Dedication of the Diamond Jubilee Stained Glass Window
Ottawa, Tuesday, February 7, 2012
It is a pleasure for me to join you today to dedicate the installation of a stained glass window in honour of the diamond jubilees of both Queen Victoria and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1897, Queen Victoria was hailed in Canada as our beloved monarch. The jubilation swept across the country, touching young and old alike. And through it all, Queen Victoria proclaimed “From my heart I thank my beloved people.”
Hers was an unprecedented reign at the time, and the celebrations that came out of that event were some of the most significant in our nation’s history up to that point.
More than a century later, we again have the opportunity to celebrate six decades of dedicated service.
Yesterday, we began the year-long celebration of Her Majesty’s 60th anniversary on the Throne at Rideau Hall with the inaugural presentation of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
As the representative of the Crown in Canada, I was honoured to present 60 deserving Canadians with these medals in Her Majesty’s name.
And throughout 2012, we will be celebrating the Diamond Jubilee in myriad ways, including a visit to Canada from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in May.
The journalist Robert Fulford once said that “History thickens daily existence and gives life meaning by linking us with chains of ancestors. History, if understood even a little, becomes the background against which we enact our lives.”
Canada has changed dramatically since the diamond jubilee celebrations of Queen Victoria, but what remains is our bond with the monarchy. Today, we have an opportunity to strengthen our historical bonds with the Crown.
I would also like to commend the artists of this stained glass window, which was officially unveiled by Her Majesty during her visit to Canada in 2010. The images and colours perfectly capture the important role the monarchy, and in particular these two monarchs, have played in our country’s evolution.
It is wonderful to see that this window, one of the first projects announced for the Diamond Jubilee, has become a fixture in the Senate of Canada.
Let it be a reminder of the dedication to duty and service long held by these two queens, as well as an inspiration to those who serve Canadians.