Blundon inducted into Hall as Carbonear honours athletic best

The late Gina Blundon was one of Newfoundland’s best atheletes.
Gina Blundon was posthumously inducted into the Carbonear Recreation Commission’s Hall of Fame during the town’s annual awards night held Wednesday. Members of Blundon’s family were on hand to accept the award. From left to right are Gina’s father Edgar Blundon, Town of Carbonear recreation director Rob Button, her sister Jodi Brennan, and mother Alice Blundon. Mark Squibb photo.

By Mark Squibb \ May 26, 2023

The Town of Carbonear recognised some of it’s very best this week at the 2023 Awards Night.

The first honour of the evening, the Roy Howell Memorial Award, was accorded to Ian Moores.

Moores has enjoyed success as both a player and coach of many different sports, having earned several awards and accolades over the years. Amongst those are four senior hockey Herder Memorial Cup wins, the first with the Flatrock Flyers in 2003 followed by three consecutive Herder wins with the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Moores coached the Stars during both the 2013 and 2017 Herder Memorial Cup wins, bringing his Herder total to six. He currently coaches the provincial men’s senior ball hockey team, the Newfoundland and Labrador Black Horse.

The Junior Female Athlete of the Year award went to Jasmine Wheadon. She is the youngest athlete in the province to compete in the local U16 Figure Skating Competition. She earned a bronze medal at the 2022 SCNL Provincials, a silver medal at the SCNL 2022 Summer Skate, was awarded a Premier’s Athletic Award, and qualified to represent the province at the Canada Games in Figure Skating in February, 2023

The Junior Male Athlete of the Year was awarded to Adam Button, who plays on a number of teams including Carbonear Collegiate’s Junior High hockey team, Carbonear Islanders U15 Softball Team, and CeeBees Minor Hockey U15 Rep 1 Team. Button is a member of the Grade 8 basketball team that won the Provincial Grade 8C title and a member of the U15 AAA TriPen Ice hockey team that won bronze at provincials. He was selected to play with the TeamNL U15 hockey team at the Atlantic Challenge Cup in New Brunswick. The team would go on to win a bronze medal and Button was named player of the game for his efforts.

Emily Underhay was awarded the Senior Female Athlete of the Year Award. Underhay plays on soccer, volleyball, cross-country and softball teams, and pitched for TeamNL Softball at the Canada Games in Ontario.

Adrian Green was awarded the Senior Male Athlete of the Year Award. Green was also named Athlete of the Year for Carbonear Collegiate. He placed first at the cross-country regional competition, served as captain of the TriPen Osprey AAA U18 Hockey Team, was a member of the U22 Mens Softball Team NL Canada Games Team, and U23 TeamNL Softball participating at Nationals, and played with the Team Canada U23 Development Fastpitch Team at Men’s Nationals. Green was also awarded the Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games (Carbonear-Harbour Grace 1992 Inc.,) scholarship later in the ceremony.

The Carbonear Academy Grade 8 Basketball Team, winner of the Grade 8 Provincial C Basketball Tournament, was named the Junior Team of the Year.  Members include Nathan Bakogeorge, Adam Button, Nicholas Crocker, Ryder Doyle, Noah Duggan, Jaxon Earle, Rory MacNeil, Nathan McNamara, Colin O’Keefe, Lucas O’Neil, Owen Osmond, Dawson Rowe, Liam Rowe, Blake Sheppard, Isaac Smith, Owen Smith, and Zuri Stride. The coaching staff includes Trevor Smith and Brad Doyle.

The Carbonear Islanders U20 Softball Team, winner of the U20 Provincial Fast-Pitch, was named the Senior Team of the Year. Members include Bradley Dawe, Drew Deering, Reid Deering, Adrian Green, Brayden Kelloway, Jacob Kennedy, Josh Kennedy, Ethan King, Matthew King, Jacob Kippenhook, Linden Power, and Liam Underhay. Coaching staff include David Kennedy, Charlie Deering, and Chris Hussey.

The Female Volunteer of the Year award went to Sonya Nolan-Baker. She began volunteering as a Girl Guide Leader in 1998 and established the Pathfinders and Rangers groups in the Carbonear area. She is also heavily involved with the Baccalieu Trail SPCA, and has helped organize fundraising activities, assisted with animal care, and helped develop policies. In 2012 she was named Director of the NL Animal Welfare Society of the SPAC Board. For the last decade, she has volunteered as the chair of the Board of Directors for the Baccalieu Trail SPCA.  She is a member of the board that oversaw the building, development, and now operation of a new animal shelter for the Conception Bay North region. That shelter opened in the midst of the pandemic. Sonya and her family have also sheltered a number of animals of their own.

The Male Volunteer of the Year Award went to Berkeley Lawrence, who could not attend the awards ceremony because he was busy volunteering at another event. Lawrence joined the Canadian Forces in 1971 and has been posted all over Canada. He has been active with the Legion in Carbonear since 2004, and has several as president twice, and was the Honours and Awards Chairman for several years. He has spoken at a number of Remembrance Day ceremonies over the years and is the current Sponsorship Chairman for the 589 Air Cadets. Lawrence was president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Command of the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) for two years and was on the Provincial Executive for 12 years. He is currently a vice president of the RCL at a national level. He was the province’s Poppy Chairman for a decade and is currently the National Chairman of the Poppy Campaign. He is also currently Chairman of the Committee to restore the National War Memorial in St John’s and the repatriation of the Unknown Warrior from Beaumont Hamel, a project he initiated while President of Provincial Command. Berkley and his wife Sara volunteered with Meals on Wheels for many years and only stopped when pandemic restrictions did not allow them to continue. Lawrence also volunteered with the local food bank and Bethany United Church committees.

The Recreation Committee also posthumously inducted Gina Doreen Blundon into the Hall of Fame.

Councillor Danielle Doyle prepared some remarks to mark the occasion.

“By the time Gina left St. Joseph’s school in Grade 6 she was already long on her way to her entry into the Carbonear Hall of Fame here tonight,” said Doyle. “Before leaving St. Joseph’s she was awarded the student of the year award. Later at St. Clare’s she was an all-around athlete participating in nearly every nameable school sport such as softball, volleyball, cross country running, curling, ice hockey, and basketball. She also participated in leadership activities such as peer tutoring and Students against Drinking and Driving.”

Blundon completed a master’s degree in Community Health before entering the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University in the Fall of 2000. She continued to participate in a number of sports, both as player and coach, including skating, swimming, rowing, tennis and softball.

Blundon passed away suddenly on May 18, 2001. She was 26 years old.

“The magnitude of what Gina would have accomplished in her life will never be truly known,” said Doyle. “But what is known is the legacy of her accomplishments in her time here, and the lifelong inspiration that she had on her friends and family. There are awards and scholarships in several places in her memory including Special Olympics, the CBN Skating club, and the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *