Published author and former Clearview student, D. Hugh Gillard has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Clearview Award of Merit.
The award is usually presented to current or former students/employees of the Clearview Public Schools who have made outstanding contributions to their fields and have distinguished themselves at the national or international level.
By recognizing such excellence, Clearview hopes, it will inspire present and future generations of students.
Hugh Gillard spent much of his childhood in the Coronation area, attending Coronation School from Grade 2 to Grade 11.
Born with a single cleft lip and palate, throughout his school and life, Gillard struggled with a severe speech impediment, unusual appearance, hearing loss, and discrimination, which so many clefted individuals are forced to deal with, all while trying to build a life and career.
Gillard overcame decades of teasing and discrimination to become the president of three different oil companies during his career.
Never able to pronounce his own name, Hugh Gillard, during retirement, wrote a book about his experiences entitled, “What Did You Say?” where he uses words and humour to inspire those born with the same condition.
All proceeds from the book support cleft-related charities.
To date significant proceeds from the sale of Gillard’s book have been donated to Operation Rainbow Canada (ORC), a volunteer organization of doctors and nurses from Vancouver, B.C., who perform surgeries on clefted children in third-world countries.
The Clearview board of trustees will ensure that all Clearview Public Schools libraries has a copy of the book, generously donated by Gillard himself.
The Clearview Award of Merit presentation will be made as part of the school division’s annual Recognition Night in Stettler on Wednesday, June 7.