Ottawa, June 10, 2009 – The Governor General of Canada, Michaëlle Jean, presented the ‘Special Michener Award’ to former publisher, managing editor, and reporter Clark Davey in recognition of his lifetime achievement in the field of journalism.
He was praised for contributing ‘his talents and dedication in abundance through a lifetime that has exemplified the best in public interest journalism’. The award was presented during the 2008 Michener Awards ceremony held at Government House in Ottawa.
Clark Davey’s career, includes terms as publisher of The Vancouver Sun, The Ottawa Citizen and The Montreal Gazette. He is also a former Managing Editor of the Globe and Mail and past president and chair of Canadian Press. For the past 25 years he has served as a founding board member, president, and continuing executive secretary of the Michener Awards Foundation.
Born in Chatham, Ontario, Mr. Davey was a member of the first graduating class in Journalism at the University of Western Ontario in 1948. He would later receive an honourary Bachelor of Laws from the same University for his contribution to Canadian journalism.
After starting his career as a reporter for the Chatham Daily News and later, managing editor of the Kirkland Lake Northern Daily News, he joined the Globe and Mail in the early fifties where he served as a Parliamentary Press Gallery correspondent and covered the election campaigns of John Diefenbaker and Lester Pearson. At the United Nations in New York he reported extensively on then Minister of External Affairs Lester Pearson and his successful diplomatic mission to diffuse the 1956 Suez Crisis. Clark Davey was one of only three journalists with John Diefenbaker in Prince Albert in June of 1957 on the night he won election as prime minister.
Mr. Davey rose though the editorial ranks at the Globe and Mail to become Managing Editor – a position he held for his last 15 years at the newspaper before moving to the west coast and Pacific Press in 1978.
He has also served as a director of the National Newspaper Awards, the Canadian Daily Newspaper Association, among other organizations, and has lectured at various Canadian Universities and Colleges.
David Humphreys, the President of the Michener Awards Foundation said that throughout his career in the newspaper business Mr. Davey “has been highly supportive of the kind of investigative journalism the Michener Award encourages and honours. His contribution in that regard has been inspirational”.
Clark Davey makes his home in Ottawa where he lives with his wife of 56 years, Joyce. They have three sons.
The Michener ‘Special Award’ was established in 1983 by then Foundation President Paul Deacon, former editor and publisher of the Financial Post. At that time, the Michener Awards Foundation decided that in addition to the regular annual award which goes to a media organization, another award would be created to honour an individual whose lifetime work exemplified the best in public service journalism. It would be presented only occasionally and at the discretion of the Foundation’s board of directors. The award was crafted in 1983 by sculptor John Matthews.
In 1984, the first Special Award was presented to Anne Todd in recognition of her husband’s contribution to public service journalism. CTV correspondent Clark Todd had died of shrapnel wounds in 1983 while covering the civil war in Lebanon.