P H O T O G R A P H Y l © Steve Blackburn Photography l Charles Gluckstein
Hon. David Crombie, Chair, The Canadian Disability Hall of Fame
Dorothy Price , Executive Director, CFPDP
Bernard Gluckstein's Acceptance Speech
Being inducted in a Hall of Fame is an acknowledgement that you have achieved something special during your career. There are halls of fame for baseball, football, hockey and other sports, but to me this award is much better.
My father told me when I graduated from high school and wondering what I should do for the rest of my life, He said Son find something you are passionate about, and learn to make a living doing it.
I must have got it right! Here I am at 79 with the same passion I had 53 years ago in a profession that allows me to assist clients rebuild their lives.
Let me start out by thanking the selection committee for granting me this great honour.
Senator Kochhar told me that he has allotted one minute to each of the inductees to give an acceptance speech. If I thanked all the people who have helped me during my career we would be here all afternoon. So, for fear of getting the hook and incurring the rath of my good friend, I will try to be as short as possible.
Thanks to all of my beloved clients, some of whom are here today, who have allowed me into their lives not only as their lawyer but as their friend.
I wish to thank my dedicated staff who work tirelessly to ensure that our clients receive the best support and rehabilitation to enable them to lead productive lives.
A special thank you to our medical consultant, Dianne Henderson who, like Jiminy Cricket, is our conscience, always ensuring that our clients' interests come first.
Thanks to my son Charles, who is also my partner and best friend, for his unwavering support, and for carrying on our time-honoured tradition of treating every client as a member of our extended family.
I would be remiss if I didn't thank my wife, Bertye, for putting up with my Shenanigans for the past 52 years.
Twenty seven years ago, a beautiful 19 year old girl retained me to handle her case after a devastating injury rendered her a paraplegic. She felt her life was over with no prospects in sight. After extensive years of rehabilitation, she went on to have a successful career in television and broadcasting. Today, she is one of the most sought after personalities and MCs. That girl was and is Joanne Smith. Thank you, Joanne, for all you have done and most importantly, being my superstar. You are a true inspiration in everything that you do.
Thanks to my good friend, Jeff Tiessen, who introduced me many years ago to the wonders of the Paralympic Games.
And to all the Paralympians in the room today, you are among the best athletes in the world. Your remarkable accomplishments are legendary, and you are an inspiration to each and every one of us. Thank You.
Online Book of Congratulations
The Canadian Disability Hall of Fame 2015 Inductees
The Canadian Disability Hall of Fame provides permanent recognition of outstanding Canadians who have made extraordinary contributions to enriching the quality of life for people with physical disabilities. Nominations to the Hall of Fame come from sources across Canada – community groups, private citizens, associations and organizations of and for people with physical disabilities. Nominees are chosen each year by the Hall of Fame’s Selection Board in the category of Builder, Achiever or Athlete. The inductees are individuals who truly have made a difference – those who have opened doors for people with disabilities in the areas of sports, education, employment or housing.
Lauren Barwick, Athlete
Top ranked equestrian Lauren Barwick, representing Canada at the international level for more than 12 years, has won more medals at Major games than any other Canadian athlete. This remarkable record includes gold and silver at the 2008 Paralympics, finishing in the top Six at both the 2010 FEI World Equestrian and 2012 Paralympic Games. Mostly recently, she received Canada’s only medals, a silver and bronze, at the 2014 AllTech FEI World Games and has also added Para-Dressage to her accomplishments. But more than that, Lauren gives back to the sport 100 per cent, giving clinics, attending fundraisers, and tirelessly training youth as a Parelli 4 star instructor.
Bernard Gluckstein, Builder
Celebrated Personal Injury lawyer and King Clancy Award winner, Bernard Gluckstein has worked tirelessly to advance the causes of the disabled, particularly those with Brain Injuries. His firm, Gluckstein Lawyers, has sponsored numerous events for the Ontario Brain Injury Association, of which he is a founding director. In addition, he has combined his love of photography with his desire to support the Paralympics by becoming an accredited photographer, since 1981, a remarkable record, which has continued through the 2012 London Summer Paralympics.
Rick Mercer, Achiever
The CBC’s Rick Mercer, arguably Canada’s best-loved political satirist, is not only an Officer of the Order of Canada but is also a King Clancy Award winner from the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons. He has been tireless in his promotion of Paralympic athletes, taking it on as a special mission to bring their abilities to Canadians’ attention. He has trained with them, played with them, broadcast their victories, even having split his nose open training with visually impaired simmer Donovan Tildesley. All that Rick does is in the name of his deep love for his country and his people—but he does it with humour that makes him deeply loved in return by millions of Canadians.
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