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  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Unveiling of a Sculpture in Honour of the History of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary

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Unveiling of a Sculpture in Honour of the History
of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary

St. John’s, Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It gives me great pleasure to be here on this solemn occasion to help unveil a sculpture in honour of the rich tradition of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary can date its roots back to 1729, making it one of the oldest police forces in Canada and—a rarity within the Commonwealth—one that was granted the “Royal” designation by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1979.

I am delighted that the creation of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Historical Society in 1989 allowed the entire population to retrace the history of your police force, enriching our collective heritage.

The force was officially established in 1871, headed by Thomas Foley, a former member of the Royal Irish Constabulary, with which your force has maintained ties of solidarity.

Moreover, on May 3, 2005, your force and the Garda Síochána na hÉireann exchanged flags at a ceremony recognizing these historic ties.

You are a part of the heritage of which Canadians are proud and grateful.

Thanks to your daily efforts, Canada is a good place to live, a country where security is not a constant challenge.

You are, in large part, responsible for the peace that characterizes our communities.

I know how precious security is, and how important it is to every citizen of this province and of this country.

As I said in my installation speech, as someone born in a country that was “draped in barbed wire from head to toe”—Haiti—I know the price and the value of what you have brought, of what you bring and of what you will continue to bring to the development of our communities.

Every year since becoming Governor General in 2005, through the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, I have had the distinguished honour of recognizing the exceptional service merit of women and men committed to ensuring the security of their fellow Canadians.

And every time, I am greatly impressed and deeply touched by the strength of your commitment and the range of your actions to serve your fellow citizens, the people of Canada.

We should rejoice—and even boast—that we can count on women and men of your calibre, and I am proud that the sculpture we have just unveiled highlights not only the history of your force in our collective heritage, but also the work you tirelessly perform to make Canada the stable, safe country that represents hope to so many people around the world.

For this and for your years of determination, I would like to express our profound gratitude.

Thank you.