CITY HALL – West Carleton builder, Ottawa horse racing hall of famer and war hero, Dr. Roly Armitage was entered in to the Order of Ottawa last Thursday evening (Nov. 21).
Ottawa’s community leaders filled Andrew S. Hayden Hall to witness 16 city residents get inducted in to the prestigious Order of Ottawa in an eloquent, well-paced ceremony led by Mayor Jim Watson.
“The 2019 Order of Ottawa inductees are prime examples of outstanding individuals in our community who have contributed to making a difference in the lives of our residents through their leadership, generosity, talent and expertise,” Watson said. “We are proud to celebrate and recognize their accomplishments, and we are confident they will inspire tomorrow’s community leaders.”
Following his introductory words, Mayor Watson invited each recipient up one at a time; pinned the Order of Ottawa medal to them; and had the inductees sign the paperwork making it official.
After the ceremony, recipients and friends gathered for a reception held in the City Hall foyer.
The Order of Ottawa, established by Mayor Watson in 2012, recognizes exceptional residents who have made a significant contribution in a professional capacity in many areas of city life, including arts and culture, business, community service, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, medicine, sports and entertainment, or other fields that benefit the residents of Ottawa.
Mayor Watson briefly spoke to West Carleton Online between hosting the reception. Watson through the course of his duties knows all the recipients well. He has known Armitage for nearly 30 years.
“I served with him in that chamber (City Hall) when I was on city council and he was on the municipal council,” Watson said.
Watson was a city councillor for Capital Ward from 1991 to 1997. Armitage was mayor of West Carleton from 1991 to 1994.
“I’m a huge fan of him for what he’s done for his community and for his country,” Watson said.
Watson even wrote two of the forwards in Armitage’s three books.
Armitage, in his 95th year, has been a legendary community leader since he was a young boy growing up on a farm. He signed up for the military one year before he was eligible at 17 and has been doing amazing things for his community and his country ever since.
A decorated Second World War veteran, Armitage was a member of the Royal Canadian Artillery, serving on the Western Front of the European Theatre. Following the war, he obtained Veterinary Medicine and Doctor of Veterinary Surgeon degrees from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph. As a veterinarian, Dr. Armitage specialized in and cared for thousands of horses.
A leader in both local and national horseracing, Armitage served as president of the Canadian Trotting Association from 1976 to 1981, and then as general manager of the Rideau-Carleton Raceway from 1981 to 1991. He served as mayor of the Township of West Carleton before amalgamation with the City of Ottawa and as a member of the Council of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton from 1991 to 1994. He was the general manager of the Carp Airport for 10 years. He is a published author, having written a trilogy of autobiographical books about his life as a proud Canadian, a heroic war veteran and a dedicated veterinarian.
Dr. Armitage is an inductee of the Canada Horse Racing Hall of Fame and the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame. In 2007, the Carp Airport terminal was renamed the Roly Armitage Terminal after its former general manager. In 2011, a hall in the West Carleton Community Complex was named the Dr. Roland Armitage Hall in commemoration of his outstanding service and achievements.
The other Order of Ottawa 2019 inductees include Anand S. Aggarwal, Claude Bennett, Katherine Cooligan, Kathleen Edwards, Lisa Hébert, Marc LeBoutillier, Jean-Michel Lemieux, Gwen Madiba M. Latulippe, Madeleine Meilleur, Hindia Mohamoud, Bernard A. Poulin, L.A. (Sandy) Smallwood, Kenneth Tammadge and Chef Ric Watson.
Victor F. Tedondo was presented with the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching, an award that recognizes the contributions of an amateur coach who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership and commitment.
For all of West Carleton Online’s coverage of Dr. Roly Armitage, click here.
In 2018, West Carleton’s Emily Glossop Nicholson was inducted in to the Order of Ottawa (we were there that time too).