LEWISPORTE, NL — Members of the Lewisporte Collegiate Scholarship Fundraising Committee are honoured that Former Chief of Defense Staff and native Newfoundlander General (Retired) Rick Hillier has agreed to be guest speaker at their gala on Oct. 28.
The event is a fundraiser to help more students graduating from Lewisporte Collegiate enter post-secondary education.
Hillier said it’s important to provide such support to students.
“We’ve got to inspire them and you inspire them by supporting them. And one of the real ways to support them is providing scholarships and some sort of financial assistance as they prepare themselves for the job markets of the future,” he noted.
A former chancellor of Memorial University, Hillier said about 70 per cent of students who earn degrees at Memorial stay in this province to work.
“(Scholarships) give young men and women a little bit of a leg up as they set out from high school,” he said.
It doesn’t matter what type of post-secondary education students turn to, Hillier said. What’s important, he said, is that students attend some type of university, trades college or other training centre to make themselves competitive.
“What happens is — and I’ve seen this thousands and thousands of times — if you don’t give yourself the education and skill sets which are in demand going forward, you become vulnerable,” he said. “You get manipulated by everybody. You’re always the last person to be hired. You’re hired at the lowest wage possible. And you’re the first person to be dispensed with when market conditions change, because you’re not competitive.”
When asked about his presentation at the gala, Hillier showed his tremendous sense of humour.
“It’s as boring as all — get-out. I wouldn’t pay a dollar to go listen to it,” he chuckled, before becoming serious about the topic he’ll discuss.
“I’m going to talk about Canadians... and some of the Canadians who have inspired me. Obviously, a lot of these men and women have served in uniform. But not all of them. I’m going to talk about how they inspired me and how we need to inspire those young boys and girls coming through exactly the same way I did.”
Hillier and his wife Joyce currently live in Ottawa. They are looking forward to their visit to their home province.
“Giving back is important to me and my wife. And that’s why I’ve agreed to do this,” he said.
The gala, which takes place at the Kin Centre in Lewisporte, includes a dinner as well as live and silent auctions.
There are a limited number of tickets left for the event. They can be purchased ($30) via e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting any member of the committee. There is also a Facebook page called the Lewisporte Collegiate Scholarship Fund.
SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Don Manuel (Class of 1961)
Anne Windsor (Class of 1966)
Harold Nippard (Class of 1973)
Byron Tremblett (Class of 1982)
Colleen Barrett (Class of 1982)
Angie Wilmott (Class of 1988)