2021 Recipients of the Medal of Merit
Born in Covehead, Prince Edward Island, Noreen Corrigan-Murphy is a very successful business person and an advocate for seniors. She is a person that does not like spending a lot of money but thinks nothing of giving plenty of it away.
After raising 9 children, including two foster children, while working part-time as a cook, Corrigan-Murphy worked for the province in home care looking after seniors. Then, at 49, she became an entrepreneur. She converted a house on Ellis Road in Charlottetown to Corrigan Lodge, a resident care home. She expanded the building twice, and then ten years later opened Corrigan Home. An advocate for seniors, Noreen’s priority was always to provide a loving and caring environment that maximizes the independence of the residents and their comfort and safety. This was achieved, in part, with the essential support of her children, late husband George, and many wonderful staff over the years.
Noreen’s business has been a financial success. She has always done the shopping for locally sourced groceries for both the Corrigan Lodge and Corrigan Home. Vegetables grown at her home in Ten Mile House, where her late husband, George, tended a mixed farm, remained a steady part of the much-enjoyed home-cooked meals served to her residents.
For many years, Corrigan-Murphy put in long hours, typically working 12 hours a day, and seven days a week. In 2013, when Noreen sold Corrigan Lodge, she decided to make several charitable gifts to organizations such as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation. Noreen wanted to inspire her children and grandchildren and to help them understand the importance of giving back.
Corrigan-Murphy donated $100,000 for the creation of the Noreen and George Corrigan Scholarship Fund. The fund supports P.E.I. residents under the age of 30 who are either single mothers or individuals who have a learning disability, to enroll in post-secondary education. This endowment is open-ended, meaning that further contributions can be made at any time.
Corrigan-Murphy has also established a $500,000 education fund for her 16 grandchildren and her future great-grandchildren. Noreen values her loved ones in getting a good education. She always says, “If you educate them, you don’t have to feed them.”
Noreen Corrigan-Murphy exemplifies an Islander who attains great professional success and uses the success to help others. As an advocate for seniors, along with her outstanding community contributions, Noreen is a most deserving recipient for the 2021 Order of PEI.
Maitland MacIssac has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to fostering wellness, promoting literacy and learning, and empowering and enriching the lives of individuals, families, and communities both on Prince Edward Island and beyond.
For decades, Maitland has taken a leading role in many service organizations, spearheading humanitarian projects, as well as opening doors of hope and opportunity for many individuals. Maitland is a capacity-builder and a visionary who sees people as a resource to themselves and others. He inspires, encourages and believes that by working with others we can achieve a better world – he has literally changed lives of many.
Maitland MacIssac’s resume is impressive. Whether as a founding board member of The Adventure Group, following the passing of his son Shane in 1992, and turn his grief to help others, or creating the PEI Passport to Employment, assisting mature workers to re-enter the workforce. Maitland didn’t stop there! Continuing his commitment of caring, in 1999, he was the Chair of the International Children’s Memorial Place. He developed and presented healing workshops and developed ‘Nature’s Hospital’ and a Path to Remembrance, a place to celebrate life. Now, as a senior, he began to focus his attention on wellness issues faced often by seniors.
Maitland has received numerous awards (too many to include all of them), including the Senate 150th Anniversary Medal, which makes their communities a better place to live; the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Awards for his substantial contribution to Rotary’s humanitarian and educational programs; Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award and the Provincial “Health for Life” Award for exceptional service to the community in the area of health promotion.
Mait has embraced Maya Angelou’s quote: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
A compassionate teacher, counselor, mentor and friend….to teachers, students, youth with challenges, parents, grandparents, grieving families, seniors, and the community as a whole, Maitland MacIsaac has richly and selflessly contributed to Islanders and beyond over his lifetime and is a most worthy recipient for the 2021 Order of Prince Edward Island.
Dr. Heather Morrison
Dr. Heather Morrison has set the standard for grace, calmness, professionalism and excellence and has become a role model as a woman in a non-traditional role, as well as an inspirational and caring leader.
Heather developed a deep respect for hard work growing up on the family farm in York Point. As a leader in high school, she successfully established the first SADD (Students Against Driving Drunk) Chapter for PEI and Atlantic Canada. She received numerous awards in exceptional academic achievement over the years, including: the Atlantic Canada James Bayer Memorial Scholarship, the Hattie Prize for the highest standing in internal medicine; in 2016, was recognized as UPEI’s Alumna of the Year, and in 2020, awarded The Guardian’s Newsmaker of the Year.
As PEI’s first female Rhodes Scholar, she completed both a Doctor of Philosophy and Masters Degree focusing on Social Policy and Comparative Social Research at Oxford University. Academically brilliant, bilingual and athletic, Dr. Morrison returned to Canada for her medicine training at Dalhousie University, followed by a residency in community medicine at the University of Toronto (and additional training in emergency medicine).
Dr. Morrison was appointed Chief Public Health Officer for PEI in July 2007. Heather’s every day job is to take care of – and to protect - the public health of Islanders which is a great responsibility in normal everyday life. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of PEI delegated that responsibility to Dr. Morrison. A daunting task but she continues to deliver her messages bilingually in an empathetic, people-focused way of science communications. In addition to her full-time role, Dr. Morrison continued to practice emergency medicine for 18 years.
Dr. Morrison has served nationally in a variety of leadership roles including: Chair of the Canadian Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health , PEI’s representative on the Public Health Network Council of Canada, and the province’s representative on the National Special Advisory Committee on H1N1, Ebola and the national opioid crisis just to name a few.
Dr. Morrison has proven that her exemplary leadership and commitment to community happens when we all come together (while staying apart). She relishes the joy that comes with balancing her work with a passion for spending time with her husband and 4 young children.
Heather’s devotion as a medical professional is obvious but most recognizable is her leadership to keep Islanders safe. Her slogan “be patient and kind” offers a reminder of the importance and value of caring while working together. Dr. Heather Morrison is a leader, a role model, who has selflessly served all Islanders and is most deserving as a recipient for the 2021 Order of Prince Edward Island.
For further information on the Order of PEI, contact:
Secretary to the Order of Prince Edward Island
Office of the Clerk
197 Richmond Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8