Memorial University has chosen its honorary doctorates for the fall convocation ceremonies in October.
Master boat builder Henry Vokey will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. Businessman Capt. Sid Hynes and retired chief justice Hon. Dr. T. Alex Hickman will receive honorary degrees, as well,
A MUN release says that the honorary degree is designed to recognize extraordinary contributions to society or exceptional intellectual or artistic achievement.
Henry Vokey is receiving his degree for the significant contribution he’s made to the cultural traditions of the province through his dedication to boat building. According to MUN’s release, Vokey began building boats at age 12 and built his last in 2009.
In 2007 Mr. Vokey received the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2008 he was awarded honorary life membership in Newfoundland and Labrador’s Wooden Boat Museum and in 2012 was inducted into the Atlantic Canada Marine Industries Hall of Fame.
T. Alex Hickman is a Supreme Court chief justice and former politician. He was first elected to the House of Assembly in 1966. The province called upon him for assistance in a number of legal issues. The international maritime community praised his 1985 report as chairman of the Royal Commission on the Ocean Ranger Marine Disaster. The Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall Jr. Prosecution, also produced under his chairmanship, received strong endorsement from the Canadian justice system, as well as native and minority groups.
Hickman was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by Dalhousie University in 1986, an honorary doctor of laws from the Law Society of Newfoundland in 2000, the Memorial University Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 and the Order of Canada the same year.
Capt. Sid Hynes left home at the age of 15 to go to sea. He graduated from the nautical science program at Memorial University’s Fisheries and Marine Institute and went on to command a wide range of vessels operating around the globe.
From 1986 until late 2007, he was president and CEO of Canship Limited, a company that he helped found. He was named acting president-CEO of Marine Atlantic, a role he held for four years. According to MUN’s release, during his tenure with Marine Atlantic, the company achieved a 95 per cent customer satisfaction rate.
Capt. Hynes has been named honorary captain of the Royal Canadian Navy and a medal of merit by the Association of Canadian Port Authorities. In 2011 he was inducted in the Junior Achievement Newfoundland and Labrador Business Hall of Fame. In 2012 he was named to the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. Today Capt. Hynes is executive chairman of Oceanex Inc.