The Johnson Award
To celebrate the Queen's spirit of the west, the Calgary Branch
of the Alumni Association launched a proud new Tricolour
tradition. In October 20, 2001, the Branch held the inaugural
tribute dinner honouring Dr. Ernie Johnson, MD'38, and his
wife Edna, who has adopted Queen's as her alma mater.
Sadly, Ernie passed away in January, 2005. Before his death, Ernie, a retired
ophthalmologist and Edna, a former nurse, were longtime Queen's
supporters par excellence.
Ernie was a gifted student, and during his years at Queen's he won
several scholarships. He went on to an extraordinary medical career and
holds five medical fellowships and 18 medical association memberships.
Ernie was a keen and very active volunteer, serving as president
of the Canadian section of the International College of Surgeons
and on the Board of Directors of the Canadian National Institute
for the Blind. For most of his career he maintained a practice
Calgary, the Johnson Eye Clinic and was a professor of surgery
at the University of Calgary.
In 1963 Ernie and Edna helped found Operation Eyesight Universal which
has performed hundreds of eye operations and established eye clinics
in the world's poorest countries. In 1992 Ernie was named
to the Order of Canada for his work on behalf of that cause. A
year later, he was awarded the prestigious Canada 125 Medal.
Ernie, who was also a licensed pilot, was involved with the
Civil Aviation Rescue Emergency Services.
Over the years, the Johnsons generously supported Queen's in various
ways. Not only have they contributed to several bursaries (including
establishing one in their own names for a final-year meds student),
Ernie was a past-president of the Calgary Branch and served
on the University Council (1982-1994). His support for Queen's was
acknowledged in 1986, when he was named the first winner of the
Alumni Achievement Award.
"Ernie and Edna Johnson have been a mainstay of the Calgary Alumni Branch
for 60 years," says Kim Sturgess, Artsci'77, of the Calgary Branch.
"The Branch is proud to have the opportunity
to honour Edna and Ernie."
The Johnson Award - Past Recipients
2007 - Mr. Jim Dinning, Com'74, MPA'77
2006 - Mrs. Kathleen Sendall, Sc'77
2005 - Dr. Grant Bartlett
2004 - Mr. Ruben Nelson, Arts'61
2003 - Dr. Michael O'Connor, Sc'68, PhD'76, DSc'92
2002 - Mr. George Watson, Sc'70, MBA'72
2001 - Dr. Ernie Johnson, Meds'38, and Edna Johnson