99-year-old Saskatoon man named to Order of Canada

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99-year-old man among three people from Saskatoon named to Order of Canada
WATCH ABOVE: For one 99-year-old Saskatchewan man, 2016 ended with his name being added to the Order of Canada. Jacqueline Wilson has more. – Jan 1, 2017

Harold Chapman, 99, was named to the Order of Canada on Friday for his leadership in the co-operative movement.

“When I got a phone call a week ago that I’d been appointed I wondered, ‘why me?’ But I appreciate it,” Chapman said from his Saskatoon apartment on Saturday.

Chapman said his interest was sparked during his studies at the University of Saskatchewan where he specialized in farm management.

“I started university the day the war broke out in 1939, so I was taking military training all the time at university,” he said.

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READ MORE: Order of Canada recipients include Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, children’s author

By the time Chapman graduated, the war was winding down so he never went overseas.

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“When I got out of the army, I was offered a job with the Department of Co-operation,” he said.

“When the veterans were being discharged from the army I helped them to organize co-operative farms.”

His work expanded, more than even he could have imagines. Chapman became a leader in the co-op movement and even wrote a book entitled Sharing My Life: Building the Co-operative Movement.

READ MORE: Who are the new members of the Order of Canada?

But what he’s most proud of is his work in developing the Co-operative College of Canada.

“I was the principal there for 18 years. So I developed the programs at the college and carrying them out. That was the most exciting time,” Chapman explained.

“Co-operatives give people the opportunity to control their own lives.”

Harold Chapman was among three Saskatchewan residents named to the Order of Canada. Irene and Leslie Dubé were also named for their philanthropy in health, education and community.

2017 marks the 50th year of the civilian honour.

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