Bay Roberts student earns national history award
Mason Kearley dug into creation of Canada’s flag for winning entry
BAY ROBERTS, NL — A Bay Roberts high school student’s creative retelling of how Canada’s national flag came to be earned him a national honour.
Mason Kearley, a Grade 12 student at Ascension Collegiate, is a recipient of a 2017 Government of Canada History Award. He is one of 172 high school students from across Canada to receive the honour, which comes with a $1,000 prize, but the only student from Newfoundland and Labrador to be recognized.
Kearley, who is already accepted to Memorial University’s School of Business, first heard about the history awards through a poster at school. Students can choose to submit a historical essay, a historical work of fiction or digital content.
He chose to write about the Canadian flag with its iconic red
maple leaf design. The flag was formally adopted in 1965 and designed by George Stanley.
“I had done a lot of research into the event, and leading up to (the adoption of the flag), there were a lot of debate about what Canada’s flag should be, what it should look like and everything, and there was even a flag committee where flags from everyday people would be submitted in.”
Kearley went with that setting as the basis for his work of historical fiction, which had to come in at less than 1,000 words.
Award winners were announced last week in a press release. It was his dad, Ascension Collegiate principal Neil Kearley, who broke the news to Mason that his entry was a winner.
“To be honest, I was quite surprised,” Mason told the Compass. “I didn’t think I did, but I did.”
Mason Kearley of Bay Roberts was the lone honouree from Newfoundland and Labrador for the 2017 Government of Canada History Awards.