For his long-lasting contributions as a clinician, educator and historian in the field of dentistry, Tsawwassen’s Patrick Ralph Crawford is one of 83 new appointments to the Order of Canada.
Known to his friends and family as Ralph, the 91-year-old Crawford has lived in South Delta with his wife Olga for the past 20 years.
He said he was overwhelmed when he learned of the appointment.
“It was a classmate of mine from the mid-1960s that made the nomination,” he told the Optimist. “The Order of Canada is quite an order. I was overwhelmed and terribly honoured.”
When Crawford moved out to Tsawwassen, he was the editor of the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association in Ottawa.
“I retired from that position after 10 years. Coming from Winnipeg, do we retire in Winnipeg or do we do what many Prairie people do and when I retire I will move to the coast, so that was the decision and we moved to Tsawwassen,” he said.
“For almost 20 years my wife and I have volunteered at the DYSL Thrift Shop in Tsawwassen. I look after all the books and my wife looks after all of the jewelry. These tasks involve many happy hours of work, plus the time we spend in the shop itself.”
The couple has two children, a son and his wife who live in Sechelt and a daughter and her husband who live in Surrey.
Crawford graduated from dentistry in 1964 and was president of several associations and fraternities throughout the years.
“One of the many things we are proud of us over the years my wife and I collected dental artifacts and have established several small museums in Ontario,” he said. “About eight years ago our entire collection was taken over by the health care museum in Kingston. They have called the museum the Ralph and Olga Museum of Dentistry. Early in my practice in Winnipeg I concentrated a good deal in the delivery of health care for seniors and was able to organize the first meeting of geriatric dentistry in Canada.
“Our career in dentistry has been very exciting and we feel we have accomplished a number of things.”
Created in 1967, the Order of Canada is one of our country’s highest honours. Presented by the governor general, it honours people whose service shapes our society; whose innovations ignite our imaginations; and whose compassion unites our communities.
Crawford will attend a ceremony later this year in Ottawa where he will receive his recognition.