Western’s local community connections were highlighted with the announcement of the Mayor’s New Year’s Honour List, 2023. On Jan. 1, Mayor Josh Morgan announced the honour list in various categories of achievement to recognize the diversity of community work taking place in the city.
Among the honourees are Tom Cull, professor in English and writing studies. He served as London’s poet laureate from 2016 to 2018. Cull has been honoured for his work with the environment. Since 2012, he has been the director of Antler River Rally, a grassroots environmental group he co-founded with his partner and their son.
Edward Medzon, professor emeritus, microbiology and immunology, was recognized as a distinguished Londoner. Respected in his research field across the country, he also has a special interest in science education and is on the board of the London High School Science Fair. Moreover, he has been an active part of the London music scene in various capacities and plays in jazz and concert bands.
Master’s student Ashton Forrest, BA’10, was recognized for her work on accessibility. The human rights activist has been working to create accessible and inclusive spaces and programs in London.
Karen Schindler, BESc’85, MESc’88, BEd’92, has been honoured for her contribution to the arts. She runs Baseline Press, a micro-publisher that promotes poets from London and the rest of Canada. She has published titles in the form of small booklets called chapbooks, which she prepares and binds by hand.
Jason Rip, BA’93, BEd’94, has been honoured as a distinguished Londoner. He is an award-winning playwright, actor and theatre artist whose work has been performed in Canada and the U.S. His specialty is historical biographical plays on personalities like Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Rimbaud.
Joe Cardillo, EMBA’03, has also been honoured as a distinguished Londoner. A board member of the Direct Sellers Association of Canada, he is also chair of the London chapter of the International Basket Brigade, a volunteer-run program that provides food to families in need.
John Manness, BA’65, was recognized for his contribution to protecting and preserving heritage buildings and property in London.
Nawaz Tahir, BA’98, LLB’01, has been honoured for his humanitarianism. He is a partner with the law firm McCague Borlock where he practices in the areas of insurance, professional malpractice and class action litigation. A prominent member of the Muslim community, he is active in politics as well as in building bridges between different faiths.
The Mayor of London’s annual Honour List began in 1976 with recognition of contributions to the arts. Since 1989, the additional categories of diversity and race relations, the environment, heritage, housing, humanitarianism, persons with disabilities, safety and crime prevention, accessibility, age friendly and sports have been added. Recipients are named by City Council, on the recommendation of advisory committees or community organizations, through the City’s standing committees.