I am incredibly proud and humbled to have had the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors of New Dawn for the past five years. I am regularly inspired by the quality of work accomplished by the Board and staff in service of enhancing the lives of Cape Bretoners.
To now serve as Chair deepens my understanding of, and appreciation for the personal, social, economic, and community development impact of New Dawn. Over the last 42 years, New Dawn has grown considerably. From a small board and single staff person to employing more than 100 people in our community.
In addition to its employing more and more people, in the last few years New Dawn has successfully taken on the revitalization of the former Holy Angels convent, begun to develop a path for addressing our depopulation crisis, attained Accreditation Canada’s Primer Award for New Dawn Homecare and the New Dawn Guest Home, enhanced the energy efficiency of our residential buildings, and opened a community kitchen to serve New Dawn Meals on Wheels and to offer nutrition education to the community.
But our work is not done. Just like on a typical report card, there is much left to improve upon. Our population continues to erode, daily. We must continue the fight for a decentralized immigration system in Nova Scotia that better serves all regions of the province.
As we have always done in our healthcare division, we must continue to strive to meet higher and higher standards of care quality. For us right now this means progressing through Accreditation Canada’s Qmentum program.
The Holy Angels project – the Centre for Arts and Culture – is in its infancy and the building is just the first step in its exciting, and very promising future.
And New Dawn’s initial reason for being – the homes it provides for hundreds of people. We must continue to make these places more vibrant and more sustainable – each of these are communities within our larger Cape Breton community and each offers people a warm, safe place to call home.
I would like to thank our dedicated staff, volunteers and Board of Directors who continue to allow New Dawn to engage the community to create a culture of self-reliance. You are the reason many of us continue to believe in the inherent goodness of our community.
In closing, I leave you with the wise words of a good friend of the organization, Nova Scotian immigration and refugee lawyer Lee Cohen, “you need to know what principles you want to live by, and then fight like hell to achieve them”.
Chair, New Dawn Enterprises