Presentation of Diamond Jubilee Medals
Rideau Hall, Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Welcome, all of you, to Rideau Hall, the home of the people of Canada, and the home of the Crown in Canada.
One year ago, we began the year-long journey to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. That journey has taken me across Canada, as well as overseas.
In London, for example, weattended the celebrations for Her Majesty, witnessing a stunning display of loyalty and love for our long-reigning monarch, with people standing 10 deep in some places. And in Barbados, we had the opportunity to speak with pride about our shared head of State.
At Rideau Hall, we unveiled a new portrait of Her Majesty to mark the occasion that watches over us today. And here and in communities across this country, I have had the honour of presenting the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
This medal pays tribute to the only queen many of us have ever known. She has been a symbol of constancy in a changing world, and a model of service to others that is an inspiration to all Canadians.
Her Majesty is respected the world over for her commitment to duty and for her steadfast support of charitable and humanitarian causes. In Canada, we have shown our appreciation for Her Majesty at every opportunity. We have done so in particular during her visits to Canada, which she has described as a homecoming for her. Her last time in Canada was in June 2010 for her 22nd official visit.
All of which has brought us to this point.
In speaking about this milestone year, The Queen stated: “It is my sincere hope that the Diamond Jubilee will be an opportunity for people to come together in a spirit of neighbourliness and celebration of their own communities.”
That is exactly the spirit this medal strives to capture.
It has been a pleasure this past year to celebrate our volunteers, philanthropists, educators, artists, athletes, entrepreneurs, public servants and so many others who make this country so great.
But I believe that the greatest strength that this group of 60 000 medal recipients possesses is not in the individual accomplishments—although they are formidable—but in the potential of what we can still do together.
And today, we add your deeds, your potential, to those we have honoured thus far.
The year-long celebration of Her Majesty’s 60th anniversary as queen has been a chance to celebrate the very best of us. It has been a chance to rejoice in our common history, our dedication to service, and our commitment to building a smarter, more caring nation—kinder hearts and keener minds.
All of you here today who are recipients of this medal join a far-reaching and broad community of Canadians. And it is my hope that this will spur you to continue contributing your time and talents to creating the nation to which we aspire.
Congratulations to all of you on this occasion. Thank you.