2023 Award Recipients

Jim Bezanson — Founders Award

During the 25 years that he was the Heritage Development Officer for the City of Saint John, Jim Bezanson developed a strong reputation as a heritage advocate and educator. He has been recognized for his role in the heritage preservation community several times, having won the National Trust’s Gabrielle Leger Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Heritage Conservation in 2021 and through his leadership the City of Saint John won the Prince of Wales Prize for Municipal Heritage Leadership in 2002. As a former Board Member of AHNB, he was a constant presence and a trustworthy authority for our community. One of the hallmarks of Jim’s work as Heritage Development Officer was the advice and assistance he provided to people requiring approval for changes to their heritage properties. He always kindly demonstrated ways in which progress could be made and heritage could be respected. Moreover, as an expert in the field of conservation of our built heritage he has been gracious and helpful in providing his advice and assistance outside of his official posts. He is revered among colleagues for his professionalism, passion, and commitment to being ethical. Jim provided leadership in the built heritage field nationally as Chair of the Heritage Canada Foundation, which is now the National Trust of Canada. He was a major participant in the development of “The Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada”, which has become an essential tool for heritage conservation across Canada. He has taught heritage courses at UNB Saint John and Holland College on PEI, and he is currently contributing to the review of the NB Cultural Policy. He is so committed to heritage preservation that he often offers to buy properties that are set to be demolished to save their heritage elements and reuse them. We are in awe of Jim Bezanson’s work, his ability to raise the standards by which we hold ourselves over the past 25 years, and we are grateful for all he has done and continues to do. In acknowledgement of his passion, diligence, and all he has accomplished over the years, we are honoured to award Jim Bezanson with the Founder’s Award.

Jimmy and Florence Hawkins – Quarter Century Award

(Debbie Harris, Jimmy and Florence’s daughter, is pictured accepting the award on behalf of her parents.) Jimmy and Florence Hawkins are well known in Beaver Harbour for their commitment to preserving the area’s history. They have both held executive positions on the Board of Directors of the Beaver Harbour Community Venture Group, and they remain board members to this day. Jimmy was a founding member of the group and established their archive in the basement of the local community hall. He travelled to meet with other groups and promoted the archives, the Quaker Burial Ground, and local history in general. He also researched, designed, and built the replica Quaker Meeting House that is dedicated to the Quaker Loyalists of Pennfield, the first colony to reject slavery in British North America. He often speaks at nearby schools to educate youth on Beaver Harbour’s history. He also pushed to have a stone erected at the Quaker Burial Grounds to identify the arrival of the area’s first Quakers. A dedicated fundraiser, he raised money for a war monument at the local cenotaph. He still gives tours of the museum and archives to this day. His wife Florence has also been a key player in the preservation and promotion of the area’s history. She travelled with Jimmy to every historical meeting, provided support to the community hall that houses the archives, managed hall rentals, and regularly organized delicious bean suppers. She also gathered photos from the community to contribute to the annual calendar fundraiser. It is a pleasure to award them the Quarter Century Award for the many years of effort and dedication that they have given to the community of Beaver Harbour.

John Elliott – Quarter Century Award

John Elliott taught grades 4-8 across Kings County for years. His interests were always in history and genealogy. He has been an active member of the Kings County Historical Society for over 25 years. He has been on the Board of Directors since 1997 and he has held the positions of both Vice-President and President. He reliably volunteers for any event or fundraiser that the Society is putting on, whether it involves giving tours or serving tea. He is very generous with his time and knowledge, and he always makes himself available to help out with genealogy research at the museum. He is also a talented author and editor. He has published several works including “Annidale: The Story of an Abandoned N.B. Community” and “Cheese & Butter Factories of Kings County, New Brunswick”. He is a valuable member of the Kings County Historical Society and his many contributions over the years make it an honour to award him with the Quarter Century Award.

Roger Nason – Quarter Century Award

Roger Nason has been a prominent figure of the New Brunswick heritage scene since he first became an archivist in 1973. After working at the Provincial Archives, he moved on to become a Historical Research Specialist at the Heritage Branch, where he developed a reputation for his high energy and deep understanding of small community museums. He provided incredible support to the sector and even after he left this position to become the head of Bicentennial Celebrations for the City of Fredericton, he never stopped volunteering to serve the heritage community. He continued to use his skills in historical research to work with the Archives and to develop research on community demographics, Black history and the World Wars, and other interesting topics over the next 25 years. He is a common sight in the community even still, as he often presents for historical groups and helps with their projects. For 50 years he has been a consistent positive support for the community and his hundreds of hours of volunteer work have provided crucial data that would not be possible without his dedication and experience. We are pleased to acknowledge Roger’s many years of service and his incredible contributions by awarding him the Quarter Century Award.

Oneil Lebel – Quarter Century Award

(Gaetane Saucier Nadeau and her sister, Rinette Nadeau Hihi, are pictured accepting the award on behalf of Oneil Lebel) If you have been involved with the heritage preservation community in Saint-Francois-de-Madawaska, odds are you have worked alongside Oneil Lebel. He has been involved with the Musée de La Forge Jos B. Michaud and the Musée de la Salle du 150e for many years and those who get to work closely with him deeply admire how present and active he remains to this day. He has built an incredible legacy for the next generation to carry on. He has volunteered a lot of his time to community projects and has had a huge impact of the preservation of built and cultural heritage in his community. His dedication has not gone unnoticed, and we are proud to honour him with the Quarter Century Award in recognition of all he does and has done for his community.

Glen Baxter – Quarter Century Award

Glen Baxter has been involved with Kingston Peninsula Heritage for 25 years, and during that time he has held many different integral positions. Now, as Director of the John Fisher Memorial Museum, he continues to use his skills and experience to guide the next generation of museum professionals and his hard work has not gone unnoticed. Glen is an essential support to his team and his enthusiastic guidance leads the museum and its employees to success year after year. He is a role model for his community and a dedicated activist. As the person responsible for collections management at the museum, Glen is known for his focus on accuracy and completeness, as well as his ability to embrace new approaches. He devised a mapping system for the museum and the 1810 Carter House that ensures all artifacts can be easily located. He is a great storyteller, advocate, and leader. He does not only the intellectual but also the physical work necessary to run the museum and Carter House, as he can often be found doing maintenance work that keeps the place up and running. He is also a leader on the Moss Glen Nature Trail Committee, and he is responsible for trail maintenance and the organization of their annual Trail Day event. It is our pleasure to acknowledge Glen’s many years of diligent contributions to the success of Kingston Peninsula Heritage by awarding him the Quarter Century Award.

Musée acadien de l’Université de Moncton – Award of Distinction

In October of 2022, le Musée acadien de l’Université de Moncton introduced two new permanent exhibit spaces, rightfully named after two prominent Acadian figures. The Antonine-Maillet room and the J. Louis-Levesque room were created through the collaborative efforts of the museum and several internal services of l’Université de Moncton, including the office of philanthropy and alumni relations, le Centre d’études acadiennes Anselme-Chiasson, and the physical installations planning service. These powerful exhibits were created with the purpose of interpreting their collection in a new way that honours the contributions of these great public figures, both to the university and the community as a whole. Both exhibits feature unique artifacts and interactive installations that are immersive and educational. They are located on the ground floor of the Champlain Library to ensure accessibility. The museum should be particularly proud of the creative and professional manner with which they produced these inspiring and informative exhibits. In recognition of their impressive effort to appreciate, educate on, and protect Acadian heritage, it is an honour to award le Musée acadien de l’Université de Moncton with the Award of Distinction.

Katherine Biggs-Craft – Award of Merit

Katherine Biggs-Craft has been a dedicated employee at the Saint John Jewish Historical Museum since it was first founded in 1986. She worked alongside founder Marcia Koven for many years before becoming curator in 1998. She develops walking tours, organizes events like the annual Saint John Jewish Film Festival, and dedicates her time and energy to spreading knowledge about Saint John’s rich Jewish history. In her spare time, Katherine is the Secretary of the Saint John Fundy Heritage Zone, and her counterparts really appreciate her expertise and ability to juggle multiple tasks. In acknowledgment of all she does to educate others and serve the heritage community she loves so much; we are pleased to present Katherine Biggs-Craft with the Award of Merit.

Tammy Greene – Award of Merit

Before Tammy Greene became Executive Director of Wilson’s Point Historic Site, the property did not get the kind of recognition it truly deserves. Through Tammy’s hard work and dedication, the site can now boast national recognition and international visitors in a way that it never could before. Thanks to her efforts to promote the site and to host events that unite the community, Wilson’s Point Historic Site has transformed into a cultural hub that draws in an intergenerational crowd. Tammy is also caring and considerate in the programming she organizes, and she respectfully honours Mi’kmaq fishing and hunting territory, as well as acknowledges Wilson’s Point’s involvement in the Acadian Deportation. She is passionate and committed to the heritage of Miramichi, and as a local to the area, she prioritizes uniting the community and appreciating the area’s multifaceted culture. She is known for supporting her staff and advocating for them to be rewarded for their effort. As if all that were not enough, she also co-chairs the Miramichi Heritage Network. Her dedication to her work, her ability to raise Wilson’s Point’s reputation to one that is nationally recognized, and her deep commitment to a dynamic and forward-thinking interpretation of heritage makes it a pleasure to present her with the Award of Merit.

Dawne McLean – Award of Merit

As President of the Albert County Historical Society, Dawne McLean has been recognized by her peers as a passionate and success-oriented leader who works hard to get results. A dedicated historian and educator, Dawne contributes to the success of the Albert County Museum, and she is constantly getting involved with community projects. She won the Molly Cool Award in 2018, in acknowledgement of her extensive contributions to her community. She writes and edits for the Connecting Albert County newsletter and last year she released her book titled “A Glimpse of Past Days”, a collection of historic accounts and photos from around Albert County. She has worked closely with AHNB for a number of years on Love Your Covered Bridges Days. She was the first to commit to actually holding an event at Sawmill Creek Covered Bridge in 2021, and she has held an event there annually ever since. Even before that, she got in touch with Sherry Little for support in saving Sawmill Creek Covered Bridge, and through her efforts the Department of Transportation restored the iconic bridge. Dawne is a driven and persistent advocate and educator, and her experience and humble knowledge provides a great resource for those around her and leads to outstanding results that unite her community. It is with great pleasure that we present her with an Award of Merit to acknowledge her contributions.

Gaston Hachey – Award of Merit

Over the course of the past 12 years, Gaston Hachey has been a courageous and visionary leader for the Founding Cultures Museum in Grande-Anse. Before this, he studied education at l’Université de Moncton and was a teacher for 35 years. His passion for young people and his commitment to the community of Grande-Anse has made his impact on the Founding Cultures Museum a great one. He is known for his support of young people and their professional development, as well as his expert museum management skills. He is also recognized for his leadership during the change of purpose that the Founding Cultures Museum went through in 2015. In order to oversee as significant of a change as the one that shifted the “Pope’s Museum” to the “Founding Cultures Museum”, a person has to have a great sense of integrity, devotion, and a deep sense of affection for the community they serve. It is obvious given the great success of the Founding Cultures Museum that Gaston Hachey has these traits in abundance, and it is our honour to award him with the Award of Merit in recognition of his fantastic work.


Past Recipients List

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