Beloved’ Arctic missionary and broadcaster to receive top honour

Published April 1, 2007

Then-Rev. (now Dean) Mike Gardener with Inuit friends in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. Still a fixture in Iqaluit, Nunavut’s capital, Dean Gardener has spent more than 50 years as a cleric and volunteer in the Arctic.

Two Anglicans – a priest who has devoted more than 50 years as a cleric and volunteer in the Arctic and a popular broadcaster – were among those recently named to the Order of Canada.

Dean Mike Gardener, 75, was only 24 years old when he took up his post as minister of Lake Harbour (now Kimmirut). Described by Nunatsiaq News as “one of Baffin region’s most beloved Anglican missionaries,” Mr. Gardener also served Cape Dorset, Pangnirtung, and then Iqaluit, where he served as dean of St. Jude’s Cathedral until his retirement in 1996. Today, he is “a fixture in Nunavut’s capital, after a long career as a minister and tireless volunteer in several communities throughout the territory,” said the newspaper.

“He’s known to everyone. He’s one of those kind souls who would do anything for anybody,” said Susan Spring, head of Iqaluit’s Rotary Club.

As a boy, Mr. Gardener was inspired by the story of Scottish missionary David Livingstone, who had worked in Africa.

However, he told Nunatsiaq News, he didn’t care for tropical temperatures. “Somehow, the two clicked. That I be a missionary, not where it was hot, but where it was cold.”

Popular television personality host Valerie Pringle dominated the Canadian airwaves in the 1990s (including nine years on Canada AM). She recently worked on Test of Faith, a television series for Vision TV. Ms. Pringle, who now chairs the Trans Canada Trail Board, was recognized for her contribution to the field of communications.

In 1994, Ms. Pringle interviewed then-Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey in a broadcast interview taped by Anglican Video. The interview was used to produce three videos, including One Generation from Extinction, a resource (plus study guide) developed by the Primate’s Commission on Evangelism. It examined congregational vitality.

Canada’s highest civilian honour, the Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievement and service in various fields.


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