Henry Vokey receives his honourary degree from Dr. Susan Dyer Knight during convocation ceremonies at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland in Corner Brook Friday morning. — Star photo by Adam Harnum
CORNER BROOK It has been a long road for Henry Vokey during his 60-year tenure as a shipbuilder, but all the hard work has not gone unrecognized.
The 83-year-old Vokey — who turns 84 on Sunday — was presented an honourary degree Friday morning during Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland’s convocation ceremony at the Arts and Culture Centre in Corner Brook.
The humble Vokey deflected the attention away from himself, as family, friends and residents flocked to his side following the presentation before a crowded room of graduates.
“It’s nothing special — not for me,” Vokey said with a chuckle.
He was more inclined to credit all the young graduates he felt were more deserving of the recognition for their hard work in their respective fields of study.
“It’s better for the younger ones because they have their whole life ahead of them,” said Vokey, adding that his career is over now and the graduates’ lives are just beginning.
However, Vokey said he did appreciate all the support he received from everyone who was present during the convocation.
“My name has gone a lot further than what I will ever go,” he added in response to the reputation which has formulated throughout the province concerning significant contributions to the cultural tradition of boat building.
During the ceremony, Memorial University conferred bachelor's degrees in areas such as arts, nursing, education (primary/elementary), education (intermediate/secondary), fine arts (theatre), business administration, technology and resource management, as well as master's degrees in education, environmental policy, nursing and physical education.