Best in Mount Pearl Award Winners Announced
The City of Mount Pearl held the inaugural Best in Mount Pearl Awards ceremony on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at the Reid Community Centre, recognizing all the amazing contributions from volunteers in the community.
“Mount Pearl is home to some of the best walking trails, facilities, recreation programs and City services in the Province. But above all, Mount Pearl is known for our community spirit, and one thing is for sure – that spirit is because of the residents who take such pride in their community,” said Mayor Dave Aker. “For every hour, minute and second they all have spent over the last week, month, year and decade, this is event is about them, and it’s our way to say thank you.”
The winners of the 2019 Best in Mount Pearl Awards are:
Impact in Music, Arts, and Culture – Mount Pearl Show Choir
Community Group of the Year – Mount Pearl Frosty Festival
Citizen of the Year – Robert Hayes
Lifetime Achievement – Bernice Miller, Agnes Murphy, and Barbara Predham
“This year, our inaugural year of the Best in Mount Pearl Awards, we couldn’t choose just one recipient for the Lifetime Achievement Award,” continued Mayor Aker. “So, tonight, we proudly presented this award to all three nominees, all of whom have made such a lasting impact on our City.”
About the Best in Mount Pearl Awards
Combining both the Citizen of the Year and the Pearl Awards, as well as introducing new award categories, the Best in Mount Pearl Awards ceremony is an opportunity to showcase residents, groups or businesses who “lead the pack”, take risks to innovate, establish new partnerships, question established ways of doing things and pioneer new approaches. The awards recognize ideas and people that rise above challenges with vision, creativity and teamwork.
About the Award Winners
MOUNT PEARL SHOW CHOIR established in 1983, has reached national and international acclaim as a performance group in the province. Since 2005, the choir has been engaged in an International Peace Education Project, with the mandate to perform music of remembrance as its primary focus. Participation by the Mount Pearl Show Choir in this Peace Education Project has enabled young people to understand the role and responsibilities of each world citizen in achieving and maintaining peace. In May 2018, the Etcetera concert series held their annual spring production of modern music, song, and dance at the Glacier. It featured the award-winning Mount Pearl Show Choir in a cast of over 250 performers. In July/August 2018, the choir performed in The World Peace Choral Festival in Vienna, Austria, held in conjunction with the United Nations and the Vienna Boys Choir, sponsored by the Austrian Government. In December 2018, the Choir performed their annual Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols – sacred and secular works – at Gower Street United Church.
THE FROSTY FESTIVAL has been a fixture in the City of Mount Pearl for over three decades. It offers a quality package of diverse entertainment that caters to all sectors of the population to encourage both indoor and outdoor activity during the winter. As such, it has grown into the largest winter event in Atlantic Canada. In 2019, the Frosty Festival showcased more than 80 events in 12 days. The Frosty Festival harnesses the true spirit of Mount Pearl, engaging the vast majority of community groups. It has also had a significant impact on other areas of our community, including on businesses, recreation, amateur sports, arts and culture, education, and on citizens. The festival involves the community and local organizations in planning and programming, and encourages volunteer participation, support, recognition, and camaraderie.
ROBERT HAYES was actively involved in five different community-based volunteer positions in 2018. Robert is the current president and former vice-president of the Mount Pearl Soccer Association. From assisting new parents with their concerns to planning national tournaments, Robert is always available to manage the day-to-day tasks of the organization. He was a member of the organizing committee for the Chase the Ace fundraiser, helping to raise approximately $370,000 to benefit sports groups in the community. Robert was also co-chair of the O’Donel High School Safe Grad, vice-chairperson for the Frosty Festival, and community representative for the Mary Queen of the World School Council. Despite his busy work schedule, Robert dedicates his evenings and weekends to serve the community. He continually generates new ideas to benefit the committees he serves on and is always available to attend meetings and community functions.
BERNICE MILLER was a tireless community volunteer and advocate her entire life. Her long-standing record of community involvement includes 27 years volunteering with the Frosty Festival, volunteering with the 2000 Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games, serving as secretary for the Mount Pearl Baseball Association, serving as past president of the Knights of Columbus Women’s Auxiliary, and volunteering with Scouts Canada. Bernice was also involved with door-to-door canvassing for various organizations, including the Salvation Army, the Arthritis Society, and the provincial Heart and Stroke Foundation. In 1992, she was awarded the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal in recognition of her significant contributions to the community. Bernice was also named Mount Pearl’s Citizen of the Year in 1992 and served on Mount Pearl City Council from 1997 to 2003. Bernice gave her time to many community-oriented organizations throughout her life.
AGNES MURPHY has been an active community volunteer in Mount Pearl since moving here in 1970. Agnes was a founding member of the Mount Pearl Figure Skating Club in 1977. She served as secretary, director, vice-president, and president during her tenure. Agnes was also a founding member of the Mount Pearl Frosty Festival in 1982. She held many positions on the board of directors including secretary, program and events chair, volunteer chair, opening ceremonies and protocol chair, vice-chair, and chair. She has been a member of “Beta Sigma Phi” since 1977, a board member for the Youth Opportunity Fund since its inception in 2001, volunteer for the “Look Good Feel Better” program at the Dr. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation since 2003, and on the judging committee for the Focus on Youth Awards since 2006. Her other accomplishments include winning Mount Pearl Citizen of the Year in 2007 and being named to the Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors in 2010.
BARBARA PREDHAM has selflessly dedicated time over the years to improve her community. She has been an active member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of Columbus for the past 40 years and has served as an executive member. She was on the founding committee for the Mount Pearl Skating Club and held the position of president from 1978 to 1985 and chairperson from 1986 to 1995, which involved having a seat on the national board. In 1996, Barbara was the first female to be inducted into the Mount Pearl Sports Hall of Fame. In 1998, she was tasked with implementing a committee that would oversee the design and location for the Mount Pearl Sports Hall of Fame. Since 2001, Barbara has held a seat on the board for the Mount Pearl Youth Opportunity Fund Foundation. Barbara has also been a loyal door-to-door canvasser for over 20 years for various charitable organizations such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Kidney Foundation.