Dr. Peter Michael Byrne P. Eng.
Professor Emeritus of UBC Civil Engineering
2014 Awarded R.F. Legget Medal
Nuala Patricia Kenny was born in New York and entered the Sisters of Charity, Halifax in 1962. She received her BA, Magna Cum Laude, from Mount St Vincent University in 1967, MD from Dalhousie in 1972 and postgraduate training in pediatrics at Dalhousie and Tufts New England Medical Centre, during which she held a Killam Scholarship. In 1975, she became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada and in 1976 was certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.
In 1991 and 2005, she was Visiting Scholar at the Hastings Centre for Ethics, in 1993 held a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Fellowship in Continuing
Medical Education at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown U. In 2001, she was a Scholar in Residence at Rockefeller Foundation Study Centre in Bellagio, Italy.
Dr Kenny joined the Dept. of Pediatrics, Dalhousie in 1975 as Coordinator of Regional Pediatric Services. In 1982, she became Director of Medical Education at the Hospital for Sick Children and the U. of Toronto. In 1985 she was appointed Prof. and Chairperson, Dept. of Pediatrics at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ont. She returned to Dalhousie as Professor & Head of the Dept of Pediatrics and Chief of Pediatrics at the Izaak Walton Killam Hospital in 1988. In 1995, she became the founding Chair of the Dept. of Bioethics of Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine. From Feb. to Nov. 1999, Dr. Kenny was Deputy Minister of Health, Province of Nova Scotia.
Author of over one hundred and seventy-five papers and three books, Dr. Kenny is nationally recognized as an educator and physician ethicist. She was Chair of the Values Committee of the 1997 National Forum on Health and is past President of both the Canadian Pediatric Society and the Canadian Bioethics Society. She was a founding member of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Health Council of Canada, and Canadian Doctors for Medicare.
She has received five Honorary Doctorates (Mount Saint Vincent (1992), the Atlantic School of Theology (2000), Regis College, Toronto (2000), St. Francis Xavier University (2000), and The College of New Rochelle (2008). In 1999 was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada for her contributions to child health and medical education. She has received a Queen’s Jubilee Medal and in 2006 was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She has received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Canadian Bioethics Society, the Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Health Association, the Catholic Health Association of Canada’s Performance Citation Award, the Canadian Medical Association’s Marsden Ethics Award, the Dalhousie University Alumni Achievement Award and the North American Osler Society’s McGovern Award.
Kenny joined the Sisters of Charity in Halifax in 1962 before graduating from Dalhousie medical school in 1972 and going on to become a pediatrician in 1976. Having worked in Ontario in the early 1980s, Kenny returned to Halifax in 1988 as a professor and head of the pediatrics department at Dalhousie University and chief of pediatrics at the Izaak Walton Killam Children’s Hospital (now the IWK Health Centre) and later as deputy health minister for Nova Scotia involved in the healing business for more than 40 years, Kenny's biggest therapeutic challenge has come in her quest over the past two decades to help diagnose and treat the clergy sexual abuse crisis in her beloved Catholic Church. Her recently published book, Healing the Church, approaches the crisis from a joint religious and medical perspective: “There are two crises here. One is that men of God would offend against children and youth. That shows that they are human. They are susceptible.”
Kenny wrote that a 2004 report identified 4% of active priests as abusers, an incidence rate that is on par with child sexual abuse among the general public. “The likeliest person to offend against a child this way is a dad, grandpa, uncle, mom’s boyfriend of the month, the scout leader." But sexual abuse is exacerbated in the church by additional spiritual abuse and the second crisis, the crisis of mis-management in the church, is paramount for Kenny. She writes: “In the book I use the metaphor of diagnoses. I’m a doc. That’s what I do. The church has done a lot on policies and protocols. They are making the diagnosis that this is the sins and offences of individual men, either individual offenders or individual mis-managers.
“I make a different diagnosis. I make the diagnosis that the church responded as she did — denial, minimalization of harm, secrecy, protection of the offender, protection of image, non-accountability — the church responded that way because that’s the way the church is… all sexual abuse is about power, and the power of the priest over children and young people contributed to a perfect storm of abuse … Priests were held in unmerited high esteem, and parents and kids alike considered it a special privilege for children to spend time with the parish priest. There was a “suppression of vigilance” among the children’s caretakers, a suppression in direct contradiction to the Christmas gospel story of Jesus and Mary doing anything and everything to ensure the safety of their child in light of Herod’s murderous decree. decree. “We have been in contradiction to the teaching and ways of Jesus. The only way to get back is to get back to trying to be a prayerful, gospel-oriented community and to find new ways to be with each other — bishop, priests and people."
Internationally Award Winning
computer scientist and researcher
Best (L) and Banting
Sir Frederick Banting was one of the twentieth century's most celebrated medical heroes. His discovery of insulin, with his assistant Charles Best and other colleagues, was one of the most important medical breakthroughs saving or transforming the lives of millions of people with diabetes.
Frederick Banting was born Nov. 14, 1891, in the town of Alliston, north of Toronto. His great grand- parents came from CountyBallyfin County Laois, Ireland in 1842, followed by his grandparents who settled in Simcoe County, and his parents. Frederick was the youngest of five children in a hard-working middle-class farm family with a strong Methodist faith. Fred struggled to finish high school and failed first year Divinity at the U of Toronto. But he dreamed of becoming a doctor. He persevered and in Sept. 1912, he was admitted to the U T Faculty of Medicine.
He graduated from medical school in 1916 as the First World War was raging. He tried to sign up and was rejected twice because of poor eyesight. On his third try he was accepted into the Canadian Army Medical Corps. Just weeks before Armistice, he was wounded by an exploding German shell but kept on treating patients. For his bravery and determination under fire, he was awarded the Military Cross.
Returning to Canada in February 1919, he completed his training as an orthopedic surgeon and opened a surgery in London, Ont. It was a struggle for an unknown doctor and, to supplement his income, he took a part-time job lecturing in surgery and anatomy at the U.of Western Ontario medical school. His wage was two dollars an hour. In his spare time he found solace in painting watercolours. He would meet and become a lifetime friend of A.Y.Jackson of Canada's Group of Seven artists.
One sleepless night, reading a medical journal, he was suddenly jolted by the possibility of isolating the internal secretion of the pancreas that regulated sugar in the blood-stream. It might control diabetes! He hesitantly described his idea to Prof. Macleod at UofT. Macleod was not impressed. It took a year to get permission to proceed and in May 1921 Macleod gave him a small laboratory and the loan of a recent graduate student, Charles Best, as his research assistant. Few believed they would succeed.
To Banting's delight, injections of the extract, which he would later call insulin, successfully treated dogs' diabetes. Their chance to try the extract on a human came in January,1922. Banting and Best took their extract to the Toronto General Hospital where a 14-year-old boy lay dying of diabetes. He recovered. It was convincing proof that they had made a remarkable discovery.
In 1923, Banting and J.R. Macleod were awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology, Banting chose to share his award with Charles Best.
Dr. Banting was named Canada's first Professor of Medical Research. By 1923, at 32 years of age, he was the most famous man in Canada, receiving gifts and letters from hundreds of grateful diabetics all over the world.and showered with awards, money
and unending gratitude. In 1934 Sir Frederick Grant Banting was one of the last group of Canadians to be knighted by King George V. Not so well known is Banting’s artistic career. He described painting as ‘a great rest and holiday’. In 1927, Banting met A.Y. Jackson, of Canada’s ‘Group of Seven’, and a lasting friendship began. Over the years, they embarked on many painting excursions from the Coast to the Arctic.
Asked about retiring from science to paint full time, Banting would reply, "When I am 50, that’s what I intend to do." With WWII Banting moved into military research and top-secret projects on bacterial warfare for the Canadian Forces. In 1941, he was leaving for Great Britain on a secret mission. His plane crashed near Musgrave Harbour, Newfoundland. Dr. Frederick Banting was killed instantly. He was 49 years of age.
Known as the "Sherlock Holmes of Saskatchewan," Frances McGill was a pioneer in many respects. After earning a medical degree at a time when few women ventured into that discipline, she devoted most of her career to forensic pathology, a field that was beginning to emerge in Canada. Dr. McGill began working for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in an official capacity in 1943 and was considered the force's "first woman Mountie." Recognized for her unfailing professionalism and her unwavering availability, Dr. McGill built a solid reputation in a man's world. Her success is undoubtedly rooted in the motto that she took for her own: "Think like a man, act like a lady and work like a dog." B orn in 1877 in Minnedosa, Manitoba, she was raised on the family farm. Her family's roots were Irish, and the medical profession was part of the family culture: one brother a doctor, her sister a nurse McGill graduated in medicine from the University of Manitoba in 1915. She had qualified as a teacher and worked briefly to finance her studies. She distinguished herself in university, receiving such honours as the Hutchison Gold Medal for highest academic average.
After a year-long internship at the Winnipeg General Hospital, she pursued graduate training and was appointed provincial bacteriologist with the Saskatchewan Department of Health. She was a diligent worker, particularly during the serious Spanish influenza epidemic. In 1920, she accepted the position of provincial pathologist and, two years later, became director of the provincial laboratory, where she worked closely with police forces on cases involving suspicious death. She was respected as an outstanding criminologist and renowned for her court testimony. Her investigations required travel throughout the province in all types of weather and by all means of transportation, including dogsled, snowmobile and float plane.
When the RCMP opened its own forensic laboratory in Regina in 1937, Dr. McGill's workload decreased considerably. However, she continued to work with the municipal police force until retiring in 1942. In addition to her private practice, she pursued many leisure activities, including hunting, fishing, horseback riding and bridge. She even found time to support the war effort by knitting woollen socks for soldiers and participating in various associations, such as the Business and Professional Women's Club and the Regina Women's Canadian Club.
In 1943, Dr. McGill took on the office of director of the RCMPs forensic laboratory and, once again, was conducting investigations across the province and training the country's future police officers and detectives in medical jurisprudence, pathology and toxicology. She passed on to her students the wisdom of developing a keen sense of humour, which she said, kept her from being depressed by gruesome work.
After stepping down from her duties with the RCMP, Dr. McGill was appointed its Honorary Surgeon on January 16, 1946, and continued to serve as a consultant to the force. She remained active until her death on January 21, 1959. In her private practice she specialized in allergies and skin diseases.
Lake McGill, located north of Lake Athabasca, Sask., is named for Dr. McGill.
Born April 17, 1831, in County Down, Macoun was raised on family land that had been granted to one of his father’s ancestors almost two centuries earlier for military service. It was an ideal setting for a boy with an insatiable curiosity. He developed a great passion for the outdoors and the natural world. Fatherless from the age of six, he became independent and determined to succeed. He emigrated to Canada in 1850 and graduated Professor of Natural History at Albert College, Belleville, Ontario. He explored vast tracts of north-west Canada and influenced, through his botany, the course of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the following pattern of settlement in the Prairies. In 1860 he secured a public school teaching position in Belleville and devoted every spare moment to botany and the development of an herbarium. In 1868 had earned a new chair in natural history at Albert College in Belleville.. He covered an incredible range of territory – from Atlantic Canada to the Pacific coast and as far north as the Yukon – making large collections in all kinds of environments. As his work expanded Macoun became convinced that "the country, with its great resources, would become the home of a superior civilization where countless millions would experience a fresh start, as he had." Dictionary of Canada
He authored Manitoba and the Great North-West (1882), Catalogue of Canadian Plants (1883-86) and Catalogue of Canadian Birds (1909). He was a founding member of the Royal Society of Canada.
1 Jan. 1862 John married Ellen Terrill (d. 1921) of Brighton, Upper Canada. They had two sons, both worked in the fields with their father, and three daughters; He died 18 July 1920 in Sidney, B.C.
His story is told in a book edited by John Wilson Foster FRSC, Prof. Emeritus, UBC and Hon Research Fellow, Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University Belfast, in 1997 Nature in Ireland: A Scientific and Cultural History (Lilliput, Dublin; McGill-Queen’s UP), pp. 354-60, and his biography, by W.A. Waiser, appeared in 1989 (Univ. Toronto Press)
For his work at the Université Laval, Dr. Kerwin won promotion after promotion and became the first lay person appointed Rector tfrom 1972 - 77. He was appointed President of the National Research Council of Canada
In 1980, Dr. Kerwin was appointed President of the National Research Council of Canada for a five-year term. This term was renewed in 1985. During these years he contributed greatly to the national awareness of the importance of research and development to the well-being of the nation.until 1982 when P.M. Pierre E. Trudeau appointed him Canada's representative on an Economic Summit to study research and development towards creating jobs to help the world economy to recover.
It was March 1989 when Dr. Larkin was appointed President of the Canadian Space Agency. He held this position during the crucial first years of the Agency's implementation until his retirement from the Agency in February 1992.
For three decades, Canadarm was the versatile workhorse of the space shuttle program, ideal for handling large payloads, for reaching around to look at the underside of the shuttle and for serving as a platform for space walkers. A key feature in the original design was the “end effector,” which made it possible for the arm to firmly grasp anything that was outfitted with a standard metal grapple fixture. The innovative design allowed an astronaut to direct the arm close enough to its target to snare it without sending it tumbling.
He was author of three monographs and fifty articles in scientific journals. Hie received many awards for his research in atomic and molecular physics contributed strongly to the advancement of science in Canada. A past president of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, he was recognized by governments and by universities and is a Companion of the Order of Canada, an Officer of l'Ordre national du Québec, an Officer of the Légion d'honneur de France and a member of the Académie des Grands Quebécois. He also was awarded 15 honorary degrees from Canadian universities.
John Larkin was born on June 22, 1924 in Quebec City. Proud of his Irish heritage throughout his life, his great-grandparents were Michael (Kirwan/Kerevan) and Eliza Kane, who emigrated to Québec City from New Ross (Co. Wexford) and married there in the 1850s. Their son Luke wed the daughter of Margaret Larkin from Queen’s Co. (today County Laois). Larkin married Maria G. Turcot, they had eight children. Dr. Kerwin died, aged 79, on Saturday, May 1, 2004. 31
Born in northern New Brunswick, Gail completed
courses at Mt. St. Vincent University, Dalhousie
University, Université de Moncton and Université Laval. She has also studied at University of New Brunswick, Hebrew University and several other institutions of higher learning.
Gail’s first profession was social work and she has been a supervisor in the area of child abuse and inclusion where she was a pioneer in New Brunswick’s introduction of inclusion in the school system. At the time, she was both a social worker advocating the program and a school board member who pushed for this innovative programme which is the most progressive in the world. She remains active in the New Brunswick Association for Community Living.
An activist and leader in the women’s movement and, as Director of an Addictions Center, Gail helped lead the government to provide more services for women in that area. She has also worked in the areas of violence against women, helping to co-found the first association of sexual assault centres across Canada. She has served on the executive of the National Action Committee of the Status of Women and was he first woman in her province to be elected as President of a political party and continues to push for more women in politics.
Her work in computer science is equally well known. She has lectured around the world, including Ireland. Her research area is biotechnology but she also is writing a book on the history of programming languages, believing people must be taught several languages at once and not in the traditional method of one language as was once the norm.
Extremely proud of her Irish heritage, she was one of four founding members (the only woman) of the Irish Canadian Cultural Association of New Brunswick, a group that led a renaissance of all things Irish in that province. She recalls, as the first Secretary the many memberships that “just came pouring in! We knew there was a need out there”, she recalls, “but the response was overwhelming!”
As she continues to be involved in Irish activities, Gail wants some day to write what she terms “the quintessential Canadian book of Irish heritage, if I can ever ascertain exactly what that is since we Irish are also if not exactly diverse, certainly unique in some ways.” She jests she can probably understand the Irish Canadian “as someone who comes from a family that represents - the sum of Irish culture and all three religions – Roman Catholic, Protestant and Jewish”.
Gail has served on numerous boards - the Board of the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, N.S., NBACL and a number of information technology organizations.
Building the Future
Dr. Frances Gertrude McGill
Forensic Pathologist. Criminologist. First Honorary Surgeon to the RCMP.
Dr. John Larkin Kerwin
CC OQ FRSC Canadian Physicist 1st President of the Canadian Space Agency
Born on March 5, 1936, in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Peter Byrne achieved his first degree in engineering from
University College, Dublin. He completed post-graduate
studies at UBC and his career began at the university in 1967.
Professor Emeritus of UBC Civil Engineering, was awarded the prestigious R.F. Legget Medal for 2014 by the Canadian Geotechnical Society. The R.F. Legget Medal is the society’s highest honour and is presented to an individual for “outstanding, life-long contributions to geotechnique.” A prolific author of journal and conference papers and a sought-after consultant, Dr. Byrne supervised 35 graduate students in the Department of Civil Engineering during his over-40 year tenure.
Dr. Byrne’s previous awards included the Vancouver Geotechnical Society Award, the Geoffrey Mayerhoff Award (CGS), the Gzowski Medal for best paper (CSCE), the Julian C. Smith award (EIC) “for achievement in the development of Canada”, and the R.M. Hardy Keynote Address (CGS). A Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada he is recognized for his research on “the behaviour and analyses of soil and soil structures subjected to earthquake loading, particularly in the area of soil liquefaction”. He is known and respected internationally for his achievements demonstrated by a wide range of projects on which he had been consulted, including bridges, tunnels, dams, rapid transit projects, airports and a wide variety of other facilities in seismically active areas in Canada and around the world. Projects on which he served as a consultant on the seismic retrofit include a number of bridges in Greater Vancouver - Port Mann, Oak Street and Knight Street bridges as well as the George Massey tunnel. He has also acted as a review consultant to BCHydro on a number of their dams including Coquitlam, Alouette, Revelstoke , and Bennett dams. He has also acted as a consultant on many International projects including the seismic design of mine waste dams in South America, Australia , New Zealand, and Vietnam, and the seismic retrofit of the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) tunnel connecting San Francisco and Oakland.
Beyond engineering there was his passion for sailing. A member of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club for over fifty years he shared that passion sailing with family and friends along the British Columbia coast. His passion was further kindled by competitions and he won a Bronze Medal for Canada in the Flying Dutchman class at the 1967 Pan American Games. He was a member of Canada's Olympic sailing team at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games and, the following year Peter, with his wife Jane as crew, won the 1973 Enterprise Class World Championship – the event was held in Vancouver.
Peter passed away peacefully on August 17th, 2017, surrounded by his family - his loving wife Jane, sons Sean (Elen) and Craig (Alessandra), granddaughters Rebecca and Greta, extended family and friends.
KBE MC FRS FRSC
medical scientist, physician, painter, and Nobel Laureate
Teacher, Botanist, Naturalist, Civil Servant, Author,
"The greatest Canadian Naturalist of the 19th Century
Sir Frederick Grant Banting
Sister Nuala Patricia Kenny
OC, BA, MD, FRCP (C)