The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Diamond Jubilee Gala: A Life of Service

Toronto, Monday, June 18, 2012

It is with great pleasure that Sharon and I join you this evening in celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Let me begin by thanking Their Honours for hosting this event. Besides paying tribute to The Queen remarkable reign, this gathering is a wonderful tribute to Ontario’s greatest strength by far: its people.

I am delighted that my time as governor general coincides with the Diamond Jubilee. It is a magnificent milestone, and as the recent celebrations in London and across the Commonwealth demonstrated, we have unbounded affection and admiration for our Queen.

It is worth asking ourselves: why do we hold Her Majesty in such great esteem?

The reason is really quite simple. For six decades, she has exemplified an ideal of service and dignity that we all recognize as rare and precious.

That is why we have struck 60 000 Diamond Jubilee Medals in her name. By recognizing the great breadth and depth of caring and achievement in Canada, these medals do honour to Her Majesty, to our country and to each recipient.

The ideal of service, of helping others in a spirit of generosity and respect, lies at the core of the country we love.

That is why The Queen, who does her best to represent all Canadians, inspires our loyalty. She strives not to divide but rather to unite us in common cause.

Recipients of the Diamond Jubilee Medal will undoubtedly treasure this medal that bears The Queen’s name and image. It is an eloquent reminder of the importance of service, and of our responsibility to one another.

The many significant world events that have taken place during The Queen’s 60-year reign also remind us that change is a constant in our lives.

Our challenge is to know when we must change, and when we must hold fast to our convictions.

As Canadians who care for each other and our communities, we know the virtues of service are unchanging. Through compassion and co-operation, we can build the smarter, more caring Canada of which we dream.

We have much work to do, but we also have much to be thankful for—including the contributions of those who serve our country.   

 I want to thank each of you for being here this evening to help us celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. And to each of this evening’s medal recipients, I offer my thanks and congratulations.