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(Updated 12:30 a.m., Nov. 30)
Trio with east end ties inducted into Order of Ottawa

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Former Cumberland mayor Brian Coburn, Gabriel's Pizza president George Hanna and Ottawa Race Weekend director Jim Robinson were among 15 new inductees into the Order of Ottawa on November 16.

Coburn served as the mayor of Cumberland from 1989 to 1999 when he stepped down to run for the provincial legislature. He beat Liberal nominee Réne Danis in the 1999 General Election and replaced Gilles Morin, who had retired prior to the election, in the provincial legislature.

Former Cumberland mayor and provincial Cabinet minister Brian Coburn poses with with Mayor Jim Watson and Cumberland Ward Coun. Stephen Blais after receiving his Order of Ottawa medal. Photo supplied

A close confidante of then Premier Mike Harris, Coburn was appointed to Cabinet as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in 2001, and in 2003, he was appointed Minister of Tourism and Recreation by Ernie Eves who had succeeded Harris as Premier.

Coburn was eventually defeated by Phil McNeely in the 2003 provincial election, and in 2006, he was appointed as a cirtizenship judge by the Harper government -- a position he held until his recent retirement.

Geroge Hanna was appointed president of Gabriel’s Pizza in 2003. Under his watch the company that was founded in Orléans by his father and uncles in 1977, expanded to more than 38 locations in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebed.

The Hanna family, and George in particular, have been ardent supporters of the community ever since they first opened their doors.

Jim Robinson took on the job of Race Director of the Ottawa Marathon in 1996, at a time when participation had declined over the previous years, to just 629 runners in 1995.

He vowed to rejuvenate the event, and over the next 17 years was hugely successful in growing the Ottawa Race Weekend into a world class event attracting 44,000 participants.

Robinson learned from the best by travelling to the world's biggest marathons in Boston, New York and London. He set up booths at all the major running venues in North America, advertising the race weekend and promoting the City of Ottawa.

He developed a Health and Sports Expo which now attracts exhibitors from all over North America. To make the Race Weekend more accessible to both elite and local recreational athletes, the event was expanded to include a half marathon, 10k, 5k and 2k family run, and a wheelchair marathon. Changes to the race route were also made to showcase the most interesting and scenic aspects of Ottawa.

Today, Ottawa Race Weekend attracts thousands of runners who flood into the city, filling hotels and restaurants and generating an estimated $28 million in economic activity.

The other Order of Ottawa inductees included Adrian Burns, Sister Louise Dunn, Clarence (Gus) Este, Abraham Feinstein, Harley Finkelstein, Dr. Nishith Goel, Tae Eun Lee, Gib Patterson, Jacqueline Pelletier, Chris and Erin Phillips, David Smart and Mark Sutcliffe.

Ottawa Race Weekend director Jim Robinson poses with his Order of Ottawa medal with Mayor Jim Watson and Innes Ward Coun. Jody Mitic. Photo supplied


Gabriel's Pizza president George Hanna poses with his Order of Ottawa medal with Mayor Jim Watson and Gloucester South Nepean Coun. Michael Qaqish. Photo supplied

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

 

   

 


Posted Jan. 12



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