Long-time Women’s Institute member, Sheila Washburn, was honoured with the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Land Conservation in a ceremony on November 29, 2018.
The award, named for the province’s Lieutenant-Governor, was given by its
namesake and Honorary Patron of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick, the Honourable Jocelyne Roy-Vienneau.
The event opened with a welcome and traditional Wolastoqiyik song performed by Judie Acquin-Miksovsky.
Sheila accepted the award on behalf of her husband, as well, the late Owen Washburn. Sheila and Owen were founding members of the Nature Trust back in 1987, and Owen its’ first President. Sheila also joined the board and became the president of the Nature Trust in the years after.
Wayne Burley, President of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick, said: “Owen and Sheila showed their commitments to protecting New Brunswick’s special areas through their generous donations and volunteer work and support of our land trust.”
In her speech, the Honourable Jocelyne Roy-Vienneau called these land conservation efforts “not just a gift to us – it is a gift to humanity.”
Sheila’s daughter, Dr. Susan Blair, waxed romantic about growing up as ‘free range’ children. “My parents have always believed strongly in public access to natural areas. My parents also realized the only way to change the future is to bond children to these places… to turn them away from a glowing 2×3” screen.”
The women of the Greater Fredericton Women’s Institute (formerly known as Lower St Mary’s) attended en masse.
Sheila Washburn has made her own impact on the Women’s Institute. In addition to her long service, she has acted in a number of roles at Branch, District and Provincial level.
It was our deep pleasure to be in attendance, to acknowledge the kindness, generosity and foresight of our peer. And to celebrate her with food and libations after the ceremony!