Bay Roberts stu­dent earns na­tional his­tory award

Ma­son Kear­ley dug into cre­ation of Canada’s flag for win­ning en­try

The Compass - - News - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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.”

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

Ma­son Kear­ley of Bay Roberts was the lone hon­ouree from New­found­land and Labrador for the 2017 Gov­ern­ment of Canada His­tory Awards.

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