In an ancient and venerable ceremony held before the “Great Window” of St. Bartholomew’s Church in Ottawa, I joined twenty-eight esteemed Canadians for investiture as Knights and Dames of the Order of St. George. Originally founded as a secular fraternal society by the King of Hungary in 1326, today’s Order contributes funding and support to wounded or fallen military personnel and their families. The Order is also responsible for funding a Junior Ranger program in Canada’s far north, providing continuity in the preservation of our territorial integrity.
After the humbling ceremony at St. Bartholomew’s, this most memorable of days concluded with a formal banquet hosted at the Chateau Laurier. There we made and renewed acquaintances, and dined on a superb meal with our families to the excellent accompaniment of a quartet from the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces.
I remain somewhat convinced of my unworthiness for such an honor – especially given the group of distinguished civilians and military officers in my ranks – but am ultimately honored and delighted to be associated with the Order. As the son of a WWII Lancaster navigator, being involved with the good works of the Order of St. George is the very least I can give back for the valor and service of both my father, and all of our veterans.
And – as hinted in my April newsletter – the Challenge Coin I now have the privilege of carrying with me is mighty pretty looking!
I include a few photographs from our investiture ceremony and banquet, courtesy of the Order’s official photographer, Richard Lawrence.
For a more extensive look at his gallery of images from the St. George weekend, the following are the related links to his site: