2018 Order of Nova Scotia Recipients Announced

Six extraordinary Nova Scotians who have contributed greatly to their communities, people and culture will be invested into the Order of Nova Scotia this year.

Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc, Chancellor of the Order of Nova Scotia, made the announcement.

“One of the most enjoyable roles I have as the Queen’s representative in this province is to invest the 2018 appointees with the Order of Nova Scotia, which is our highest honour” said Lt.-Gov. LeBlanc. “The achievements by these six outstanding Nova Scotians makes us all proud and I greatly look forward to congratulating them in person at the investiture ceremony in November.”
The 2018 recipients of the Order of Nova Scotia are:

— Ellie Black, Halifax: Ellie has represented Canada twice at the Summer Olympic Games, achieving the highest standing ever for a Canadian gymnast. She has also medaled at the Commonwealth Games, Pan-American Games and the 2017 World Championship. Most recently, she led her team to gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, personally winning gold at the all-around competition. Ellie is an outstanding role model for her peers and young gymnasts, demonstrating a great work ethic and a graciousness in both victory and loss. Ms. Black takes time with her young fans, acknowledging their support and sharing her experiences. Ellie is a wonderful ambassador for both the gymnastics and Nova Scotia. Ms. Black is the second youth to receive the Order of Nova Scotia.

— John Bragg, Oxford: Starting with a frozen food plant in 1968, John has built an empire of private business that operates on an international scale. Under his leadership, Oxford Frozen Foods, Eastlink, and Inland Technologies are some of Nova Scotia’s best-known companies. John also shares his expertise to help other Atlantic Canadian businesses grow and develop, serving on boards and investing in startups. John has a passionate commitment to Nova Scotia, particularly our rural areas, and shares his profits through many charitable efforts, most notably investing tens of millions of dollars in our region’s universities.

— Clotilda Douglas-Yakimchuk, Whitney Pier: Clotilda’s story is one of triumph over obstacles, including racism and discrimination. She has dedicated her life to the service of others and the health of her community, using each difficult experience to become stronger. In 1954, Clotilda become the first black graduate of the Nova Scotia Hospital School of Nursing and eventually became the first, and only, black president of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Nova Scotia and creating an award for nursing students at Cape Breton University. Clotilda’s sense of community goes beyond Whitney Pier, advocating for social justice for all Nova Scotians.

— Janet Kitz, Halifax: Janet came to Nova Scotia from Scotland and quickly began dedicating her life to preserving our province’s history and helping us to understand ourselves. Ms. Kitz, who is known as a leading academic on the Halifax Explosion, has catalogued hundreds of artifacts from the disaster, interviewing dozens of survivors and helping to create the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic’s permanent exhibit. Her work has also given voice to the experiences of the Mi’kmaw people in Turtle Grove, which is in the area now known as Tufts Cove near the MacKay Bridge in Dartmouth, and African Nova Scotians in Africville. Janet not only embraced her new homeland, but dedicated her life’s work to preserving and promoting its heritage.

— Patti Melanson, Halifax: Patti has been a practising nurse for over 25 years, during which time she has transformed the way healthcare is provided to vulnerable populations. At Phoenix House, she provided care to homeless and other vulnerable youth. She was also the visionary behind the Mobile Street Outreach Health team, which provides collaborative care to vulnerable people in Halifax’s North End, and a driving force behind the Housing First model of helping people in shelters find housing. Patti has been a passionate advocate for people at risk, reaching out and providing care to vulnerable people with compassion and respect, changing the way we care for our most vulnerable citizens.

— Wade Smith, Halifax: Wade was an influential community leader, teacher, principal, coach and mentor, who dedicated his life to youth. Mr. Smith was a tireless advocate for education, the preservation of African Nova Scotian culture and for Africentric schools, believing that building relationships and creating community was the foundation of education. As principal of Citadel High School, Wade was instrumental in uniting two former high schools into a welcoming, supportive community school for its diverse population. Wade was a lifelong educator, a passionate advocate for youth and an inspiration to students and colleagues alike. His passion for his community was surpassed only by his love and devotion for his family. This is a posthumous award.

This is only the second time six recipients have been invested into the Order in the same year. An additional recipient is permitted if the sixth recipient is between the ages of 16 and 25 years.

The 2018 recipients will be recognized at the 17th investiture ceremony on Nov. 6, at Province House in Halifax.

The Order of Nova Scotia was established in June 2001 and is the highest honour bestowed by the province. Since it was created, 93 recipients have been invested into the Order. Recipients have the right to use the post-nominals O.N.S. after their names.