A long-time community advocate has been honoured for his tireless charitable work.
Ned Blair was presented with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal at the National Ethnic Press & Media Council of Canada’s (NEPMCC) annual Christmas get-together last Friday night.
Member of Parliament, Jim Karygiannis, made the presentation.
“By granting you this honour, I thank you for your dedicated service to your peers, your community and Canada,” said Karygiannis, who is the MP for Scarborough-Agincourt. “Your contribution to your nation is most commendable and it deserves our admiration.”
An NEPMCC vice-president and 1999 Harry Jerome Community Service Award winner, Blair graciously accepted the honour and thanked his wife, Myrna, for the support she has provided him over the years.
“I am indeed honoured to be the recipient of this award and I will always continue to give back to my community,” said the retired Steelcase Canada employee and 2011 Pacesetter Award recipient. “This is the only way I can think of spending my retirement.”
Blair is an active member of several community organizations and has touched hundreds of lives and earned the respect of his peers in the process.
As president of the Organization of Black Tradesmen & Tradeswomen of Ontario (OBTTO) for nearly a decade, he was instrumental in recognizing the potential of skilled tradespeople to contribute to the community. Prior to the organization’s establishment, Blacks were denied access to most construction site jobs. With government, union and private sector funding, the OBTTO managed apprenticeship programs and trained hundreds of males and females in many occupations, including carpentry and masonry.
Blair, who migrated from Guyana in 1970, cofounded the Alliance of Guyanese-Canadian Organizations in 1990 and collaborated with the Adventist Development Relief Agency to bring critically ill children from Guyana for surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children.