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June 15, 2016
For immediate release
Order of Prince Edward Island Recipients Announced
Lieutenant Governor's Office
The three Islanders selected to receive the honour are:
Ms. Carolyn Bateman of Charlottetown
Keptin John Joe Sark of Johnston’s River and,
Dr. Dagny Dryer of Little Sands
These three individuals were selected from a total of 53 Islanders nominated to receive the award this year.
The honour was first conferred in 1996. Since then there have been three Islanders invested each year. The 2015 inductees into the Order were; Mr. Bill Campbell, OPEI of Charlottetown, Mr. Gerald Sheldon Dixon, OPEI of Crapaud, and Dr. Charles St. Clair Trainor, OPEI of Charlottetown.
The honour is awarded as a means of recognizing those Islanders who have shown individual excellence or outstanding leadership in their community and in their chosen occupation or profession. It is the highest honour that can be accorded to a citizen of the Province. It is awarded annually following a public nomination process with recipients being selected by an independent nine-person Advisory Council each year. Insignia of the Order will be presented by the Lieutenant Governor at a special investiture ceremony in September at Government House, Charlottetown.
(Information on the three recipients is attached.)
Carolyn Bateman is an outstanding contributor for the improvement of her Island community and an exceptional leader and advocate for hundreds of Island families.
For more than two decades, Carolyn Bateman has been raising awareness and advocating for the treatment and education of children with autism. Her dedication to this cause stems from a very personal connection with the disorder. Her son was diagnosed with autism in 1986, at the age of four. He is now a young man is successfully working toward a business certificate at UPEI and coping positively with his severe autism. While Ms. Bateman has tirelessly sought the best treatments and education for her non-verbal son, she has also focused her attention on helping other families impacted by autism in her community and beyond.
Carolyn Bateman is co-founder and past president of the Autism Society of Prince Edward Island. In 2002, she also co-founded the Stars for Life Foundation for Young Adults with Autism, where she continues to serve as President. Thanks to her leadership and dedication, the Foundation has raised $1.2 million to build the first home and resource centre for autism on PEI in 2011.
Ms. Bateman’s extensive efforts have earned her numerous awards including: Volunteer of the Year Award, the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award, first recipient of the Joan teRaa Memorial Award, Humanitarian Award from the Red Cross, and in 2012, was presented with Diamond Jubilee Medal for her tremendous efforts to help Islanders affected by autism. The impact of Carolyn Bateman’s efforts will continue to expand for many years to come. She clearly embodies the ideals for which the Order of Prince Edward Island was established to acknowledge.
Dr. Dagny Dryer
In 2012, Dr. Dagny Dryer was honoured by the Canadian Cancer Society’s National Award for Excellence in Medicine and Health in recognition of her “outstanding contribution to advancing the Canadian Cancer Society’s mission of reducing the burden of cancer in Canada.” This prestigious award is given to only one person in Canada each year. Dr. Dryer has transformed cancer care and treatment in Prince Edward Island over the past 30 years with humanity and humility.
Dr. Dagny Dryer came to Prince Edward Island in 1981 as the province’s first medical oncologist and is highly respected in her field well beyond our borders. Her primary focus has been in the management of cancer patients through the whole spectrum of diagnosis and treatment, including palliative care. Dr. Dryer’s drive and dedication has seen cancer care go from one receptionist and herself as a department within the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, to the fully equipped PEI Cancer Treatment Centre.
Under Dr. Dryer’s leadership and administration, the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre has led the country in having weekly multidisciplinary rounds. There is a dietician, a spiritual care worker, a social worker and a patient navigator who now assists and guides cancer patients through their cancer journey.
Through excellence in her profession, passion and personal conviction, Dr. Dagny Dryer has helped to build the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre into the reputable institution it is today. Care of patients and their families was of paramount concern for Dr. Dryer, consistently demonstrating sensitive respect her patients at one of the most vulnerable times imaginable. Dr. Dryer has unselfishly served the people of Prince Edward Island and, as a result, is a most deserving inductee to the Order of Prince Edward Island.
Keptin John Joe Sark
Keptin John Joe Sark is a spiritual leader for the Mi’Kmaq people and has built a lasting bridge of understanding between cultures. Born on the Lennox Island Reserve in 1945 he has served in the role of a guardian of the spiritual and cultural integrity of the Mi’kmaq people.
Keptin Sark obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Prince Edward Island. In 1985, he was honoured by the Grand Chief of the Mi’ Kmaq Nation who nominated him as Keptin of the Mi’Kmaq Nation. Following this, he was elected unanimously by Keptin’s of the Mi’Kmaq Nation, with a lifetime nomination, as Keptin by the Mi’Kmaq Grand Council.
As a representative of the Mi’Kmaq Council, Keptin Sark has lobbied internationally for rights and recognition. He has had audiences with the Pope on the subject of residential schools; was involved in drafting the United Nations’ Declaration of Indigenous Peoples of the World; and was co-producer, executive director and artistic director of the film “Spirit World – The Story of the Mi’Kmaqs”. He also wrote a book on the history of the Mi’Kmaq people and he continues to use his expertise educate and encourage accurate portrayals of Mi’Kmaq history.
Keptin Sark was appointed as Mi’Kmaq Ambassador to the Vatican in 1994, the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva in 1994, the Acadian National Society in New Orleans in 1999, and the Acadian National Society in France in 2002. He has encouraged traditional arts like basket-making with the Mingoo Arts and Craft Corporation, and promoted community programs to mine peat moss, harvest mussel mud and farm oysters. Keptin John Joe Sark is a tireless scholar, teacher, advocate, ambassador and a most worthy candidate for induction into the Order of Prince Edward Island.