With the encouragement and guidance of social studies teachers Marie Zorniak and James Dykstra, Winnipeg REALTORS® staff and the Citizens Hall of Fame committee members participated for the first time as a sponsor of the day-long Red River Heritage Fair at the University of Winnipeg Duckworth
The new sponsor brought to the attention of students Citizens Hall of Fame inductees Duff Roblin, former mayors Stephen Juba, Bill Norrie and James Ashdown, Dr. Naranjan Dhalla, Israel Asper, Carol Shields, Sister Geraldine MacNamara, Robert Chipman, John Bulman, Isabel Auld, Lionel Fitzgerald, Leo Mol, Cora Hind, Ben Hatskin, Bill Loewen, John Wesley Dafoe, William Gomez Fonseca, Dr. George Johnson, Dr. Arnold Naimark, Dr. Bruce Chown, Dr. Henry Friesen, Edward Drewry, George Campbell MacLean, Samuel Freedman, Sol Kanee, Vince Leah, Mary Johnson, Donald MacDonald, John Hirsch, Carl Ridd, Gabrielle Roy, Sybil Shack, Arnold Spohr, Dr. Paul Thorlakson, Nellie McClung and Terry Fox.
All 37 inductees were featured in a photo booklet with brief descriptions of their contributions, following which the students were asked to identify them by name. It was a difficult task, but worth the effort to expose the students to some of the city’s past and present outstanding citizens.
Of course, Citizens Hall of Fame inductees are not selected on the basis of being household names. There’s no Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga, however, there are some outstanding Winnipeggers to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude. The inductees made their contributions to Winnipeg from the late 1800s to the present.
What was told to the local heritage fair participants is that we have right in our very own backyard incredible individuals who are worth acknowledging and writing about. In fact, this was a major impetus for starting the Citizens Hall of Fame program in 1986.
Local REALTOR® and founder Harry DeLeeuw envisaged the need for a permanent reminder of these city builders and contributors so we can learn about their legacy.
The first inductee into the hall of fame was long-time Mayor Stephen Juba, who brought to Winnipeg the Pan Am Games in 1967. Juba made Winnipeggers proud of their city.
Plans are in place to set up QR codes on the sculpture pedestals of all 37
inductees at the Formal Garden site
in Assiniboine Park so that anyone can use their smart phone to connect directly to the inductee biography page on
Besides the opportunity to create awareness of the Citizens Hall of Fame program at the fair, Citizens Hall of Fame Committee members judged a select group of student project displays that focused on outstanding Winnipeg citizens. In the end, three projects were awarded a special certificate of achievement, including one on Nellie McClung and two on Terry Fox. The judges felt the visual displays were all impressive.
A Grade 4 student from Sargent Park School went a step further by dressing up in period costume for her project on Nellie McClung.
The judges not only had the opportunity to view the display boards and check out their written material, they interviewed the students to determine the depth of their understanding of their project. It was quickly found that the students are learning to appreciate the significance of the inductees and how they might provide the inspiration to make a difference in the community.
WinnipegREALTORS® Citizens Hall of Fame Committee chair Rick Preston announced this week that the portraiture of 2010 inductee Terry Fox was installed at Assiniboine Park. Preston mentioned that Fox’s legacy continues to inspire others around the world to carry on his effort to raise awareness and find cures for all types of cancer.
Currently in the works for the fall is a written essay challenge for Winnipeg schools based on current inductees or individuals that a student considers worthy of being in the Citizens Hall of Fame.