Vol­un­teer hall of fame es­tab­lished

The Compass - - OPINION - BY TO­BIAS ROMANIUK TRANSCON­TI­NEN­TAL ME­DIA

The work of vol­un­teers across the prov­ince is be­ing hon­oured through the cre­ation of the New­found­land and Labrador Vol­un­teer Hall of Fame.

The hall of fame is a pro­ject of the Duke of Ed­in­burgh’s Award New­found­land and Labrador and will set the gold stan­dard for vol­un­teers, said the as­so­ci­a­tion’s pres­i­dent, Toby Barnes.

“The New­found­land and Labrador Hall of Fame will al­low ex­cep­tional peo­ple to stand as an in­spi­ra­tion to our com­mu­nity and par­tic­u­larly to our youth,” he told a group gath­ered to mark the launch of the hall of fame Wed­nes­day at the Arts and Cul­ture Cen­tre in St. John’s.

“The New­found­land and Labrador vol­un­teer hall of fame aims to rec­og­nize in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions who have made an ex­tended com­mit­ment to en­gage in their com­mu­ni­ties and help in the so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of their com­mu­ni­ties by vol­un­teer­ing,” he said.

The as­so­ci­a­tion is now ac­cept­ing nom­i­na­tions for the first hall of fame in­ductee cer­e­mony. Nom­i­na­tions will be re­viewed by a se­lec­tion com­mit­tee.

The se­lec­tion com­mit­tee is chaired by Ed Roberts, a for­mer lieu­tenant gover­nor of New­found­land and Labrador and a strong be­liever in the im­por­tance of vol­un­teers.

“New­found­land and Labrador would be a far less pleas­ant place to live without vol­un­teers,” Roberts said.

Vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers through­out the prov­ince are one of the more vis­i­ble ex­am­ples of vol­un­teerism, he said, not­ing am­a­teur sports groups and many other or­ga­ni­za­tions also rely on the work of vol­un­teers.

“When you think of it, vol­un­teers are every­where,” he said.

Roberts con­sid­ers vol­un­teers in­dis­pens­able to the prov­ince’s way of life, not­ing we would have far fewer recre­ational and cul­tural hap­pen­ings without the work of vol­un­teers.

The work of th­ese peo­ple is wor­thy of recog­ni­tion, said Roberts, ex­plain­ing why he chose to sit on the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee.

Telegram pub­lisher Charles Stacey also sits on the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee, and sees fu­ture hall of fame in­ductees as role mod­els for youth while also honour­ing the prov­ince’s spirit of vol­un­teerism.

“I think the vol­un­teer hall of fame is a great fo­rum to ac­tu­ally show­case the work of the many vol­un­teers through­out the prov­ince,” he said.

The in­au­gu­ral in­duc­tion cer­e­mony is slated for the fall, with the dead­line for nom­i­na­tions be­ing July 31.

Peo­ple are urged to nom­i­nate in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions who have made out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to the com­mu­nity.

To nom­i­nate a vol­un­teer, or to learn more about the hall of fame, visit www.vol­un­teer­hallof­fame.ca.

to­bias.romaniuk@thetele­gram.com

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