Calgary Order of Canada recipient Patricia Moore inspired to volunteer by her father

Order of Canada recipients named include a number of prominent Calgarians, including Patricia Meirion Moore, John Conly, Ron Ghitter, Gerald Woods and Michael J. Tims

Philanthropists, human rights advocates and medical innovator among those named

Patricia Moore helped start the Edmonton's Women's Shelter over 50 years ago. On Friday, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. (CBC)

There were no women's shelters in Edmonton before Patricia Moore and Barbara Poole helped launch one over 50 years ago.

"That's how organizations start: people say, there's a need, we're going to fill the need and then they do it," Moore said, in an interview with The Homestretch.

Moore, a lifelong Calgarian and former teacher was named an Officer of the Order of Canada Friday.

For the past six years, Moore has served as board chair of the Calgary Library Foundation, in addition to working with the Calgary Zoo Foundation, the Banff Centre and many other organizations over the years, 

Moore received the citation "for her lifelong involvement in her community as a dedicated and hands-on volunteer, and for her fundraising and philanthropic efforts to strengthen her community's cultural and social fabric," said the Office of the Secretary of the Governor-General in a release.

The citation comes at a particularly meaningful time for Moore, as Canada Day is also the birth date of her late husband, who recently passed away, and who was also nominated for the award.

Her interest in volunteering came from her father.

"It was just the way we did things," she said. "My father used to say, 'you pay rent here for your place on earth.'

"I didn't understand it at the time, but I do now."

Other Calgary recipients

Moore was one of a quintet of Calgarians named to the Order of Canada.

The other Calgary recipients were named Members of the Order of Canada.

They include Calgary businessman, mentor and philanthropist Michael J Tims.

"When I was a business student at [the University of Calgary's] Haskayne, he was always there," said Naheed Nenshi in a 2016 video tribute to Tims produced by the Wilson Leadership Centres. "Mentoring students, helping people out, hiring people.

"The thing about Mike is that corporate citizenship for him is not an add-on," Nenshi added. "It's not like something extra that you do. It's why you do business. It's very rare to find somebody who embodies that in every single thing they do as much as Mike."

Medical innovator, human rights advocate named

Others named include philanthropist Gerald Woods, University of Calgary professor and physician John Conly, and former senator and Progressive Conservative party member Ron Ghitter.

Conly is one of founders of W21C, the U of C's medical innovation centre that is dedicated to reinventing the hospital experience for the better, for patients.

"We were challenging the hospital experience to look at how we could redirect the highest quality of care, but also look at challenging new technologies that could be used to help facilitate that care delivery," Conly said in a 2016 interview with Calgary Arts Development.

Ghitter, a lawyer, was elected to the provincial legislature in 1971. He was appointed to the Senate in 1993, and is a co-founder of the Dignity Foundation in Alberta, a non-profit organization that encourages support for human rights in Alberta.

Ron Ghitter served as an Alberta MLA between 1971 and 1979, and ran for the party’s leadership in 1985. (CBC)

Other notable recipients of the 2018 Order of Canada include Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels, former chief justice — and first-time crime novelist — Beverly McLachlin, and Stratford actor and director Seana McKenna, who recently directed King Lear for Calgary's Shakespeare Company.

Key Indigenous rights campaigners named

A number of key Indigenous rights campaigners were also named to the order among them Six Nations Polytechnic president Rebecca Jamieson, and Cindy Blackstock, for her efforts to improve the access of Indigenous children to public services such as healthcare and education.

"For me, this is a recognition of collective efforts of many people who have pursued the goal of equity for First Nations kids," Blackstock said.

"Even though we are not there yet, it is public recognition that the goal itself is important and that we need to continue those efforts so that those children have the childhood that they deserve, and that their ancestors dreamed for them."

As the executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, Blackstock has fought for the rights of Indigenous kids for more than a decade — a battle that has taxed her personally.

"This has, on a personal level, been a very difficult battle sometimes, and I personally owe a huge debt of gratitude to First Nations community members and also many non-Indigenous persons and my own family, who have stood by me and supported my through this now 12-year-old undertaking."

With files from The Homestretch

With files from Chris Carter