Introducing the Gordon Shields Memorial Graduate Entrance Scholarship

It is with heavy hearts that we must inform our members and industry colleagues that Gordon Shields passed away at home surrounded by the love of his family on Friday, January 17, 2014 at the age of 47 after a brave battle with cancer. (See his obituary here.)

Gordon, a board member, past Executive Director and a founder of the Coalition, will be missed by all of us at the Coalition. His vision and on-going contributions to the Coalition since its inception in 2003 have been a core element to the Coalitions success. We will treasure the memories of our time with Gordon.

Let me tell you a story about a man who made a big impact on my life.

His name was Gordon and he had a passion for the most beautiful yet efficient homes you could imagine.

He was one of the founding members of the Net Zero Energy Home Coalition and he passed away this spring.  Gordon Shields was not a home builder, material supplier or a realtor.  He was an individual that wanted to create a change.  He and Milfred Hammerbacher decided that Canada needed net-zero energy homes. In order to achieve that goal along with myself and many others we worked to create the Coalition and promote the concept.

Gordon took on the role of Executive Director even though the funding was meager and the concept was shaky at best.  Gordon was the one who put in long hours and much thought as to what and how this concept could be brought to market.  He was a remarkable guy.

The Coalition is creating a scholarship in his honour.  His degree was in political science but that did not fit with the passion he held for home building.  We are asking for donations to be made to the Gordon Shields Memorial scholarship in Sustainable Building Engineering at Concordia University.  Milfred has already made a substantial donation but we are a long way from our goal of $75,000.  This would allow a named annual scholarship of $5000 in perpetuity.

If you knew Gordon you would know that he was not interested in being famous but he would be honoured to have left a lasting legacy.  If you want to make a donation to the fund and cheques should be made out to Concordia University with “the Gordon Shields Memorial Scholarship” in the memo field of the cheque.  The mailing address for cheques is 1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W., EV2.285, Montréal, Québec, H3G 1M8. Credit card donations can be made directly to Sarah Kenny over the phone (514) 848 2424 ext. 7026. 

Even if you did not know Gordon, like so many of us, this is a worthy scholarship and will forward our efforts to create better homes that have less impact for all Canadians and now North Americans as the Coalition continues to grow. 

Simon Knight

Co-founder and Past President

Net Zero Energy Coalition

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