The Scottish Studies Society's "Scot of the Year Award" was initiated in 1993 to honour individuals with a Scottish connection who have achieved distinction through their contribution to Canadian society or the international community at large.
It is awarded on an annual basis during a presentation at the Society's annual Tartan Day Celebration usually held in April or May of each year.
We are pleased to introduce you to the recipients of this prestigious award.
Major-General Lewis MacKenzie
Considered the most experienced peacekeeper in the world, Major-General Lewis MacKenzie encapsulates what being a leader truly is. General MacKenzie speaks from experience. He has commanded ground troops in some of the world's most dangerous places: the Gaza strip, Cyprus,Vietnam, Cairo, Central America and Sarajevo. It was in Sarajevo that his superior leadership skills and courage came to the fore. At the start of the Bosnian Civil War he created and assumed command of Sector Sarajevo and, in the midst of a brutal civil war, with a contingent of troops from 31 nations, and under fire from all sides, managed to open the Sarajevo airport for the delivery of humanitarian aid. During that period, Martin Bell of the BBC said MacKenzie was interviewed more that any other human being in the history of television over a thirty day period.
General MacKenzie retired from the Canadian Forces in March 1993. His book, Peacekeeper: The Road to Sarajevo, a personal account of his peacekeeping experiences, became a No. 1 best seller in September 1993. A two-hour documentary, "A Soldier's Peace", based on the book, has aired in over 60 countries and won a New York Film Festival award in 1996.
He is currently the president of Major General MacKenzie Enterprises and comments regularly on international affairs for the National Post and numerous North American television networks. He is also bringing his high profile and leadership to the fundraising efforts of ICROSS (International Community for the Relief of Starvation and Suffering), a Canadian charity whose mission is to serve the poorest of the poor in Africa, and throughout the world.
Madame Justice, The Hon. Bertha Wilson
Bertha Wilson stands as the first woman justice on the Supreme Court of Canada. An immigrant from Scotland, she arrived in Canada in 1949 already having earned a Masters Degree. This was quite an accomplishment at the time. She pursued her education further by attending Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia to earn her Law degree in 1957, then moved to Toronto to practise law.
In 1975 she became the first woman to be appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal and in 1982 became the first woman Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Wilson went on to become one of the greatest supporters of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Her writings on the law remain some of the most used by the Supreme Court in its rulings.
Wilson retired from the court in 1991 and now spends her time travelling, lecturing and writing on the law and on the rights of women.
Lloyd Robertson, O.C.
Lloyd Robertson, O.C. (born January 19, 1934 in Stratford, Ontario) is the anchor of Canada's nightly CTV National News. Before he joined CTV in 1976, Robertson anchored rival CBC's The National, from 1970 to 1976 and before that, in the late 1960s, he hosted a show called CBC Weekend.
In 1976 Robertson moved to CTV which gave him the authority to write his own scripts and participate in editorial decisions concerning the news broadcast.
Robertson initially co-anchored the CTV News with the late Harvey Kirck from 1984. When Kirck left CTV Robertson became the senior news anchor there. Robertson has covered many major events throughout his career, including several Olympic Games, Terry Fox, the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution, the 1980 and 1995 Quebec separation referenda, many federal elections, the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the power outage crisis on both sides of the border. On the scene, he has covered the fall of the Berlin Wall, state funerals, and royal, papal, and U.S. presidential visits.
The Hon. Donald S. Macdonald
Mr. Macdonald's list of business and political accomplishments is a long and distinguished one. He was a Member of Parliament for Rosedale from 1962-1978, serving as President of Privy Council and in several cabinet positions (Finance; National Defence; Energy, Mines and Resources). He was appointed Canadian High Commissioner to Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1988 and Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Competition in Ontario's Electricity System in 1995. He became Senior Advisor of Public Policy at Lang Michener and served as chair of many noteworthy organizations including the Institute for Research on Public Policy, The Design Exchange, Institute of Corporate Directors, and from 1993 to 2000 as Chair of The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships.
Mr.Macdonald has served on numerous boards in the financial, petroleum, insurance, chemical and arts sectors. He is an avid writer on public policy and political affairs and an active member of community groups in Toronto and abroad.
Col. The Hon. Henry N. R. Jackman
Hal Jackman, as he is known to his friends, served as Ontario's 39th Lieutenant Governor from December 11, 1991 until January 24, 1997. He was born in Toronto and is a graduate of the University of Toronto. Mr. Jackman serves as Chairman on many boards including National Trust Company, The Empire Life Insurance Company, E-L Financial Corporation Ltd., and Algoma Central Corporation. He is also Vice-Chairman of The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company and president of a number of other companies. Among his many charitable and philanthropic activities, he is Chairman of the Atlantic Council of Canada, the Advisory Board of The Toronto Old Aged Men's and Women's Homes, and the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Red Cross Pension Fund. He was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Governor General's Horse Guards in 1992. He is Knight of Justice in the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. Hal Jackman and his wife have five children.
A graduate of McGill in 1962, John Cleghorn articled as a Chartered Accountant with Clarkson Gordon before becoming a sugar futures trader. He joined the Royal Bank in 1974 from the old Mercantile Bank of Canada and rapidly rose to become President in 1986, Chief Operating Officer in 1990, Chief Executive Officer in 1994, and Chairman in 1995. Mr. Cleghorn has been deeply involved with the academic profession, and is Chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University, a governor of McGill University and Chairman of the McGill Fund Council. Among his many other national community activities, he is Vice-Chairman of The Conference Board of Canada, a director of the International Monetary Conference, a member of the Policy Committee of the Business Council on Monetary Issues, the national advisory board of the Canadian Special Olympics, and governor of the Shaw Festival Theatre. His great grandfather emigrated from Wick, Caithness in the 1860s and was active in the grain and shipping business until his early 70s. John Cleghorn and his wife Pattie have three children.
Oscar winner and a Canadian Titan in the fascinating world of entertainment, Michael MacMillan is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Atlantis Communications, a multi-million-dollar company which created headlines in July 1998 when MacMillan's Atlantis Communications joined forces with Alliance Communications to become Canada's largest television and movie production company. Born in Scarborough, Ontario, Michael graduated from Upper Canada College with honours, as he did from Queen's University, with an Honours BA in Film Studies. With two friends, he launched Atlantis Films Ltd in 1978 with a total capital of $300, their life savings. Michael MacMillan is on the Board of Governors of the Canadian Stage Company, Toronto East General Hospital Foundation, the Canadian Film and Production Association and is Vice-Chairman of the Canadian Film Centre and a Trustee of the Gaelic Society of Toronto. He enjoys marathon running and Scottish Country Dancing. Michael MacMillan and his wife Cathy Spoel have three children.
Lynton (Red) Wilson, O.C.
From 1963 to 1965, Red Wilson was Assistant Commercial Secretary in the Canadian Embassy in Vienna, and in 1967 he was appointed Second Secretary in the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. He became a teaching assistant at Cornell University where he earned his M.A. in Economics. From 1969-71, he was Corporate Economist and Director of Economic Research with John Labatt Limited before returning to the Federal Government for the Ministry of State, Science and Technology as Coordinator, Industrial Research and Development Policy.
He became Vice-President and Director with MacMillan Bloedel Enterprises Inc. in 1974. With the Government of Ontario, Mr. Wilson served as Executive Director 1977-78, and then Deputy Minister of Industry and Tourism from 1978-1981. In 1981 he became President and Chief Executive Officer of Redpath Industries Ltd., and Chairman in 1988. He was appointed Vice-Chairman, Bank of Nova Scotia, in 1989. In 1990, he became President and Chief Operating Officer, BCE Inc. and was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in 1992 and Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer in 1993, and Chairman of the Board 1998-2000. In recognition of his many achievements, he was recipient of the 1994 International Business Executive of the Year Award.
Kathie Macmillan is President and CEO of Goldfarb Consultants, one of the largest global marketing research companies with its head office in Toronto and consulting offices throughout Europe, the UK and the Americas. Working with clients all over the world, she has developed strategies associated with branding, customer communications, corporate advertising as well as customer and employee loyalty and retention. Specifically, Kathie spent 13 years with the diversified health care company Warner Lambert working out of Toronto, New Jersey, Latin America and the UK, before moving on to the Campbell Soup Company as General Manager and VP of Marketing. Immediately prior to joining Goldfarb Consultants in November 1998, Kathie spent more than four years with the Bank of Montreal as Vice President of Corporate Marketing.
Alistair MacLeod was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, in 1936, moved to Alberta when he was four and then to Cape Breton Island at the age of 10. He grew up as one of the first generation of Nova Scotians not to be Gaelic speaking. After first training as a schoolteacher he enrolled at Francis Xavier University in 1957, graduating three years later with a B.A. and B.Ed., and financing his education by working at different times as a logger, miner and fisherman. In 1961 he received an M.A. from the University of New Brunswick and in 1968, the year his first story "The Boat" was published, was awarded his PhD by the University of Notre Dame. After teaching English for three years at the University of Indiana from 1966, MacLeod moved to the University of Windsor, where he became Professor of English and Creative Writing, returning to Cape Breton each summer to write longhand in notebooks in a cliff-top cabin at Dunvegan.
MacLeod published three stories in 1971, and three more in the next five years before "The Lost Salt Gift of Blood" came out in 1976. Ten years later his second collection "As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and other Stories" was greeted with a chorus of praise. "No Great Mischief" came out in 1999, and became the first Canadian novel to win the $172,000 International IMPAC Dublin Award. A year later his stories were published together in a single volume called "Island: The Collected Stories of Alistair MacLeod." MacLeod has achieved an international reputation: in 2000 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is married with six children.
2003 - (dual awards)
Alastair Gillespie, former Liberal Cabinet Minister and long-time Governor of the Scottish Studies Foundation. T. Iain Ronald, prominent executive in the financial and retail industries.
Both Alastair and Iain were active members of the Campaign for Scottish Studies at the University of Guelph and were instrumental in raising significant amounts of money that went towards the funding of the Chair of Scottish Studies there.
T. Iain Ronald, M.B.A., B. LAW., F.C.A. has had a fifty-year career in the finance and retail industries in Canada. He continues to serve on a number of prominent Canadian boards and works tirelessly for many non-profit organizations. He has served as Chairman of BFI Canada Income Fund since 2003 and has been a Trustee since inception. He serves on the board of directors of several major Canadian companies, including Loblaw Companies Limited, Leon's Furniture Limited, Strongco Inc. and TransAlta Power Ltd. He is also a trustee of Allied Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. Mr.Ronald retired from the position of Vice Chairman of CIBC in 1995. Mr. Ronald has a Bachelors Degree in Law from the University of Glasgow, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, is a member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario.
The Honourable Alastair Gillespie, P.C., O.C. has had a successful career as a Minister of the Crown and in the business world. He has a long record of community service, and in 1998, was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Born in Victoria, British Columbia, Gillespie attended Brentwood College School, McGill University and then Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. After receiving a business degree from the University of Toronto, he went on to senior role in the educational publisher W.J. Gage and company. Gillespie was elected as a Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for the Toronto riding of Etobicoke in 1968 election. He was re-elected in the 1972 and 1974 elections. He held various ministerial positions including: Industry, Trade and Commerce; Energy, Mines and Resoources; State for Science and Technology; and Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board.
The ninth of 12 children from a traditional Glasgow Irish family who emigrated from Scotland to Canada in the 1960s, John McDermott's musical roots are equal parts Scottish and Irish. He was discovered quite by chance when, as a circulation sales representative for the Toronto Sun, he gave an impromptu rendition of "Danny Boy" at a company party. That catapulted him into a musical career that in 10 years includes nine full-length albums, three Canadian platinum records, five Juno nominations and a solid international touring schedule.
In the USA, McDermott's success has provided him with the ability to express his commitment to veterans' causes, which have always occupied a central place in his life and have been an important theme in his music. In recognition of this commitment, McDermott was awarded one of the United States' highest accolades: the Congressional Medal of Honor Society's "Bob Hope Award." Especially important to McDermott are the legions of homeless veterans in big cities and small towns from coast to coast. His concern is borne out through innovative projects such as McDermott House, a transitional housing cooperative for veterans in Washington, D.C., and more recently, the Hope McDermott Day Program Center in Boston, Mass.
Douglas M. Gibson
Douglas Maitland Gibson was born in 1943 and raised in Scotland, where he gained an MA at the University of St. Andrews. After acquiring a further MA at Yale, he came to Canada in 1967 and entered the world of publishing in March 1968, as an editor with Doubleday Canada. Through a series of accidents he found himself running an editorial department at the age of 25, and publishing books set from Newfoundland to British Columbia and editing authors ranging from Harry J. Boyle to Barry Broadfoot.
He joined Macmillan of Canada as Editorial Director in 1974 and became Publisher in 1979. In those years he had the privilege of editing authors such as Morley Callaghan, Hugh MacLennan, Bruce Hutchison, and Robertson Davies. Early in 1986 he joined McClelland & Stewart as Editor and Publisher of a new line of books under his own imprint, a first in Canada. Since then Douglas Gibson Books has published works by authors such as Alice Munro, Peter Gzowski, Jack Hodgins, James Houston, W.O. Mitchell and Mavis Gallant. In 1988 he became Publisher of McClelland & Stewart and in 2000 he was named President and Publisher.
As a member of the publishing community he has taught courses in editing to many groups. He is a member of the Quadrangle Society of Massey College and the Scottish Studies Board at the University of Guelph. As a writer, his work has appeared in The Bumper Book, in a book on Alistair MacLeod and in Saturday Night, Toronto Life, Books in Canada, the National Post and the Globe and Mail. From 1981 to 1984 he was the weekly movie reviewer for the CBC radio programme "Sunday Morning." He spoke as a Canadian representative at the International Publishers' Association Convention in London in 1988. As a Council Member of Historica he has spoken at a number of Canadian Clubs.
Hugh Boyle is the chair and principal shareholder of Zoom Airlines and the founder and chair of the resoundingly successful Go Travel Direct, Canada's first direct-sell tour operator. Both businesses have grown rapidly in the six years since inception. Go Travel Direct offers Canadians the opportunity to take a break from frigid temperatures during the winter months and fly to a multitude of southern destinations while Zoom Airlines offers exceptional low rates to Europe from a host of Canadian locations.
Over the years, Hugh has provided crucial support to the Foundation which has greatly facilitated travel between Scotland and Canada for students, artists and other involved in the pursuit of Scottish studies.
Originally from Bellshill in Lanarkshire, Scotland, Canada is now home for Hugh and his family. Although he has adjusted to the Canadian way of life, he still considers himself a Scot through and through.
Thanks to the efforts of Jean Watson, Tartan Day April 6th, has become a yearly event not only in Canada but all over the world.
The concept of "Tartan Day" began at a meeting of the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia on March 9, 1986 when members Bill Crowell and Jean Watson put forward the following motion to the Federation:
"That we establish a day known as 'Tartan Day'. This to be a day chosen to promote Scottish Heritage by the most visible means: the wearing of the Scottish attire, especially in places where the kilt is not ordinarily worn, i.e.: work, play or worship."
Started originally as "Tartan Day in Nova Scotia," Jean Watson approached every provincial Legislative Assembly in Canada, as well as other Scottish-cultural societies across Canada, to help get such a date established. After ten years of work, Tartan Day in Canada was approved in every Provincial Assembly from sea to sea by Premier's proclamation or Members' Bill, the last being in the National Assembly at Québec City, where it was finally proclaimed in December 2003 -- 16 years after the first such proclamation in Nova Scotia.
Donald A. Stewart was born on the Isle of Arran in 1946 and his Arran roots go back many generations. He left home to attend secondary school on the Isle of Bute. He then attended Glasgow University, graduating in 1968 with first class honours in Natural Philosophy.
He joined Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada in London and transferred to Montreal in 1972, shortly after qualifying as a UK actuary.
Mr. Stewart has spent four decades in financial services, including almost 35 years with Sun Life. Since becoming CEO in 1998 he has focussed the Company on international expansion. He led the successful demutualization of Sun Life in March 2000, and has since grown the company through acquisitions in Canada, the United States and Hong Kong. He was named International CEO of the year in November 2007 by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
Notwithstanding Mr. Stewart's Canadian base and international focus, he and his wife Qianqian visit Scotland regularly, maintaining close links with family members in Dumfries, Edinburgh and Lewis.
Flora MacDonald, PC, CC, O.Ont, ONS
Named after the Scottish Jacobite heroine of Bonnie Prince Charlie fame, Flora MacDonald was born in North Sydney, NS, a sixth generation Canadian whose forebears came to Canada from the Scottish Highlands in the 1790s. She was educated in public schools and business college in Nova Scotia. Later she became the first woman enrolled in the National Defence College’s year-long graduate course in international relations.
She was first elected to the Parliament of Canada in October 1972 and served as MP for Kingston and the Islands until November 1988, holding three cabinet posts: Secretary of State for External Affairs, the first woman in Canada to be named to the prestigious Foreign Affairs Minister portfolio; Minister of Employment and Immigration; and Minister of Communications and Culture.
Prior to her election, Flora was administrative assistant and tutor in the political studies department at Queen’s University, and was also employed at the national headquarters of the PC Party of Canada becoming acting national director.
Since leaving politics she has held numerous national and international posts and has served on the board or advisory councils of many organizations. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Companion of the Order of Canada, and a member of the Order of Ontario. She has received the Jordanian El Kawkab Medal by King Hussein for significant contribution to public service; the Pearson Peace Medal; the Churchill Society’s award for Excellence in the Cause of Parliamentary Democracy; and was the first Canadian to receive the Padma Shri Award (India’s highest award to civilians) from the President of India for distinguished service in the field of public affairs. She holds honorary degrees from universities in Canada, the United States and United Kingdom.
Richard Wernham has more than twenty years' experience in the global wealth management industry and was the founder and Chief Executive of Global Strategy Financial, one of Canada's largest independent mutual fund companies.
Currently the Chairman of the Soutterham Group, he was formerly a lawyer with Torys, specializing in securities and corporate law. Richard was also a Special Lecturer in Law, Trinity College at the University of Toronto from 1977-1994 and remains active in the academic community holding appointments as Chair of the Board of Greenwood College School, as a Trustee and member of the Foundation's Joint Foundation/School Strategic Planning Committee of Lakefield College School, and as a Chair of the Investment Committee for Upper Canada College.
Richard has been a significant financial supporter of the academic community, and with his wife, Julia, funded the establishment of the Richard Wernham and Julia West Centre for Learning at Upper Canada College. Richard also co-founded Greenwood College School, a co-educational independent day school in Toronto. The Robert L. Payton Award 2010 was presented to Richard by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. He is also a Governor of the Royal Ontario Museum.
Robert M. Buchan
Born in Aberdeen and brought up in Rosyth, Fife, Mr. Buchan graduated with a B.Sc. (hons) in Mining Engineering from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh in 1969 and in 1971 obtained a Masters in Mineral Economics from Queen's University, in Kingston, Ontario.
In 2009 he donated $10 million to Queen's University, the largest single donation to mining education in Canadian history. In September 2010 it was announced that Buchan was donating £1.3 million to his Scottish alma mater, to fund their work on sustainable energy engineering, the largest donation the university has ever received from an individual. He has also donated £650,000 to help establish the Whitlock Energy Collaboration Centre at Carnegie College in Fife, believed to be the largest single private individual donation to a Scottish college since the time of Andrew Carnegie.
From 1971 to 1974 Mr. Buchan worked as a design engineer at Joy Manufacturing and then as a Securities Analyst at A.E. Ames from 1974 to 1978 and at BBN from 1978 to 1984.
He participated in the formation of CMP Funds, and served as its President from 1984 to1988) and also participated in the creation of Dundee Bancorp in 1987 and served as its Vice-Chairman until 1994. During that period, he ran the merchant banking division, DCC Equities.
In 1994, he left Dundee to form Kinross Gold Corporation acting as that company's CEO from 1993 to 2004 and in 2005 he started Katanga Copper Company, and served as that company's Chairman until 2007 when he formed Allied Nevada Gold Corporation serving as that company's Chairman since inception.
Throughout Mr. Buchan's career, he has served on numerous boards of resource companies, as well as being Chairman of Quest Capital.
He has served on the foundations of Sunnybrook Hospital, the Art Gallery of Ontario and chaired a capital campaign for the CNIB (2005-2007). He has been elected to the Board of Trustees of Queen's University through 2014 and is a director of the Buchan Family Foundation, which is involved in a number of philanthropic causes and campaigns.
John Anderson Fraser
John Anderson Fraser is one of Canada’s most accomplished academics in the field of journalism, born in Montreal in 1944 and raised in Toronto. After graduating from Memorial University he took further degrees in England and became a journalist with the old Toronto Telegram. At The Globe and Mail he made the surprising direct ascent from Drama Critic to Chinese Correspondent, which provided him with the material for his successful book, “The Chinese, Portrait of a People” (1980).
He has since written seven other books, and last month published "The Secret of the Crown -- Canada's Affair With Royalty" which explores the endurance and allure of the Crown in Canada. With his trademark wit and artful agility, John looks at the Crown's evolution from the Age of Deference to the era of celebrity to the present popular revival. The book was showcased at the event and John had his favourite pen set aside with which to sign copies.
He was the Editor of Saturday Night Magazine from 1987 to 1994, moving on in 1995 to his current position as Master of Massey College in the University of Toronto. There, besides his teaching and administrative duties, he busies himself with contributions to a host of volunteer boards. Proudly aware of his own Scottish heritage, he is an active participant in many Scottish events.
Lewis MacKinnon is a Nova Scotia poet, writer, singer and songwriter who, in 2011, was crowned poet laureate for the Royal National Mòd – an eight-day celebration of Gaelic music, dance, drama, arts and literature held annually in Scotland. It was the first time in its more than 120-year history that a non-Scot has been named poet laureate.
MacKinnon is better known as the executive director of Gaelic Affairs for the Province of Nova Scotia on Canada’s east coast, though some still know him as the young fellow from Antigonish County’s Dunmore Road who speaks and sings the Gaelic, even although it has been more than two centuries since his people left Moidart and the Isle of Muck in Scotland.