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Date: December 06, 2000

UVic Honours Community Leaders

Two of Victoria's leading citizens, Peter Baillie and the Rev. Bill Howie, will be honoured with UVic Community Leadership Awards at a special presentation tonight at the University of Victoria's Downtown Centre, 910 Government St. The pair were selected for their significant contributions to both the community and the university.

Over the past five years, Peter Baillie set a new and very high benchmark for personal and corporate involvement in the community. Baillie came to Victoria as general manager, and then publisher of the Victoria Times Colonist, a position he held until July 2000. Baillie's personal leadership positioned the paper in support of numerous social and philanthropic causes and prompted a new brand of community journalism. He vigorously supported the arts as a director of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra board, and as an officer of the now nationally renowned Literary Arts Festival Society.

In 1997 and 1998 he acted as deputy chair of the Vancouver Island Cancer Centre Campaign. At the same time, he twice served as honorary chair of the Lion's Springtime Telethon, was a board member of the Q's TLC Fund for Kids and was honorary chair of the Peter Gzowski Invitational Golf Tournament. Baillie is also an enthusiastic civic booster and was a member of the Mayor's Downtown Task Force.

"Throughout this time, the University of Victoria benefited from Peter's perceptive advice on community relations, and indeed found in him a true supporter and friend," says UVic President Dr. David Turpin.

Rev. Bill Howie has a long and distinguished record of spiritual leadership at the University of Victoria and in the wider community. From 1962 to 1982 Howie served as senior chaplain, Maritime Command, Pacific Fleet, Victoria and then until 1996 as British Columbia conference minister to the 60 United Church congregations on Vancouver Island. He has maintained an interest in things nautical as honorary chaplain to the Naval Officers Association of Canada, and as a founding board member and then vice chair of the Canadian Sail Training Association.

Ever active in the Victoria community, Howie assisted in the establishment of the Interchurch housing society and was a board member of the Open Door Street Ministry.

He has been a close friend of the University of Victoria for nearly 20 years. He played a leadership role as the United Church member of the university's interfaith chaplaincy committee and was the originator and chair of the Friends of the Interfaith Chaplaincy. He was also part of the group that establish the university's Centre for Studies in Religion and Society in 1991.

Since then he has been a member of the Centre's steering committee and advisory council, and its chair for the last three years. In support of the centre's work, Howie initiated the "Howie Endowment Fund" in 1992 with a significant personal contribution. The Friends of the Centre was his idea in 1993 and for six years he co-chaired this community support group which now comprises over 300 members. In 1996, on his retirement from the United Church, Howie assumed the volunteer full-time position of community relations officer for the Centre, a job from which he has just now made his second professional retirement.

"From the visionary leadership of Rev. Bill Howie, both the community and the university have inherited a valuable legacy of ideas and institutions which will go on benefiting future generations," says Turpin.

The event tonight begins at 5:30 p.m. with the awards presentation at 6:00 p.m.

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Media contacts:
Martin Segger (government and community relations) at 721-8298.

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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