Former Red Deer mayor Morris Flewwelling and wildlife advocate Myrna Pearman are among 133 new inductees into The Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s college of fellows.
Since its inception 90 years ago, the college has included distinguished individuals from many fields.
The society’s mandate is “to make Canada better known to Canadians and to the world.”
College fellows serve as the society’s ambassadors in their communities, and celebrate Canada, its geography and peoples. The college of fellows is also the voting body of the society.
Flewwelling, a former teacher and Red Deer museum director, said he will continue his work as an educator with a focus on Canada and the work of the society.
“If there was ever a time that nation building was critical, it’s now. We’ve got so many divisive factors going on,” Flewwelling said.
He said helping new Canadians learn more about the country is an area he would like to explore in his new role.
“They are on a fast learning curve. Their knowledge of the geography and history of Canada may get pushed aside as they are trying to make a new life here. It’s incumbent that we take extra effort to help newcomers.”
Pearman said in the past, the organization has tended to be more of a focus in Eastern Canada. She and Flewwelling will work to raise awareness in Western Canada.
“It is a very big and influential organization that does great work in terms of exploration and education. I’m very honoured to be nominated, and accepted, and I look forward to getting more involved with the organization going forward,” said Pearman, who is a biologist and site services manager at Ellis Bird Farm, and also a Red Deer Advocate contributor.