NHL star Sidney Crosby is the youngest person to receive the Order of Nova Scotia, Premier Rodney MacDonald announced today, Sept. 4th. Mr. Crosby joins five other Nova Scotians recognized this year for their outstanding contributions and achievements as recipients of the 2008 Order of Nova Scotia. “This year’s recipients truly embody the spirit of Nova Scotia and have made significant contributions to the province and the country,” said Premier MacDonald. “They are an inspiration to the people of this province. I thank them for their dedication and congratulate them on this prestigious honour.” The 2008 recipients are: — Nora Madeline Bernard (Posthumous), Millbrook First Nation, a Mi’kmaq activist for her community and First Nations across the country. Ms. Bernard was instrumental in ensuring justice, recognition and compensation for the survivors of the Canadian Indian Residential School system. As a survivor herself, Ms. Bernard founded and became president of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School Association in 1987, and launched a class-action lawsuit on its behalf. The action inspired residential school survivors across the country to file suits, creating the largest class-action lawsuit in Canadian history. — Sidney Patrick Crosby, Cole Harbour, was the first pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, and was one of the most highly regarded draft picks of all time. By his second season, he became the youngest player, and only teenager, to win a scoring title in a major North American sports league. He became the youngest team captain in NHL history with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2007. Mr. Crosby has been a positive role model to countless young people throughout Nova Scotia and North America. He has never forgotten his roots and returns often to encourage and support youth in his community. — Ruth Miriam Goldbloom, Halifax, well known for her commitment to preserve our rich heritage. Ms. Goldbloom was the driving force behind the restoration of Pier 21, the gateway to Canada for more than one million immigrants from 1928 to 1971. When she was informed of the building’s decline, she started a $9-million campaign to ensure the preservation of a key piece of Canadian history. She was the first female chair of the annual Metro United Way Campaign in Halifax and her leadership has rallied the community behind numerous fund-raising events. Ms. Goldbloom is an officer of the Order of Canada and holds honourary degrees from five universities and two colleges. — Michael Dan MacNeil, Jamesville, Victoria Co., devoted his life’s work to the enhancement of his Cape Breton community. At the age of 23, Mr. MacNeil started a forestry company, Red Point Export Ltd., which has been a key contributor to the Cape Breton economy for the past 35 years. He is also known as a dedicated community leader, having served as a municipal councillor for nine years, and as a member of numerous community boards and organizations, such as director of the Nova Scotia Highland Village, and the Iona Volunteer Fire Department. — Thomas John “Jock” Murray, Halifax, former dean of Medicine at Dalhousie University and past director of its Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit for the 23 years. He is widely respected as a teacher, administrator, neurologist and researcher. In the early 1990s, Dr. Murray launched a series of innovative programs that dramatically changed the face of Dalhousie Medical School. He is the founder and first president of the Dalhousie Society for the History of Medicine, and in 2004, he was appointed Professor Emeritus in the Humanities at Dalhousie Medical School. — Mahmood Ali Naqvi, Sydney, worked to improve the health care of the people of Cape Breton. Dr. Naqvi has been invaluable from his early days of treating injured coal miners, to his instrumental role in the opening of the Cape Breton Cancer Centre. With the support of his fellow physicians and nursing colleagues, he developed an Intensive Care Unit at the Sydney City Hospital. Dr. Naqvi was instrumental in consolidating the services of Sydney City and St. Rita’s hospitals, and served as co-chair of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation. In partnership with the community, the foundation raised more than $10 million for the purchase of new medical equipment. Mr. Crosby is the first person to receive the Order of Nova Scotia in the youth category, introduced in 2007. The recipients were selected by the Order of Nova Scotia Advisory Council from 68 completed nominations from across the province. The 2008 recipients will be recognized at an investiture ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at Province House. Mr. Crosby is unavailable and will be invested in a separate ceremony at a later date. The Order of Nova Scotia was established in June 2001. Recipients have the right to use the initials O.N.S. after their names.