Three friends of U of M appointed to Order of Canada

Kroeker, Henault, Hetmanczuk honoured by Governor General

Members of the University of Manitoba community Richard Kroeker, Gen. Raymond Henault and Victor Hetmanczuk were appointed to the Order of Canada for their achievements and contributions to the country on Dec. 28. 

Kroeker said it was a “great honour” receiving the Order of Canada, and one that came as a surprise. He received his bachelor’s degree in environmental design from the faculty of architecture at the U of M. He was awarded for his work in architecture. 

During his time at the U of M, Kroeker said his professors and colleagues inspired him and made him feel like he belonged. In the faculty, Kroeker said there is a mix of creative activity that draws on various other fields.  

“Suddenly I felt like, rather than going down a narrowing tunnel, I was entering a broad world,” he said. His work focuses on architecture for small and “sometimes beleaguered communities,” and integrating western architecture with Indigenous thought processes and values, which he said is part of what makes Canada special.  

“We’re starting to gain a better understanding of what that contributes to who we are now and what we’ll become going into the future,” he said. 

Henault said being appointed to the Order of Canada was not only an honour for himself, but for members of the Royal Canadian Airforce (RCAF) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for their contributions to the country. 

Henault graduated from the U of M with a bachelor’s degree in political science and geography after serving in the CAF. Henault was later awarded an honorary doctorate of law by the U of M.

Henault served as chief of defence staff in Ottawa, where he led Canadian military responses following the terror attacks on Sept. 1, 2001. He was later elected as the chair of the North Atlantic Trade Organization (NATO), military committee. 

Although retired, Henault will be a guest of honour of the RCAF at a number of functions for their upcoming hundred-year anniversary. 

Victor Hetmanczuk was appointed to the Order of Canada for his contributions and work in the Ukrainian community.

Hetmanczuk sees the award as recognition for not only his own work, but the work done by volunteers in Canada, in particular, Ukrainian-Canadian volunteers. 

“It is a medal for the whole community, not just for me as an individual,” he said.  

After working as a chemical engineer, Hetmanczuk began working in charity, where he helped set up a national distribution network for the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto.

Hetmanczuk is the current chair of the Canada Ukraine foundation and has contributed and organized a medical missions project for those affected by the Russia-Ukraine war . 

He hopes to talk with other Ukrainian members of the Order of Canada to continue the work for Ukrainians in Canada and identify what other needs Ukraine or the Ukrainian community may have in the future.