His Excellency the Governor General invested as new Prior of the Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John in Canada, awards the Order and medals to deserving Canadians

OTTAWA, June 23, 2012 /CNW/ - His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, was invested today, Saturday, June 23, 2012, as a Knight of Justice in the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem and installed as the Prior of the Priory of Canada, in the prestigious Senate Chamber of Canada's Parliamentary precinct. Among the eminent guests attending the ceremony at the Senate Chamber was the Lord Prior of the Order, Professor Anthony Mellows, OBE, TD.

In addition to the installation of His Excellency the Governor General, during the same ceremony, the Chancellor of the Priory of Canada, F. Richard Bruce, MOM, was promoted as Bailiff Grand Cross, in recognition of his outstanding service to St. John. Mr. Bruce is currently the third living Canadian to hold the highest level of the Most Venerable Order.  During the ceremony, His Excellency the Governor General presented eight Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals to deserving St. John volunteers, representing the diversity of the membership of St. John across Canada.

Mairi Arthur, the current Deputy Chancellor, was installed as the first female Chancellor of the Order.   Ms. Arthur will take office officially on June 24.  This marks a first for the Order, not just in Canada, but in the world.

From time to time, the Order recognizes the dedication of ordinary citizens rendering extraordinary  services to humanity. During this investiture, Michael Henry and Kirk Laroque, both from the Anishinabe First Nation in Manitoba, were awarded the Gold Life Saving Medal of the Order, for "performing conspicuous acts of bravery". The Gold Medal is the highest bravery award given by the Order of St. John to those people who "when performing that act, have endangered their own lives ".

Prior to the investiture ceremony, a Service of Remembrance ceremony was held at the National War Memorial. During this ceremony, several dignitaries, including the Lord Prior, senior officers of the Government of Canada and the Canadian Forces as well as members of the resident diplomatic corps, and many St John volunteers, honoured the service of St. John Canada volunteers from 1914 onwards.

Established in 1888 by Queen Victoria, the Order of St. John was incorporated into the Canadian Honours system in 1990. In addition to this Order, the Honours system includes the Order of Merit, the Order of Canada, the Order of Military Merit, the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, and the Royal Victorian Order.


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For more information, please contact: Vicken Koundakjian at (613) 979-5286, or at info@nhq.sja.ca

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