Presentation of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals
Rideau Hall, Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I am delighted to welcome all of you to Rideau Hall. To present the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals to such fine individuals is already an honour, but to hold this ceremony during National Public Service Week adds extra meaning to these proceedings.
Today, we honour some of the very best public servants. You are here because your department recognized in you the effort, creativity and dedication to service that are indicative of the public service of today. And you are here not only as individuals, but also as representatives of your colleagues, whose own hard work cannot be overlooked.
Throughout this year, we have been celebrating Her Majesty The Queen’s 60 years on the Throne, as well as those Canadians whose dedication to service has contributed to our smarter, more caring nation.
Six decades ago, a young Queen began her reign, one focused on service to others. Her Majesty has experienced and seen many hardships, but also many joys.
Through it all, she has remained dedicated to serving the Crown and the people of the Commonwealth. Her watchword has been constancy.
As the representative of the Crown in Canada, and as one who has always admired The Queen’s steadfast devotion, I have been pleased to represent Canadians at a variety of events to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.
Just last week, my wife, Sharon, and I were in London, joining with Her Majesty The Queen, members of the Royal Family and other Commonwealth leaders to mark this auspicious occasion.
To see, first-hand, the spontaneous admiration of thousands of people, to witness the poise and dignity of The Queen, and to hear the respect for Her Majesty from members of the Canadian community in London—the whole experience was moving in the most unforgettable way.
While there, we also witnessed the unveiling of the newest portrait of Her Majesty, one that will soon be displayed at Rideau Hall, a tangible reminder of the creator of the Canadian Honours System. It is quite remarkable. The mystery in it is – find the Corgis.
During the year-long Diamond Jubilee celebrations, 60 000 deserving Canadians—whose contributions have changed this country and the world—will be honoured with the Diamond Jubilee Medal; all of them Canadians who, like Her Majesty, value service to the public.
All of you here have made Canada better. Individually, you have improved the well-being of your communities, and together, you have helped to create a better public service.
There is no doubt that we live in changing times, and that we must adapt to meet today’s needs. Your jobs are not always easy, but please know that Canadians—the beneficiaries of your best efforts—appreciate what you do.
I ask you to continue your work in building a country of which we can all be proud, following the example of Her Majesty’s service.
I am honoured, here at Rideau Hall—the home of the people of Canada and the home of the Crown in Canada—to present the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals to those who share Her Majesty’s ideals and her devotion to service.
I can think of no better way to finish than by quoting the words on the medal itself: VIVAT REGINA—long live The Queen!