St. John Ambulance Honours Volunteers Throughout 125th Anniversary Celebrations

    OTTAWA, June 18 /CNW/ - St. John Ambulance volunteers have been saving
lives and building safer communities since 1883. To mark the 125th
anniversary, St. John Ambulance is hosting five major events in Ottawa:

    June 19 - 21, 2008

    1. Volunteer Appreciation Reception - Thursday June 19, 2008, Army
       Officer's Mess (149 Somerset St. W, East of Elgin) - 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    Two awards honour the extraordinary contributions made by St. John
    Ambulance volunteers: The Leader of Tomorrow Award (for volunteers, 25
    years and under, demonstrating outstanding leadership skills and service)
    and the Distinguished Service Award (for volunteers, over the age of 25,
    for making superior and sustained contribution to the work of St. John).
    "In this special anniversary year, we felt it was important to recognize
    the outstanding contributions of our volunteers," says Dawn Roach, Priory

    2. 125th Commemorative Envelope Unveiling - Friday June 20, 2008 - Delta
       Hotel 12:00 - 1:30 pm

    An event to unveil the Commemorative Envelope, issued by Canada Post,
    to mark the historic event. Guests include St. John volunteers, staff
    and Board members; Order Historian Dr. Christopher McCreery; Order
    Archivist and Genealogist, Charles Maier; Hospitaller; and Canada Post

    3. 125th Anniversary Book Launch - Friday June 20, 2008 - Delta Hotel
       (Champlain) 6:00pm - 7:00 pm

    "The Maple Leaf and the White Cross: A History of St.John Ambulance and
    the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in
    Canada" is the fascinating story of St. John and its contributions to
    Canadians over the past 125 years. Noted historian of Canadian and
    Commonwealth honours systems, the Priory of Canada Historian, and a
    member of the Order of St. John, Dr. Christopher McCreery will be
    available for interviews and book-signing at this event.

    4. Service of Remembrance - Saturday June 21, 2008
       National War Memorial - 11:00 am - 11:25 am

    St. John Ambulance honours volunteers who served overseas during World
    Wars I and II, and the Korean War. Guests include The Honourable Greg
    Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, members of the Voluntary Aid
    Detachment (VADs), Nursing Sisters, members of the Order of St. John who
    have served with the Canadian Forces Medical Corps (Regular and
    Reserves), Canadian Forces Health Services Group (Regular and Reserves),
    as well as St. John Ambulance volunteers, staff, families and friends
    from across Canada. This ceremony serves to remind Canadians that even
    today, many men and women serving in areas of conflict, as members of the
    Canadian Forces, have all received St. John Ambulance first aid training.

    5. National Investiture - Saturday June 21, 2008,
    Senate Chamber Parliament Hill - 2:00pm-3:00 pm

    Twenty six (26) individuals will join the esteemed ranks of the Order of
    St. John(*) during the annual National Investiture Ceremony. On behalf of
    Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Her Excellency the Right Honourable
    Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada and Prior of the Priory of
    Canada, confers the honour of the Order of St. John upon volunteers for
    their service to humanity. The ceremony will be presided over by Mr. Eric
    Barry, Lord Prior of the Order of St. John.

    "Each year, we celebrate the outstanding charitable work of those special
Canadians who help make their communities safer and stronger," says John C.
Mah, Chancellor, St. John Ambulance Canada. In ceremonies held across the
country, dedicated volunteers are presented with the Order of St. John, the
Service Medal of the Order, lifesaving awards, and Priory Votes of Thanks for
performing exceptional deeds.

    (*) The Order of St. John is one of five national orders in the Canadian
        Honours System including the Order of Canada, Order of Military
        Merit, Order of Merit of the Police Forces and the Royal Victorian

    Interviews for all five events can be arranged. Designated media area
(print and broadcast) in the Senate Chamber is available. Please confirm

    Backgrounder of 125 Years of Service to Canadians

    Since its beginnings, St. John Ambulance has continued to evolve to meet
the pressing health and safety needs of Canadians by offering a broad range of
first aid programs and community services. In 1883, Quebec City was the first
Canadian location to teach first aid courses; shortly thereafter, courses were
offered in Kingston, Ontario. In the following 10 years, St. John Ambulance
grew to be a truly national health and safety organization. By 1892, it had 12
branches teaching first aid and offering a proud tradition of volunteer work
from coast-to-coast.
    Recognizing the needs for workplace health and safety, St. John Ambulance
began providing training to workers in the early 1900s. Soon thereafter, St.
John Ambulance began a strong relationship with the Canadian Armed Forces and
the country's protective services. St. John Ambulance has also played a
pioneering role in recognizing the contribution women make to society. In
fact, the Order of St. John was the first Canadian honour bestowed upon both
men and women. Since 1912 in Canada, volunteers have received the Order of St.
John - one of the five national orders in the Canadian Honours System - which
recognizes their service to humanity and their support for the mission of St.
John. At the very core of the 125 year story of St. John Ambulance is the
unwavering commitment of truly exceptional volunteers.

    Quick Facts

    - Established in 1883 in Canada
    - Member of one of the world's oldest humanitarian organizations - the
      Order of St. John
    - Serving communities across Canada - e.g.  medical first response
      services, therapy dog services, youth services program, emergency
      preparedness program
    - 25,000 volunteers provide two million volunteer hours annually
    - 6,000 certified first aid instructors
    - Provides first aid and CPR training programs that contain the latest
      protocols and meet provincial and federal workplace regulations
    - Trains more than 550,000 Canadians in first aid and CPR each year
    - Markets a complete range of high quality first aid kits and supplies
      for use at work, home and play
    - Supports humanitarian relief efforts across Canada and around the world

For further information:

For further information: Jennifer Lavoie, Marketing and Communications,
St. John Ambulance National Office, 400-1900 City Park Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1J
1A3, 1-888-840-5646 ext 228, Cell: (613) 859-9000

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