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Order of Manitoba welcomes 14

Refugee advocate among inductees

Tom Denton is one of 14 new Order of Manitoba inductees.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Tom Denton is one of 14 new Order of Manitoba inductees.

Tom Denton has been a tireless champion for refugees arriving on our doorstep. Lorraine Brandson has helped preserve and promote northern culture and heritage around the world.

They are two of the 14 Manitobans who will be inducted into the Order of Manitoba May 21 at the legislature.

There will be two special guests participating in the ceremony for the province's highest honour: Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall.

Denton, who is the executive director of the church-funded Hospitality House Refugee Ministry and before that the International Centre, now known as the Immigrant Centre, has helped thousands of refugees move to Manitoba and Canada. HHRM helps sponsor refugees to live here and in recent years has sponsored almost half of the refugees coming to Canada.

"I'm still doing it and I have no intention of not doing it," Denton said on Monday.

"I'm two months short of my 80th birthday, but when I think of all of the people here or still to come, I know we still have 4,000 to get here, I plan to continue doing this work as long as I am able."

Denton, who was also the co-founder and first publisher of the Winnipeg Sun, said being named to the Order of Manitoba is "amazing and wonderful."

Brandson, who is curator of the world-famous Eskimo Museum in Churchill, said the honour makes "you feel humbled."

"You feel there are so many wonderful people in your own community that day in and day out volunteer and do something that will never be recognized. There's so many people working at St. Amant Centre in Winnipeg who volunteer and contribute to the lives of Manitobans and they'll never get nominated."

Brandson said the museum, now in its 70th year, is a major attraction in the northern community and helps promote Inuit culture and community.

Lt.-Gov. Philip Lee, the chancellor of the order, said in a statement the Order of Manitoba has been handed out annually since it was created 15 years ago.

"Those selected for investiture this year are all exceptional men and women and represent an array of talent, expertise, compassion and commitment," Lee said.

The order recognizes people who "have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour, benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents."

Other inductee's this year are:

  • Jennifer Jones, a Canadian curling champion who recently made history when she led her team to an undefeated record to win the gold medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
  • Don Duguid, Canadian curling champion and the first Canadian skip to win back-to-back world titles. He was recently inducted into the World Curling Hall of Fame.
  • Allan Gotlieb, Canada's ambassador to the United States from 1981 to 1989.
  • Bob Brennan, the former president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro.
  • Sam Fabro, businessman, former president of the Manitoba Sports hall of Fame and one of the founding fathers of the Manitoba Marathon. He was also instrumental in bringing the Pan Am Games to Winnipeg in 1967.
  • Raymonde Gagne, the president of Université de Saint-Boniface.
  • Israel Idonije, the first University of Manitoba graduate to play in the National Football League.
  • Bob Irving, radio announcer for the Blue Bombers since 1974 and the sports director for CJOB.
  • Hermann Lee, assistant professor in the University of Manitoba's faculty of dentistry who does service in the Chinese-Canadian community.
  • Roland Penner, the province's former attorney general and the former dean of law at the University of Manitoba.
  • Carole Vivier, CEO of Manitoba Film and Music, the province's film commissioner, and co-chairwoman of the 2014 Juno Awards.
  • Doris Sarah Young, a member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and assistant to the president on aboriginal affairs at the University College of the North.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

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