Dr. Robert Mounsey had every reason to feel on top of the world three decades ago.
Dressed for success in a finely tailored suit, he proudly accepted a Harry Jerome Award for academic excellence at the third annual event in 1985.
“I remember that night very well,” he said in a recent interview. “I was a young man back then and I felt very honoured to be among a distinguished group of Canadians. The award was inspiring and it motivated me to keep working and be among the best in my field. I left that event feeling powerful and uplifted.”
Dr. Mounsey is the son of former St. Vincent & the Grenadines senior magistrate and deputy acting governor general, Errol Mounsey. He was born in England, where his father was studying law.
Coming to Canada at age three, Mounsey graduated from David & Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute in Scarborough, where he played basketball and was a member of the school’s band.
Ranked among the top students in his classes, he pursued a medical career.
“I have always been fascinated with the human body,” he said. “I had an interest in head and neck anatomy. I enjoy both the artistry of the work and the technical aspects as I do a lot of complex work in restoring breathing for people.”
Armed with a medical degree from the University of Toronto, Mounsey interned at the University of Western Ontario before returning to the U of T to complete his otolaryngology residency.
The facial plastic surgeon maintains a successful private practice in Toronto.
“Patients come to me for procedures to improve their breathing,” said Mounsey, a member of the prestigious American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. “So if your nose is broken or twisted or you were born with a nasal deformity, I do surgery to restore the nose that will improve breathing. That’s my main focus.”
Mounsey has attended a few Harry Jerome award ceremonies and he placed an advertisement in a gala brochure a few years ago.
The other awardees in 1985 were Ronald Chambers, Dr. Wayne Burnett, who is a technology and robotics specialist based in Singapore; lawyer, Grace Permaul; former Canadian and National Football League running back Rueben Mayes, who lives in Oregon; ex-Olympian, Marita Payne-Wiggins, who is the mother of National Basketball Association 2014-15 Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins; late community activist, Harry Gairey, who was considered the patriarch of Toronto’s Black community and Violet Blackman, who migrated from Jamaica in 1920 and helped establish the Universal Negro Improvement Association’s Toronto chapter.