Tom devoted himself to youth development, both professionally as an educator and as a community volunteer. Tom was a faithful supporter, volunteer and advocate for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and Cadets Canada for nearly 40 years. He volunteered at the provincial, national and international level.
Tom McGrath was a Gold Award achiever of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and went on to become a volunteer with the Award in 1980. His commitment to ensuring that every young person had the opportunity to take part in the Award and benefit from its philosophy is perhaps best illustrated in his championing of young people with disabilities. Tom started an Award group for young persons with cognitive disabilities. It was one of the first and the largest of its kind in Canada. It laid the foundation for the continuing commitment of the Award in Newfoundland & Labrador to fully engage with young people from diverse backgrounds
Tom served as the Newfoundland & Labrador Division President, the National Council Vice-President (Atlantic) and National Vice-President, National President and National Director-at-Large. Tom was also a key member of International Award, serving as the America’s Regional Representative on the International Council and later as Vice-Chair. Tom was key to developing and strengthening the link between the Award and Cadets Canada. He led hundreds of Cadets through the Award during his tenure as Commanding Officer with 2415 Gonzaga Royal Canadian Army Cadets Corps and played an integral role in the signing of a National Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations.
Tom also devoted himself to other many other organizations including the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra where he served as an Executive Member and Chairman of their Outreach Committee. He served as a member of the St. Pius X Parish Council, as well as a member of the Roman Catholic Board of Examiners, Catholic Education Council. Tom also was the founding President of the sport of biathlon in Newfoundland and became the Chairman of the Board, Biathlon Canada.
Tom’s volunteer efforts expanded across the globe and impacted people he had never met. He challenged youth (and adults) to be their best selves, and inspired others to volunteer and for that, Tom McGrath has earned a place in Newfoundland and Labrador Volunteer Hall of Fame.