Two Islanders will soon receive a very high honour from the Canadian Red Cross.
The Canadian Red Cross announced yesterday that senator Catherine Callbeck of Central Bedeque will receive its 2012 Humanitarian award for Prince Edward Island. The Red Cross also announced that Scotty Joe Smith of Freeland will receive the Canadian Red Cross Young Humanitarian award.
"The honourable Catherine Callbeck personifies what we seek to highlight with these awards, which is that amid all other demands in people's lives, there are those who make time for volunteerism, advocacy and philanthropy, and whose leadership inspires others to pursue humanitarian goals," said John L. Byrne, director general of the Canadian Red Cross in Atlantic Canada.
Callbeck was elected to the PEI legislature in 1974 and served four years as minister of Health & Social Services, with additional responsibilities for the disabled and for non-status Indians. In January 1993 she was elected leader of the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island, and was sworn in as P.E.I.'s first woman premier. In March 1993 Catherine became the first woman in Canada to be elected as a premier, serving until October 1996. In September 1997 she was appointed to the Senate where she continues to serve on a number of committees.
Callbeck has made humanitarian contributions over the course of many years through her active involvement in the advancement of women, and women in politics, early childhood development, literacy, family resource programs and various charitable and public service groups and organizations at all levels. She is currently a member of advisory committees or councils for P.E.I. Literary Alliance, Family Resource Programs Canada, and the Child Alliance Advisory Committee of P.E.I.
She is also patron of the P.E.I. Business Women's Association, and a honourary board member of the Glaucoma Research Society of Canada. In 2011 and 2012 Callbeck received honours from two organizations, Equal Voice and Famous 5 Ottawa, which through education, advocacy and recognition events encourage more women to seek political office in Canada and honour women for their leadership roles. Further information on each recipient is available online at www.redcross.ca/humanitarian.
"Since he was a youngster, Scotty Joe Smith has been involved with charitable organizations and youth groups, devoting countless hours volunteering in fundraising activities and events in his community" said Byrne.
Smith has demonstrated commitment to serving others through his involvement with Development and Peace in the Philippines and his current work as a lay missionary with the LAMP program in the Dominican Republic.
He has grown into the role of teacher, educating children in english, math, and science and assisting with daily activities relating to social issues like child labour, women's rights, sex tourism, drug use, and family violence.
Working both locally and nationally within his home country, Smith has helped create a higher sense of awareness of certain issues for social change needed for those most vulnerable globally. He continues to meet and engage partner organizations like La Esperanza, a fair trade coffee association, as well as national youth ministry movements in the Catholic Church to assist wherever he can.
Callbeck and Smith will be honoured on October 25, 2012 at the Humanitarian Award gala dinner held at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel in Charlottetown, sponsored by law firm McInnes Cooper, to raise funds for Canadian Red Cross disaster relief and educational programs in the province.
Other recipients of the Canadian Red Cross’ 2012 Humanitarian Awards in the region include Gerald L. Pond and Lauren Chartrand of New Brunswick, Dr. Martha Jodrey and Samantha Miller of Nova Scotia and Vince Withers and Jillian Peddle of Newfoundland and Labrador.