Past Award Recipients
Lilly Borges Oldham
C.A.S.L.T./A.C.P.I. Conference Banquet, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island - November 9, 2002
Bonsoir mesdames et messieurs, Good evening,
It is an honour to be here this evening to present the prestigious Prix Robert Roy Award to an incredibly committed educator, a woman full of life and love for languages, a good friend to many of us here this evening, a faithful friend to C.A.S.L.T.
Lilly Borges Oldham was nominated for this award in February of this year.
The selection committee felt that Lilly more than fulfilled the requirements
for this national award.
The North West Territories were never the same after Lilly arrived there over twenty years ago to teach Core French. It is thanks to Lilly's vision, hard work and perseverance that the immersion program took flight in Yellowknife. Lilly, a gifted dedicated teacher, went on to become a vice-principal, principal and second language consultant at the government and school district levels.
She was a powerhouse.
She entered C.A.S.L.T.'s life as a National Council representative for the
North West Territories and moved on up the Board to become its president. I
had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with Lilly in 1990 as she, as
president, and I, as chairwoman, planned the 1991 Winnipeg C.A.S.L.T.
If you attended that year's convention you may remember several things. As a C.A.S.L.T. tradition, it seems, we ordered up snow for our delegates too - that time in May. More importantly, you may remember the incredible impressive North West Territories' room that Lilly had commandeered her husband, Stuart, to set up. They had brought down precious artifacts and originals from the North including an original tipi and all its contents, and most incredible of all, a magnificent white polar bear, standing over eight feet tall.
Avid world travellers, Stuart and Lilly, both transplanted Ontarians, were very proud of their northern home.
A warm, giving, no nonsense individual, a caring friend who took time out of her busy life for those she loved, a nurturing educator who gave to the teachers and students in her charge, Lilly gave and gave. She gave C.A.S.L.T. and second language teaching on the national level the benefit of her experience and dedication.
When last diagnosed with cancer, she e-mailed me and spoke glowingly of her wonderful family called C.A.S.L.T. When we last spoke in June, from her hospital bed Lilly mentioned the satisfaction she felt for having been part of C.A.S.L.T.'s growth. She mentioned the names of many in this room and she sent good wishes that our association and languages in Canada become even stronger.
If Lilly were present tonight, I know she would entreat us all to go forth and become even more passionate ambassadors for excellence in teaching, excellence in learning, especially second, third languages and beyond.
As of August 26th, a new, bright, enthusiastic star is travelling in the Northern sky.
Lilly may have left us, but we remain to honour her educational commitments.
In recognition of Lilly's outstanding work and dedication on the local, territorial and national level, C.A.S.L.T. asks Guy Paradis from the North West Territories to come and receive the 2002 Prix Robert Roy Award in loving memory to Lilly Borges Oldham.
Caterina M. Sotiriadis