By John-Henry Westen

KELOWNA, BC, July 21, 2008 ( – The siblings of the late Alphonse Gerwing and the Alphonse Charity Foundation have unanimously agreed to return the Order of Canada medal he was awarded in 1989. The decision was made to add their voices in protest of the awarding of the Order of Canada to abortionist Henry Morgentaler.

Mr. Gerwing, a life-long teacher and musician who passed away in November, 2007, was awarded the Order of Canada for helping many underprivileged youth get a post-secondary education. He also produced many musicals, including Gilbert and Sullivan and The Sound of Music – work that helped fund his efforts to improve the lives of vulnerable street children in northeast Brazil. Gerwing was a distinguished author and social activist who worked to put an end to violence, poverty, and social injustice in all its forms, including abortion.

In a press release today, the Gerwing family said it “concurs with the Directors General of Madonna House who, in returning the medal given to Catherine Doherty stated, ‘the awarding of the Order of Canada to Dr. Morgentaler compels us to protest in the most forceful, peaceful way available to us. Not only do we find his medical practice the dark side of the medical profession but his inclusion in the awards diminishes them. And an award that was meant to be a sign of unity is bringing division. Something is not right.’”

Including the three anonymous Order of Canada recipients who have informed that they are returning their awards anonymously, the return of Gerwing’s medal brings the total of those who have done so to nine. 

Alphonse Gerwing
  Former Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick Gilbert Finn
  Monsignor A.J. Goski
  Madonna House foundress Catherine Doherty
  Father Lucien Larre
  Frank Chauvin
  Three anonymous recipients

  To express concerns:

List of Who to Call, E-Mail, Write to Get the Morgentaler Appointment Revoked

Sign the On Line Petition: “Rescind Order of Canada From Morgentaler”

  For related coverage see’s Morgentaler Order of Canada page:


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