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REF NO.: 37

SUBJECT: Thomas (Tommy) Ricketts Award in Pharmacy Education

DATE: Jan. 16

The School of Pharmacy will introduce a new award in honour of World War One hero Tommy Ricketts at the annual White Coat Ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 17, 100 years after King George V bestowed on Ricketts the prestigious Victoria Cross on Jan. 19, 1919. The Victoria Cross is the British Empire’s highest award for valour in the face of the enemy.
 
While many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are familiar with the events which earned Ricketts the recognition, a lesser known fact is that he went on to become a prominent pharmacist. Following the war, he went on to graduate in the first class of Memorial University College in 1925. He then apprenticed as a pharmacist for T. McMurdo & Co., and settled into a life of dedicated service as a pharmacy owner from 1934 until his death in 1967. Ricketts is said to have passed away on-the-job, in his store.
 
Dr. Shawn Bugden, dean of the School of Pharmacy, said the award honours dedication and lifelong learning.
 
“This award supports pharmacy students in their education and honours the legacy of Thomas Ricketts. It shows students that they can better themselves through humility, tenacity, hard work and education and make tangible contributions to communities through service as a pharmacist.”
 
The event will feature a performance by the School of Music’s wind ensemble and will be attended by Premier Dwight Ball, Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University and various members of the pharmacy community. The White Coat Ceremony takes place on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 5 p.m., in the Health Sciences Centre Main Auditorium. Parking is available in Lot 30, next to the Medical Education Centre.

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For further information, please contact Heidi Wicks, communications co-ordinator, School of Pharmacy, Memorial University, at (709) 864-8732, (709) 749-7462 (mobile) or wicksh@mun.ca.

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