2017 Recipients of the Medal of Merit
Honourable Catherine Callbeck, C.M.
A devoted Islander and Canadian, Catherine Callbeck of Central Bedeque has contributed to Prince Edward Island and Canada as a political, business, and community leader. She has made a notable commitment to education and economic development throughout her impressive career.
Educated at Mount Allison (BComm) and Dalhousie (BEd), Callbeck taught high-school business administration before becoming an executive with the family retailing business. She entered politics in 1974, and served in the provincial legislature, House of Commons and the Senate of Canada. She has many hallmarks to her distinguished public service career, including being the first women elected as a provincial premier.
In recognition of her commitment to public service and community life, Callbeck has received numerous awards and distinctions. She has been conferred with Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Mount Allison University and the University of Prince Edward Island. Callbeck was presented with the prestigious Rural Beautification Shaw Award for her contribution to the enhancement of rural life in Prince Edward Island in 1997. In November 2006, she was named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network. In June 2008, she was an inaugural inductee into the Canadian Women in Politics Hall of Fame. In June 2011, she was inducted into the PEI Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame and in December 2015, she was named a member of the Order of Canada.
The Order of P.E.I. recognizes “remarkable contributions to the social, economic and cultural life” of P.E.I. and its residents. Callbeck is a woman of vision, determination and passion. Always up for a challenge, she has excelled as a business leader and stateswoman. Clearly, Catherine Callbeck is an Islander so very deserving to be a recipient for the Order of Prince Edward Island.
Catherine Hennessey, C.M.
Through passion and personal conviction, Catherine Hennessey has been a champion of Prince Edward Island’s heritage and culture for decades. With a unique combination of intelligence, wit, and downright stubbornness, she has been an advocate for the preservation of buildings and streetscapes, and is fearless in her commitment to ensuring that the Island’s history is protected, promoted and celebrated.
Hennessey’s role as an historical activist spans many decades. In the 1960’s and 70’s she was part of a group of researchers and advocates who were instrumental in the preservation of the Island’s unique landscapes and public spaces, and most recently, her persuasiveness and involvement in the Samuel Holland 250 Committee. As a city counselor, she worked to promote Charlottetown for its historical significance in the formation of Canada. Hennessey has served on numerous national boards; including Heritage Canada and the Canadian Housing and Design Council, just to name a few. She has the distinction of being the first executive director of PEI’s Heritage Foundation.
In 1986, Hennessey received an honorary degree from the University of Prince Edward Island; in 1988, she received the Lieutenant Governors medal from Heritage Canada; and in 2001, she was awarded membership into the Order of Canada.
Catherine Hennessey continues to be passionate about the preservation of the Island’s heritage. She is an inspiration to historians, to women and to seniors. She is a tireless advocate for historical conservation in Prince Edward Island and is a most worthy inductee to the Order of Prince Edward Island.
James C. MacAulay
James MacAulay is an outstanding contributor for the improvement of his Island community as an exceptional educator, leader, visionary, mentor and advocate for local communities.
Born and raised at “The Bay”, MacAulay’s teaching career spanned four decades, the majority spent at Morell Regional High School, where he served with distinction as principal from 1969 to 1997. A graduate from St. Dunstan’s University in 1962, he continues to play an integral role in education in the province. MacAulay mentors many of his former students in leading change in the community and continues to counsel many who struggle with addiction.
MacAulay has been instrumental in spearheading major revitalization projects; including the transformation of the former St. Peter’s Consolidated School into the St. Peters Bay Complex, a multi-purpose, state-of the art facility that has brought new life into the community and is utilized to capacity. As a catalyst for development, his vision for revitalization has far surpassed expectations and is, indeed, a model for other communities.
James MacAulay’s involvement has earned him many awards including, the Pillar of the Community – Impact Award in 2016, an Honourary Degree from UPEI in 2012, the Charlie Ryan Award in 2000 and in 1994, the Meritorious Service Medal, from the Royal Canadian Legion, Red Cross Recognition Award.
In addition to his tireless work as an educator, MacAulay is a natural leader who has forged the way to bring about amalgamation in his church; change in local communities; and improvements in service to veterans through his volunteer efforts. James MacAulay is a supreme volunteer – an Islander who is most worthy of investiture into the Order of Prince Edward Island.
Honourable Antoinette Perry (Chancellor: 2017-Present)
Antoinette Perry is a respected educator from Tignish, Prince Edward Island. Before her retirement from teaching in 2009, she enjoyed a distinguished 32-year career at Tignish Consolidated Elementary School where she taught music and French. She serves as an organist and church choir director at St. Simon and St. Jude Parish and as a co-coordinator of the Parish’s Summer Organ Recital Series.
Ms. Perry studied Music Education at the Université de Moncton before returning home in 1977 to teach. Her lifelong passion for music and teaching found expression in many ways, including her establishment of the West Prince Music Festival (affiliated with the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals) and her service on the executive committee of the Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) Music Educators Association. As Vice Principal of Tignish Consolidated Elementary School, she worked to instill in her students and their families a sense of pride in their community. Ms. Perry has also served on the P.E.I. Education Commission.
Ms. Perry is a proud Acadian who enjoys celebrating her culture through her involvement in community and cultural organizations. She has served on the West Prince Arts Council and the Tignish Historical Preservation Society and, in 1979, she composed the theme song “Acadiens, c'est l'heure” for the celebrations of the 375th anniversary of the arrival of the first Acadians and the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Société Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin. She also directed the Bicentennial Choir for the first ever recording of Ave Maris Stella, the Acadian National Anthem, with the official French verses.
In 2011, she spearheaded her parish’s organ restoration project which, thanks to her community's generosity, saw the majestic instrument restored to its original state. In addition to her music interests, her hobbies include cooking, yoga, travel and discovering hidden treasures in P.E.I.
Her Honour Antoinette Perry was installed as Prince Edward Island's 42nd Lieutenant Governor in a special ceremony held on October 20, 2017, in her home community of Tignish.