17 Wing Honorary Colonel Stuart Murray receives the Order of Manitoba

News Article / September 11, 2020

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By Gloria Kelly

A lifetime dedication to public service has led to 17 Wing Winnipeg’s Honorary Colonel Stuart Murray receiving the Order of Manitoba.

“My dad always told me life is full of surprises and you never know what may come and this is certainly one of the good ones,” said Honorary Colonel Murray in a recent interview. “It’s an amazing honour and honestly it belongs to a whole lot of people who have worked beside me for many years.”

The Order of Manitoba is presented by Her Honor Lieutenant Governor Janice Filmon, chancellor of the order, and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in a variety of fields of endeavour that have benefited the social, cultural and economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents.

In announcing the award to Honorary Colonel Murray, the citation read: “Mr. Murray has an eclectic resume spanning the fields of entertainment, business, health, sports, public service, community service and human rights. In addition to being a former political party leader, chair of the 1999 World Junior Hockey Championship, honorary colonel of 17 Wing Winnipeg, chair of Travel Manitoba and co-chair of the Manitoba150 Host Committee, he was appointed as the inaugural president and CEO of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in 2009, serving in this role until the museum’s opening 2014.”

“I have had an interesting career and it comes from the values of my parents. My dad was a farmer and my mother a hard-working pharmacist,” he said. “They taught me that a strong community matters.”

When Honorary Colonel Murray found out he was to receive the award, he was at his cottage and answered the phone on a Sunday morning to find the Lieutenant Governor on the other end officially asking him if he would accept the award. “At first I thought she was asking me to sit on a committee and was not quite sure what she was asking so I said pardon,’’ said Honorary Colonel Murray. “Honestly, I got a little emotional as I think everyone gets up in the day and tries to make the best contribution they can in whatever that may be.”

As honorary colonel he said he has been thrilled beyond words to be involved with 17 Wing. “The honour really is for the individual who get to serve in that capacity and that certainly has been my experience. It has been the most rewarding time I have been able to spend with some amazing men and women in the Armed Forces. Every time I am around them, I learn something and that is something that I look forward to.”

Not one to be idle, Honorary Colonel Murray is now the President and CEO of the City of Human Rights Education an organization dedicated to establishing Winnipeg as an international human rights education city. “My interest level is about the education of human rights,” said Honorary Colonel Murray. “In conversation about human rights it’s not about who is right and who is wrong it’s about the ability to understand others' perspectives and, even if you don’t agree with it, appreciate that it exists and to perhaps see things through a different lens of the world.”

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