Why me?” says the voice at the other end of the telephone. “I haven’t done anything special.” That sentiment is a common reaction from many people invited by Maclean’s to join the annual Honor Roll, a select group of 12 Canadians who “made a difference.” Is such modesty a Canadian char-
acter trait? Perhaps. More likely, though, it is typical of most extraordinary people that they consider their achievements merely ordinary.
Still, there is nothing ordinary about the lives and contributions of the 1995 Honor Roll members. Take Anne Tanenbaum who has quietly emerged as one of the most generous philanthropists in the country’s history; or country singing sensation Shania Twain, whose rise from a humble background to big-league success is truly extraordinary; or dynamic entrepreneur Isabel Hoffmann, who has shown how an unassuming Canadian can profitably navigate the information highway. And then there are actress Sandra Oh, director Clement Virgo and skater Elvis Stojko, who have have made lifetime achievements while still in their 20s.
Conversations with outstanding Canadians who feel they are simply being themselves is a big part of the job for Peter Gzowski, himself an extraordinary honorée. One of those Gzowski has interviewed on his radio show is Ranjit Chandra, internationally renowned for establishing a link between healthy eating and healthy bodies.
Heroically confronting death is a thread that binds several of this year’s honorées. Thomas Hoppe, a sergeant in war-torn Bosnia, twice put his life on the line to save others. Nurse Andrée Gauvin has dedicated her life to comforting the dying. Race-car driver Jacques Villeneuve challenges death almost daily, while Priscilla de Villiers has found a new mission in life after her daughter’s tragic murder.
Each Honor Roll member receives a bronze medal depicting Pegasus, the conquering winged horse, designed by Toronto artist Do-
designed by Toronto artist Dora de Pédery-Hunt—an appropriate token for today’s mythic achievers.
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