12 Manitobans to receive province's highest honour this summer

Manitoba's highest honour will be given to 12 people at a special ceremony this summer, the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

World-renowned physicist, former chamber CEO and Point Douglas community activist to get Order of Manitoba

Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon will preside over the Order of Manitoba ceremony on July 13 at the Manitoba legislative building. (Patrick Doyle/Canadian Press)

Manitoba's highest honour will be given to 12 people at a special ceremony this summer, the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

"The exceptional women and men to be invested into the Order of Manitoba serve to inspire us all and reinforce that we all have the power to make a difference," said Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon, chancellor of the order, who will preside over ceremony on July 13 at the Manitoba Legislative Building.

"The vast and varied contributions made by these individuals, whether their impact is felt on the local, national or international level, are most worthy of acknowledgement and acclaim. We are proud to celebrate the passion and leadership of these great Manitobans."

The Order of Manitoba was established in 1999 to recognize those who have demonstrated excellence and achievement, thereby enriching the social, cultural or economic well-being of the province and its residents.

Once invested, members are entitled to use the initials OM after their names for life and will have their names placed on permanent display in the legislative building.

Those to be invested at the 2017 ceremony include (with citations from the lieutenant governor):

David Angus — Angus is the former president and CEO of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. He was instrumental in the creation of Winnipeg's World Trade Centre and played a key role in the work of the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council and in raising awareness of Winnipeg's ability to provide practical and visionary solutions to a range of local and global issues.

Marlene Bertrand — Bertrand is an innovator and a specialist in family violence intervention and prevention for over three decades. She has been instrumental in shaping public policy and program responses to family violence at community, provincial, national and international levels. Bertrand also founded and co-chaired the federal-provincial-territorial committee on domestic violence.

Doreen Brownstone — Brownstone is an actor whose talents have entertained audiences across Canada for over six decades. At 94, she is one of the oldest working professional stage actors in Canada and has appeared in more than 100 theatrical productions. Co-starring in the Manitoba Theatre Centre's inaugural season in 1958, she is also the first recipient of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists' lifetime achievement award.

Selwyn (Sel) Burrows — Burrows has spent a lifetime dedicated to issues of social justice and helping people and communities in need. Most recently, as the chair of Winnipeg's Point Douglas Residents Committee and co-co-ordinator of the Point Powerline, which work to improve the inner-city neighbourhood and rid it of gangs, drugs and derelict houses, he has inspired communities across Canada and received national acclaim.

Philipp R. Ens — Ens is a founding partner of Triple E. Canada, based in Winkler, Man. He is widely respected as a community builder, leader and mentor and is a celebrated entrepreneur and philanthropist. His wide-ranging community service is extensive, spanning local, provincial and national boards, organizations and initiatives. Among his many voluntary services, he was the president of the former P.W. Enns Family Foundation, a charity that has supported such projects as the Mennonite Heritage Centre, located at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, as well as a hospital in Taiwan. Additionally, he has been involved, both through the foundation and personally, in numerous projects in the Winkler and surrounding areas.

Anne Lindsey — Lindsey has dedicated her life's work to environmental sustainability and social justice, both as a professional and as a community volunteer. Under her 23-year leadership at the Manitoba Eco-Network, she mentored many young activists and helped to create a strong network focused on fostering non-partisan education and citizen participation in pressing environmental and natural resource issues.

Lisa Meeches — Meeches is a TV and film producer and woman whose commitment to her craft and community has been guided by her Aboriginal culture and spirituality. A tireless advocate for youth, she has served on several local and national boards related to her industry and her community. She has also been a driving force behind the success of the annual Manito Ahbee Festival and has received many awards for her creative endeavours, mentorship and leadership.

Dr. Rey D. Pagtakhan — Pagtakhan has received national and international recognition for his contributions to medicine and public and community service. Born in the Philippines, he arrived in Winnipeg in 1968 and became a citizen in 1974. After practising and doing research as a lung specialist and professor of pediatrics, he entered politics and became the member of Parliament for Winnipeg North–St. Paul from 1988 to 2004, including as a Liberal federal regional minister for Manitoba. Having served as a leader in the Manitoba Filipino and Canada's ethno-cultural communities, his volunteer community service before and after politics has been extensive. He currently serves on the advisory council of Immigration Partnership Winnipeg.

Dr. Phillip James (Jim) Peebles — an award-winning physicist, he is the Albert Einstein Professor of Science Emeritus at Princeton University and one of the world's leading theoretical cosmologists. Born and raised in Winnipeg, and a graduate of the University of Manitoba, he has contributed more than any other living scientist to the understanding of the origin of the large-scale structure in the universe, including the formation of galaxies like the Milky Way. He has made many important contributions to the Big Bang model and the mapping of the shape, size and age of the universe. He has also provided evidence of the existence of large quantities of dark matter and continues to work on the origin of galaxies.

Robert (Bob) Picken — As a broadcaster and journalist for more than six decades, he distinguished himself on the provincial, national and international stage and spent several decades covering the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Canadian Football League, every Canadian major golf championship and has twice covered the Masters major golf championship at Augusta, Ga. His lifetime contribution to curling includes roles as an administrator, volunteer and curler and serving as the first media officer of the World Curling Federation in 1992.

Paul Robson — A former educator and Winnipeg Blue Bomber, Robson went on to become assistant manager and then general manager of the Winnipeg Football Club. In later years, he served as an assistant deputy minister for Manitoba Tourism, publisher of the Winnipeg Sun and CEO of the Red River Exhibition Association. He has been chair of many boards, including Tourism Winnipeg, the board of governors of the Canadian Football League and the advisory board for the 2000 Provincial Millennium Celebration.

Beverly Suek — Suek is founder of Women's Housing Initiative Manitoba, an alternative housing concept for older women who prefer not to live alone. A member of Grands 'N' More, which raises funds for grandmothers in Africa who care for children orphaned by AIDS, she also initiated the development of Winnipeg's first birthing centre and was a co-founder of the Manitoba Women's Enterprise Centre, Women's Music and Cultural Festival, Women's Employment Counselling Centre and the SDB Housing Co-operative. Suek also started Kali Shiva AIDS Services in Winnipeg, now known as Sunshine House, and organized volunteers to assist people with AIDS to help them stay in their homes as long as possible.