Our Walk of Fame has 4 new maple leavesFriday, September 21, 2012 by: SooToday.com Staff
SAULT STE. AMRIE
Four inductees honoured at 2012 Walk of Fame Ceremony
SAULT STE. MARIE – Four new granite maple leaves, bearing the names of the 2012 Walk of Fame inductees, have been added to collection on the Queen Street sidewalk in front of the Essar Centre.
This year’s inductees include: Ross Mervyn, Brian Vallee, Anthony van den Bosch and Walter Newman - the latter three being recognized posthumously.
“Walk of Fame inductees are people whose names have been put forth by members of the general public as examples of outstanding accomplishment and who are considered to be ambassadors of our community,” said Tasha Varpio, manager of the Downtown Association. “Humanitarianism was a common theme among this year’s recipients, with their contributions ranging from the arts to social services and athletics to civic duty.”
The four inductees were honoured at a special ceremony on Thursday, September 20 at the Essar Centre.
Each year, inductees are recognized for outstanding achievement in one (or more) of the following areas: athletic, cultural, academic or humanitarian achievement, outstanding contribution to community business, environment, sports, science or entertainment.
The Walk of Fame Committee reviews public submissions and selects a maximum of five inductees.
Nominations for the 2013 Walk of Fame inductees will be solicited from the public early in the new year.
The Walk of Fame is an annual event and is a joint project between the City of Sault Ste. Marie and the Downtown Association.
A retired steel worker, Ross Mervyn has worked tirelessly bringing his anti-drug message to the public.
Having competed in 15 marathons, including qualifying for the Boston Marathon six times, this accomplished runner combines his athleticism and volunteerism to help others by organizing running programs and marathons for prisoners.
Mervyn had inmates from the Northern Treatment Centre and Kinross Michigan Correctional Facility tell their own stories of how drugs and alcohol ruined their lives, in his video for his Do Your Own Time addiction awareness program.
Since 1983, he has made hundreds of presentations to schools, sports teams and businesses, across Canada and parts of the United States.
Leading by example, Mervyn and his compelling videos have had a powerful and positive effect on all those who have heard his message.
Beginning his journalism career with a summer job reporting for the Sault Star, Brian Vallee quickly moved on to the Windsor Star, Toronto Sun and Toronto Star earning the reputation of being a stickler for details and accuracy.
An award-winning print and broadcast journalist, author and documentary producer, Brian's legacy includes shining a light on the issue of domestic violence.
His 1986 bestseller Life with Billy, about a women’s violent marriage was later turned into a Gemini-winning TV movie.
Vallee also wrote the book The War on Women; exposed the secret lives of ‘Torso’ killer Evelyn Dick and the notorious Edwin Alonzo Boyd; wrote the chilling reverse-aging novel Pariah; and while with CBC’s The Fifth Estate was associate producer for John Zaritsky’s Oscar-winning documentary Just Another Missing Kid.
Vallee was a strong voice against criminal domestic violence speaking out at conferences and events across Canada.
His crusade for battered women brought the issue to the forefront in both in the judicial system and in the media.
Anthony van den Bosch
In 1964, Holland-born Tony van den Bosch moved to Sault Ste. Marie to become the director of the Family Services Bureau.
Until the mid-1970’s he was the only qualified social worker in the city.
He worked tirelessly and volunteered countless hours to support over 25 organizations and committees, helping to improve social services in the community.
A pioneer in the area of addiction treatment, Tony was a founding member of the Ken Brown Recovery Home, the Sault Ste. Marie Detoxification Centre and Women in Crisis.
Tony has been the recipient of many awards including the S.S.M. Medal of Merit, United Way Volunteer Award and the Dr. William Hutchinson Award.
WTJ (Bill) Newman
WTJ (Bill) Newman led by example, inspiring and challenging many young men in our community.
After enlisting in the Royal Navy at age 16, he embarked on a lifetime of military service.
Joining the Royal Canadian Navy in 1910, he saw action in World War I and received the Bronze Star, General Service Medal and the Victory Medal.
He founded the Boys Naval Brigade in 1920 at the request of the Navy League of Canada.
In 1946 he was awarded the highest honour of the Navy League, the Award for Service.
In 1962, the Navy League Cadet Corps became officially known as the Newman Corps.
Although Mr. Newman went on to receive numerous other awards until his death at aged 94, it was recognition of "his boys" that was his greatest honour.