October 14, 1969. A new award for excellence in journalism in Canada was announced here during the weekend by the Federation of Press Clubs of Canada. Called ‘The Roland Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism’, it will be given annually for outstanding performance in public service by any journalism media. The award will be administered by the Federation.
Governor General Roland Michener will present the first award in a ceremony at Government House early next year and his name will be permanently attached to the award.
“The federation is honoured that the Governor General has consented to the use of his name and is fully supporting this project” said Angus MacDonald of Moncton, New Brunswick, who was elected Federation president.
Mr. MacDonald said the concept of the award is to pay tribute annually to the newspaper, magazine, or radio or television station which has performed outstanding public service. All media will be eligible.
A committee chaired by C.W.E. MacPherson, managing editor of The Ottawa Citizen and immediate past president of the Federation, will begin immediately to draft specific terms of reference, prepare entry forms and invite applications. Mr. MacPherson’s committee will also select judges.
The Federation plans to make the first ward for the 1969 calendar year.
Stirling King of the Saskatchewan Press Club in Regina was elected vice-president of the federation. Barry Mather of the B.C. Newsmen’s Club in Vancouver was re-elected secretary-treasurer. Press clubs in Vancouver, Regina, London, Kitchener, Ottawa, Toronto, Moncton, and Hamilton were present at the meeting held in conjunction with the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Hamilton Press Club.
Dear Governor General:
I am writing on behalf of the Federation of Press Clubs of Canada to thank you most sincerely for your decision to lend your name to a journalistic award to be administered by the Federation.
At the annual meeting of the Federation in Hamilton on October 11th, the directors unanimously accepted the responsibility–and the honour–to administer the Roland Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism. As you know, the award will be given to the Canadian newspaper, news agency, magazine, radio station, television station or broadcasting network that is judged to have performed each year the outstanding example of public service through the use of its journalistic resources.
The Federation honoured me by naming me chairman of the committee which will carry through detailed planning of the first award, which it is hoped will cover an achievement of the 1969 calendar year. As planning progresses, l promise that you will be kept informed.
Once again thank you, Your Excellency, for lending your name to an award which l trust will rank with the most treasured in the field of Canadian journalism.