A retired member of Memorial’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, created to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the throne.
Dr. Edgar Williams, who retired in 2004 as professor of mathematics and after almost 40 years of service, said he was surprised and moved by the news.
“I was surprised, knowing that there were so many deserving candidates,” he said. “I felt gratitude to those members of the Naval Association of Canada who, without my knowledge, nominated me, and I feel thankful that I live in this country that has given so much to me and to which I owe a great deal of gratitude.”
Dr. Williams has written extensively on the need for increased numeracy in Canada generally and Newfoundland in particular; has contributed to the work of various professional organizations at the provincial, national and international levels, including the Newfoundland Teachers Association Mathematics Council of which he is the founding member, the Newfoundland and Labrador Mathematical Association, the Newfoundland and Labrador Science and Technology Advisory Council, the Atlantic Provinces Council on the Sciences, the Canadian Mathematical Society, the National Committee for the Seventh International Congress of Mathematics Educators, the National Board and Chief Teller for the 36th International Mathematical Olympiad, as executive director of the Canadian Mathematical Olympiad, the senior national high school mathematics competition in Canada, as editor of the Canadian Mathematical Society Newsletter and the Atlantic Mathematics Bulletin.
Has been active in many community organizations, including the Boy Scouts of Canada, having served as President of the St. John’s regional council and on the provincial council; the Canadian Red Cross Society, as chair of a review task force; the Memorial University Alumni Association; the St. John’s Municipal Council Parks and Recreation Committee; past president of the Friends of India Association of St. John’s; the Diocesan Synod of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador as chair of the Christian Education Committee; St. Mark’s Church as Rector’s Warden and member of the Vestry; the Naval Officers Association of Newfoundland as president and national director; the Naval Officers Association of Canada as national president.
Dr. Williams served as chair of the Newfoundland Denturists Board; as a member and treasurer of the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee; as chair of the St. John’s-Avalon Chapter of CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons), on the board of directors of CURAC (College and University Retirees Association of Canada), on the board of MUNPA (Memorial University Pensioners Association), as Newfoundland director of the Maritime Awards Society of Canada; on the board of the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust; as a national conference organizer for the Canadian Mathematics Education Study Group, the Canadian Mathematical Society and the Naval Officers Association of Canada.
“In granting you this honour, I thank you for your dedicated service to your peers, to the community, and to Canada. The contributions you have made to our nation are commendable and deserve our praise and admiration,” stated Governor General David Johnson, in a letter to Dr. Williams.