Government of New Brunswick

The names of the recipients of the 2013 Order of New Brunswick were released as part of New Brunswick Day celebrations.

The award honours current or former long-time residents of New Brunswick who have demonstrated a high level of individual excellence and achievement in any field, having made outstanding contributions to the social, cultural or economic well-being of New Brunswick and its residents.



Biographical Notes


Joanna Bernard, Madawaska Maliseet First Nation




Joanna Bernard has been an integral part of the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation for many years, first serving as Councillor, and more recently as Chief since 2003.

As a certified Economic Development Officer, she has focused much of her vision for the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation community as being a successful, self-governing and financially stable First Nation. She is also a successful member of the business community, owning and operating her own excavation business.

Her dedication to economic development in her community has led to great successes, such as the development and recent opening of the Grey Rock Power Centre.

Chief Bernard is a member of the First Nations and Business Liaison Group of New Brunswick, the Assembly of First Nations’ Chiefs’ Committee on Economic Development and the Union of New Brunswick Indians’ Aboriginal Natural Resources Committee. She is also the President of the Maliseet Nation Conservation Council as well as Co-Chair of the Assembly of First Nations’ Chiefs in New Brunswick.

Joanna Bernard is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for her tireless efforts to ensure the well-being and economic prosperity of the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation as well as all First Nations communities in our province.



Édith Butler, O.C., Paquetville




Perhaps one of the better known artists to hail from our province, Édith Butler has been making music for over 40 years. The Paquetville native’s own brand of toe-tapping rhythms has made her an international sensation, spreading her love of Acadian culture the world over one song at a time.

A singer, musician, storyteller and stage actor, Édith embodies our province’s Acadian heritage. She has performed extensively around Canada and internationally and her name has become synonymous with Acadian folklore.

Butler has recorded more than 25 albums, three of which have been certified Gold and two Platinum. She has been awarded many honours and distinctions, notably: Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Pléiade (1978), Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award (1997), Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite de la République française (1999), Canadian Heritage Prix Montfort (2004), Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement (2009), Lieutenant-Governor Award for High Achievement in Performing Arts (2012) and three honorary doctorates, only to name a few.

Édith Butler was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1975. She is being awarded the Order of New Brunswick for her remarkable contributions to the advancement of Acadian culture and heritage.



Alida Clément, Dieppe




Alida Clément embodies what New Brunswickers are famous for: kindness, generosity and benevolence. For over 60 years, she has been caring for her community in one way or another through her work and volunteer activities.

With a background as a registered nurse, caring is in Alida’s nature. She was the founding president of the Dieppe Association for Disabled Persons and is currently a member of the board of directors for Résidence Ste-Thérèse, a seniors’ residence.

For many years, Alida has been a driving force behind the Dieppe Community Centre, both as a member of the board of directors and as a volunteer for its numerous events and activities. She was an active member of the organizing committee for New Brunswick’s Bicentennial festivities in the Moncton region.

Alida has also been involved with the organization of the 55+ Games both provincially and at the national level. She has been a volunteer with the Dieppe Golden Age Club for 15 years, acting as president for four of those years.

Alida Clément is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for her dedication and volunteer efforts to ensure the well-being and quality of life of disabled persons, seniors and her community at large.



Eugène Durette, Edmundston




Eugène Durette is perhaps best known as a prominent member of the Edmundston business community.

Durette has been involved in the building and development of many of the buildings that paint the Edmundston skyline today, such as the Brunswick Shopping Mall, Carrefour Assomption and the city’s convention centre. He can be thanked for the revitalization of Edmundston’s Centre Building, bringing in cinemas, a pool, a bowling alley as well as residential and commercial units. Durette has also built and developed many high schools, churches and convents throughout our province.

Eugène Durette has been a member of the Canadian Construction Association, President of the North-West New Brunswick Regional Development Council, Director of the Edmundston Chamber of Commerce, as well as President of the Madawaska-Victoria Branch of the Mental Health Association.

In 1996, Durette and his wife made a significant contribution to the Université de Moncton’s Impact campaign. The donation allowed for the creation of the Eugène et Cécilia Durette Scholarship Fund, which is awarded each year to students attending the university from Madawaska, Victoria and Restigouche counties who demonstrate financial need.

Eugène Durette is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for the impact he has had in advancing infrastructure and business in Edmundston and throughout our province, as well as the many ways in which he has given back to his community.



Dr. Dana Hanson, C.M., Fredericton




Dr. Dana Hanson has been caring for patients in his Fredericton dermatology clinic since 1981. A Saint John native, he received his medical training from Dalhousie University and McGill University.

His keen interest in politics has led him to take an active role in addressing issues and shaping the future of the medical profession through his involvement in medical associations. Dr. Hanson first became involved at the regional level with the York Sunbury Queens Medical Society, and then moved on to become the President of the New Brunswick Medical Society from 1992 to 1993. From there, he became the President of the Canadian Medical Association from 2002 to 2003, and ultimately the President of the World Medical Association from 2009 to 2010.

He is a passionate community leader who has been involved with causes such as the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Theatre New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Summer Music Festival, the United Way and a number of church groups.

Dr. Hanson has been presented with a number of awards, including the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, the New Brunswick Medical Society's President's Award and Order of Merit, and the Distinguished Career Award from the York-Sunbury-Queens Medical Society.

Dr. Dana Hanson was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2012. He is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his outstanding leadership in the medical profession in New Brunswick and around the world.



Jean E. Irving, Rothesay




Jean E. Irving is a familiar name for many people in our province. She has touched the lives of many youth in New Brunswick through her tireless support for a variety of initiatives and programs.

As a volunteer Red Cross nursing instructor, she sponsored a swimming program for more than 1,500 children at her summer home in Bouctouche. She was the founder of the Netherwood Chapel Kids Club Foundation and played a key role in the creation of Saint John’s first autism centre and the First Steps pregnancy centre for young mothers, to name a few of her endeavours.

Mrs. Irving's generosity was instrumental in creating many parks and playgrounds throughout our province. As well, she has contributed her time and effort to Beulah Camp and Caton's Island on the Saint John River.

She has been awarded many distinctions for her dedication to community advancement, such as The Salvation Army’s Order of Distinguished Auxiliary Service, the Caring Canadian Award, the Paul Harris Award and two honorary doctorates, to name only a few.

Jean E. Irving is being awarded the Order of New Brunswick for her passion and commitment to bettering the quality of life of communities throughout our great province.



Freeman Patterson, C.M., Kingston




A world-renowned nature photographer and writer, Freeman Patterson hails from New Brunswick’s Kingston Peninsula, where he still resides today.

Patterson began working as a photographer in 1965, and quickly found an aptitude and passion for teaching photography. His career has taken him around the world, giving workshops across Canada, the United States, Israel, New Zealand and Australia.

Freeman Patterson is also an accomplished author, having written 12 books, co-authored two others, and written for various magazines. Some of his books are on the topic of photographic techniques and theory, while others center on his nature photography.

Patterson’s talent and devotion to his art have been honoured by several organizations. He received the Gold Medal for Photographic Excellence by the National Film Board of Canada (1967), the highest recognition from the International Federation of Photographic Art (1975), the Gold Medal for Distinction in Photography from the National Association for Photographic Art (1984), the Progress Medal from the Photographic Society of America (1990) and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Nature Photography Association (2001), to name only a few.

Freeman Patterson was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1985. He is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his exceptional talents as a photographer and his passion for sharing his skills and knowledge the world over.



Gerry Pond, Saint John




Gerry Pond has been a key player in New Brunswick’s information and communications technology sectors over the last 45 years. He is currently the Chairman of Mariner Partners Inc., a company he co-founded in 2003 which provides consulting and professional IT services.

A past CEO of NBTel and past President of Aliant Telecom, Gerry has always had a passion for innovation. Under his leadership, NBTel became the first company in Canada to introduce voice mail, the screen phone, caller ID, internet service, high-speed residential Internet service and many other technological advances.

Very active in community affairs, he is the Director of Enterprise Saint John, Propel ICT, Assumption Life and the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute. He is also Co-chair of the New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation, a fellow of the Wallace McCain Institute and a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow.

He is past Chairman of the NB Business Council, past Vice-Chairman of the UNB Board of Governors and past Chairman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

For his entrepreneurial spirit and innovative vision, Gerry Pond was recognized with the Canadian Information Productivity Association Innovator of the Year award (1997), the Knowledge Industry Recognition and Achievement Awards’ Person of the Year (2002), the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), the Top 50 CEO in Atlantic Canada Award in (2003 and 2005) and an honorary doctorate from UNB Saint John (2004). Gerry was inducted into the New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame in 2007.

Gerry Pond is being awarded the Order of New Brunswick for his innovative spirit and for being the driving force behind so many of New Brunswick’s information technology and telecommunications success stories.



Lionel Poitras, Saint-André




A farmer, community leader and politician, Lionel Poitras was a driving force in the community of Saint-André for over 50 years.

He is the former mayor of Saint-André, New Brunswick’s first rural community. He served as the community’s mayor for almost 20 years between 1983 and 2013. He was also a village councillor in Saint-André from 1967 to 1980. He is the former Director of the Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick, a position he held from 2004 to 2010.

A potato farmer by trade, he has always been involved in organizations promoting the sustainability of the agricultural industry. He is the former Director of the Commission de gestion enviro ressources du Nord-Ouest (COGERNO) as well as a member of the Potatoes New Brunswick Environmental Committee. He is a past director of the NB Agricultural Development Board, past administrator of the NB Potato Agency and past president of the Northwest NB Potato Agency.

Over the last 50 years, Lionel has had a vital presence in his community. He has been a volunteer firefighter, a Scoutmaster, a school board director, the administrator of the credit union, a Knight of Columbus, the director of the Grand Falls Region Development Commission as well as president of organizations that look after seniors’ housing and social housing in Saint-André.

 Lionel Poitras is being awarded the Order of New Brunswick for his devotion to the community of Saint-André as well as his contributions to ensuring the sustainability of the potato farming industry in our province.



Gordon Porter, C.M., Woodstock




Gordon Porter is a pioneer and champion of inclusive education in New Brunswick and around the world. He has always been a strong proponent of children with disabilities’ right to participate actively in neighbourhood schools and classrooms. He has also been instrumental in the development of community-based support services for persons with disabilities in our province.

Thanks to Gordon, New Brunswick has become a shining example of the benefits of inclusive education. Under his leadership as Chairman, the NB Human Rights Commission adopted the Guideline on Accommodating Students with a Disability in 2007.

He is currently the Chair of the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Implementation Working Group on Inclusive Education, the Director of Inclusive Education Canada as well as the Director of the Canadian Association for Community Living’s Inclusive Education Initiatives.

He has previously held leadership positions with the following organizations: the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies, Inclusion InterAmericana, the Canadian Association for Community Living, Inclusion InterAmerica, the New Brunswick Association for Community Living and the Woodstock Association for Community Living, to name only a few.

He has been awarded the Canadian Education Association's Whitworth Award for Research in Education as well as an honorary doctorate from the National University of Education in Peru.

Gordon Porter was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2010. He is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his tremendous efforts in advancing inclusive education and the rights of persons with disabilities in New Brunswick and throughout the world.