philippine Cultural Centre, where she introduced and teaches citizenship classes, English as a Second Language, organized an annual event for Filipino Seniors, and teaches the Pilipino language at the Centre.

She has successfully organized and run a campaign for clemency on behalf of a Filipino domestic worker sentenced to die in the United Arab Emirates as well as prayer vigil's for others in need.

The Honourable Benjamin Hewak

The Honourable Benjamin Hewak is a former Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba, having served in that capacity for 17 years. Prior to that, he served as a Judge in both the County Court of Winnipeg and the Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba. He is the first person of Ukrainian descent to have held the position of Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench in Manitoba. Under his term as Chief Justice, he brought significant changes and improvements. It has been said of that that "he has changed the face of the court system in this Province and changed and improved the system of justice in Manitoba."

He has served his community in the following ways: former Alderman of the City of West Kildonan; former President of the Ukrainian National Youth Federation; former Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors of Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble; former President and Member of Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus; former Chairman of the Seven Oaks Hospital Foundation; former Member of the Holy Family Nursing Home Advisory Board; former Member of St. Andrews College Advisory Board; former Member of Board of Directors of the Ukrainian Cultural Centre (Oseredok) and Member of the Canadian Judicial Counsel

He is a recipient of a Honourary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Manitoba and was inducted into the Hall of Distinction of Canada's National Ukrainian Festival

Vern Hildahl

Vern Hildahl served in the armed forces during World War II. He coached and managed many community sports teams, was a founder of the Harrow Recreation Centre, the first president of the Harrow School Parents Association, a Boy Scout Leader and active on the executive of his church.

In 1945 he joined the Canadian Forestry Service. In a career that spanned 35 years with the federal government and 10 years in a shared position with the Manitoba government and City of Winnipeg, Vern conducted research and contributed scientific papers on Forest Tent Caterpillar, Cankerous and Spruce Bud Worm infestations. It was his contribution to the understanding of Dutch elm disease that earned him international recognition.

During the 1950's, Eastern Canada and the U.S. saw its American Elms obliterated by Dutch elm disease. Vern Hildahl extensively researched the outbreak of the disease and became convinced the Native Elm Bark Beetle, an insect that had been here long before the outbreak of Dutch Elm Disease was responsible. Scientists from all over North America and Europe were coming to Winnipeg to hear Vern Hildahl lecture on the subject.

He convinced local authorities to commit funds to his program to control the disease by an aggressive sanitation program which involved pruning dead branches from trees, removing dead trees and properly disposing of elm wood. Cities like Winnipeg, Chicago, and Syracuse implemented his program, the loss of elms was around 2% per year, compared to 95% loss in other communities who did not implement his program.

Dr. June Marion James

Dr. James was the first black woman accepted into the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba and is currently an Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba

She was elected to Executive Council at Winnipeg Clinic, Chairperson of the Ethics Committee and Chairperson of the Building and Properties Committee.

She is a member of the board for the Winnipeg Foundation and the Harambee Housing Co-op. A charter member of the Congress of Black Women since 1981, she also serves various other board activities including St. Johns Ravenscourt, Manitoba Museum and the Community Legal Education Association

Samuel M. Katz

Born in Israel, Sam Katz moved to Winnipeg in 1951. He is president and owner of the Winnipeg Goldeyes Baseball Club. He is credited with the construction of Winnipeg's ballpark, CanWest Global Park, home of the Winnipeg Goldeyes Baseball Club. Mr. Katz has made CanWest Global Park "fan friendly", encouraging family attendance. The architecture of the park has included not only a park-like setting but also a view of Winnipeg's skyline, reflecting his concern for the enhancement and beautification of the city. Sam Katz is the founder of the Winnipeg Goldeyes Field of Dreams Foundation which has donated over $150,000 to charities and non-profit organizations.

Other interests have included President and CEO of Showtime Productions, co-founder Walker Theatre Performing Arts Group, and CEO of Nite Out Entertainment. Other business interests include Lemax Manufacturing, Rumor's Comedy Club, Grapes Restaurant, Green Gates Restaurant and Pasta la Vista.

He is listed in "Manitoba 125 - A History, Volume 3 Decades of Diversity" as one of history's 125 most influential Manitobans.

Arthur V. Mauro, O.C., Q.C., K.S.G., LL.D.

In private enterprise and in voluntary service, Arthur Mauro has contributed to the economic, civic and cultural life of Manitoba. His contributions span the law, higher education, charities, health services, advanced research, national and provincial aspects of public policy sport, aboriginal affairs, community development, business development, the fine arts, and national unity.

As a lawyer, he is a leading expert in the field of transportation, especially as it relates to the North, and he is counsel to Manitoba's largest law firm, Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson. He was the CEO of Investors Group and a director of a number of Canada's major businesses. As an educator, he has been a lecturer and Chancellor of the University of Manitoba.

The son of Italian immigrants, he has served as Honourary Vice Consul of Italy.

His community service record includes serving as: chair of Winnipeg Community Chest, chair of St. Paul's College Board of Directors, chair Winnipeg Art Gallery Foundation Inc., chair Province of Manitoba Skills Training Advisory Committee, chair 1991 Grey Cup Festival Committee, hair of the Board of St. Boniface Hospital, chair Winnipeg Jets Steering Committee, chair of Negotiations on Internal Trade, chair The Catholic Foundation of Manitoba, deputy chair of St. Boniface Hospital Research Foundation, president of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, director of North Portage Development Corporation, director Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, member - Dorais Charities Inc., member - The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, director - Business Council of Manitoba, member - The Council for Canadian Unity, member - Winnipeg Millennium Council.

Don Robertson

Don Robertson, a Cree from Norway House became an ordained United Church Minister and dedicated his life to the welfare of his people. He has been particularly committed to education. Prior to his work in the field of post-secondary education, Dr. Robertson served in pastorates in Melita and Russell, Manitoba.

At Brandon University, he was the director of the Indian-Metis Project for Action in Careers through Teacher Education, and the Director of the Brandon University Northern Teacher Education Program, sometimes called BUNTEP. At Red River College, Dr. Robertson served as the Dean of Aboriginal Education and Institutional Diversity.

He has served as the Superintendent of the Manitoba Indian Education Association and the Director of Education for the Island Lake Tribal Council. Prior to his retirement in 2002, he served as the Executive Director of the First Nations Education Resource Centre for two years. In 1999 Dr. Robertson was named Chair of the Council on Post-Secondary Education (COPSE) and has served with great distinction.

Val Werier, C.M.

Val Werier was born and raised in Winnipeg. He served as a navigator in the RCAF in Bomber Command in the Second World War, completing a tour of operations overseas with the rank of flying officer. After the war, he joined the Winnipeg Tribune as a reporter. In turn, he became city editor, news editor, associate editor and columnist. When the Tribune folded he became a columnist with the Winnipeg Free Press, a position he still holds.

He has written extensively on heritage and the natural and physical environment, long before they became popular causes. He has received many national awards.

His writings have had a profound impact on the community, resulting in social and environmental changes in Manitoba. With a deep affection for the province, he has championed the protection of Lake Winnipeg, as well as Manitoba's parks and waterways. He has written about the vulnerable in society over his 55 year career.