Nancy Orr received an Honourary Lifetime 4-H Membership
A member of Prince Edward Island’s judiciary received recognition for her dedication to 4-H.
Nancy Orr, a provincial court judge, received one of two Honourary Lifetime 4-H Membership during a virtual ceremony Monday.
“I was surprised,” she told Farms.com. “It wasn’t something I anticipated being nominated for, let alone receiving.”
4-H has given out these special memberships since 1950 to people “who have embodied 4-H Canada values through their life and have delivered outstanding services to one or more levels of the organization,” the organization’s website says.
Orr, who grew up on a hog farm in P.E.I., has been involved with 4-H for more than 40 years.
She joined a local club at the age of nine. The following year she started the Cavendish 4-H club and remained a member until she turned 21. And since 1979, Orr has been a leader at the Cavendish club.
Joining 4-H at the time was a way to spend more time with friends, Orr said.
“Everyone was doing it, so you did it too,” she said. “In the early days it was just girls and we learned how to sew. As things expanded and we got more members we had all sorts of fun activities and it was a great time.”
One skill Orr learned in 4-H that has served her well professionally is learning to public speak.
As a former lawyer and now as a judge, Orr must have the ability to project her voice, make eye contact with the people she’s speaking to and speak confidently.
Some lawyers who come into her courtroom could benefit from 4-H experience, she said.
“I have lawyers who have their heads down, they talk to the floor and they mumble,” she said. “I tell them I can’t give them what they want if I can’t hear them. I tell my 4-H kids they could train some of these lawyers how to speak in court.”
For any kids considering joining 4-H, Orr suggests they reach out to their peers because kids are likely to gravitate toward something people their own age are doing.
“If their friends are there, that’s what brings kids into the club,” she said. “At one point our club had only nine members and I told the kids were shutting it down because we didn’t have enough bodies to do anything. The next year we had 21 members because the kids talked to other kids and had them come join.”