As exceptional leaders committed to life-long learning and sustainable communities, Helen Hughes and Ted Hughes have demonstrated time and again an unwavering dedication to improving the lives of people around them.
Individually and together, they possess an uncommon ability to target problems most pressing in their community – and then to solve them. This is what makes them true leaders. Not content to wait for others to point the way, they are quick to identify a challenge and address it head-on.
A popular politician on city councils in both Saskatoon and Victoria, Helen Hughes has spent decades supporting community and philanthropic organizations that benefit children, youth, families and First Nations.
After 30 years in Saskatoon devoted to worthy causes such as the Allergy Foundation of Canada, the YWCA, the Big Sisters and the Regional Psychiatric Centre, Helen Hughes brought her wisdom, her compassion and her vision to British Columbia in 1980.
She was with the Ombudsman’s Office and then the B.C. Council of Human Rights before being elected to Victoria’s city council in 1990 where she served for 18 years.
Once again, she became known for projects that included: working with the Medical Health Officer to organize the Capital Region Action Team on Sexually Exploited Youth; helping create the “Souper Bowls of Hope” fundraiser for the Victoria Youth Empowerment Society; and, as a member of the Victoria Public Library Board, founding the Lifelong Learning Festival held on International Literacy Day.
Ted Hughes, like his wife, has devoted himself tirelessly to public service and, like Helen, has contributed both as a volunteer and in a professional capacity as a lawyer, a judge and an adjudicator.
He is well-known for chairing numerous commissions of inquiry, not only in British Columbia, but also in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Yukon.
Appointed B.C.’s first conflict-of-interest commissioner in 1990, Ted Hughes has served as a federal chief land claim negotiator and federal chief adjudicator with regard to alleged harms and abuse arising out of attendance at Indian Residential Schools.
In 2005, Ted Hughes was appointed to review B.C.’s child protection system, and his resulting report recommended the creation of an independent body to oversee provincial child welfare.
He has chaired Juan de Fuca Hospitals and the CNIB capital fundraising drive, and co-chaired the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness.
Ted and Helen are both officers of the Order of Canada. They share a Lifetime Achievement Award from Leadership Victoria and a Generosity of Spirit Award sponsored by the Victoria Foundation. Both also hold honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of Victoria and Helen is the recipient of an honorary degree from the University of Canada West.
We thank them for the inspiration they provide as outstanding role models.
We thank them for demonstrating that when we “live our learning” and put sustainability, leadership, conflict resolution and entrepreneurship into action, the results can quite literally transform our communities.
Royal Roads University is delighted to recognize Helen Hughes and Ted Hughes with a 2009 Chancellor’s Community Recognition Award.