Family, friends and former colleagues gathered at the Marine Institute on Ridge Road in St. John’s, Wed., December 3,to celebrate the unveiling of a portrait of Les O’Reilly, former Executive Director of MI and immediate past executive director of OceansAdvance. The portrait, by Carl Stevenson (a former instructor at MI), was a tribute to O’Reilly for his many years of service and dedication to the Institute, its students and its staff.
Because this is MI’s 50th anniversary, the Institute commissioned an artist to paint the portrait of the former executive director for permanent display in the library at the Ridge Road Campus, a well-deserved tribute to a man who has dedicated his life and career to the Marine Institute. Images of David Vardy, a former head of MI and two other former leaders of will be displayed along with O’Reilly’s in their honour.
At the gathering many in attendance reminisced about O’Reilly’s leadership, the accomplishmments, and the transitions that the institute went through under his guidance. Never shy for words, O’Reilly gave an entertaining and sometimes poignant recap of his career with MI. And he also revealed little-known and interesting details about the move from the Parade Street Campus to Ridge Road, the split of programs, and its assimilation into Memorial as a degree granting organization.