Former CEO and President of Johnson Insurance honoured for his contributions to public education

When Paul Johnson took over the position of President and CEO of Johnson Insurance in 1955, in collaboration with the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association, he started laying the groundwork for the relationship that exists today between his company and teacher organizations all across Canada. Johnson Insurance has since strengthened its relationship with teacher organizations.

In addition to being renowned as a public education advocate, Johnson initiated and funded a number of projects and initiatives that celebrate, promote and preserve Newfoundland and Labrador's culture and heritage. In 1987, Johnson was the founder of the Johnson Family Foundation for the betterment of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Johnson Family Foundation rendered the Grand Concourse, Newfoundland and Labrador’s integrated system of walkways that joins St-John’s and neighbouring communities, possible through its funding. Johnson also ensured the walkways are trailed with story boards all along the pathways. Through the Foundation, Johnson also instituted the Johnson Geo Centre, a geological interpretation centre which hosts summer camps for children and scientific demonstrations for the public.

Furthermore, Johnson also founded the J.R. Smallwood Heritage Foundation to raise funds for the publishing of the Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Foundation also established the Smallwood Foundation which administers funding to research in Humanities and Social Sciences to advance the knowledge of Newfoundland and Labrador.

These initiatives are only a few of the contributions Johnson has made to heighten knowledge about Newfoundland and Labrador and its people. These educational initiatives serve to educate the public, among others, on Newfoundland and Labrador’s history, nature, heritage, and culture.

Working tirelessly, Paul Johnson dedicated his retirement, as well as the proceeds from his business, to ensure that the culture and legacy of Newfoundland and Labrador lives on.

Paul Johnson passed away on October 12, 2015 and is survived by his wife, five children, and one brother.

The NLTA nominated Paul Johnson to honour and bring to light the numerous contributions he has made for public education over the years.