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St. Lawrence native Gus Etchegary named a Senior of Distinction

St. Lawrence native Gus Etchegary has been selected as a recipient of a Seniors of Distinction award for 2017.
St. Lawrence native Gus Etchegary has been selected as a recipient of a Seniors of Distinction award for 2017.

St. Lawrence native Gus Etchegary has been selected as a recipient of a Seniors of Distinction award from the provincial government.

Etchegary, who now lives in Portugal Cove-St. Philips, was born in 1924.

According to his bio, Etchegary witnessed the 1929 tsunami and participated in the efforts to rescue crewmembers from the USS Truxtun, which ran aground near St. Lawrence.

He joined Fishery Products Ltd. in 1947 and had a distinguished 41-year career, retiring in 1988 as executive vice-president.

A long-time fisheries advocate, he is a former Canadian commissioner to the International Commission of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries and the North Atlantic Fishery Organization. He participated in a number of fishery negotiations and was also responsible for the formation of the Save Our Fisheries Association in 1971.

After retiring, Etchegary volunteered for a number of community activities including adviser to the Coalition of Churches, which highlighted the problems facing rural communities in Newfoundland and Labrador following the 1992 cod moratorium.

Etchegary's was also the first Newfoundlander to be inducted into the Canadian Soccer Association Hall of Fame in 2007.

In 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by Memorial University, and in 2013 he published his first novel, “Empty Nets,” which recounts his historic attachment and passion for the fishing industry, his love and respect for a way of life unique to communities in this province, and his conviction for nature's capacity to renew itself if given a chance.

“Recognizing seniors for their contributions and achievements within the community is just a small way to show our appreciation,” Children, Seniors and Social Development Minister Sherry Gambin-Walsh said in a news release.

“Seniors play such an important role in shaping the lives of others, through their knowledge, experience and generosity.”

 First awarded in 2009, Seniors of Distinction awards are intended to increase recognition of seniors in the province and their visibility in society.

Other recipients announced today are Margaret Burden of Port Hope Simpson, Dermot (Derm) Flynn of Appleton, Leonard (Len) Simms of St. John's and Willis Whyatt of St. Carol's.

A formal ceremony to honour the winners will be held on Oct. 3. 

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