Governor General to Visit the Netherlands and Poland

August 26, 2019

OTTAWA—At the request of the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, will travel to the Netherlands and Poland, from August 30 to September 2, 2019, to attend events commemorating the Second World War.

While in the Netherlands, the Governor General will attend the official ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Scheldt. She will have the opportunity to meet with His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, and His Excellency Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands. The Governor General will also present the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to three Dutch recipients and a Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division) to a Dutch captain.

Her Excellency will then travel to Poland where she will attend the official ceremony commemorating the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. She will also meet with His Excellency Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland. Before returning to Canada, she will present a Meritorious Service Decoration (Military Division) to a serving member of the Polish army.

Times are indicated in local time.

VISIT TO THE NETHERLANDS

The Hague
Friday, August 30

2:45 p.m.
Visit to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
The Governor General will visit the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), where she will be presented with a commemorative plaque.

The OPCW aims to achieve a world permanently free of chemical weapons and to contribute to international security and stability, general and complete disarmament, and global economic development. For more information, visit opcw.org.
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Johan de Wittlaan 32, 2517 JR, The Hague, Netherlands
OPEN TO MEDIA

4 p.m.
Meeting with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands

The Governor General will meet with Prime Minister Mark Rutte. During the meeting, the Prime Minister will present a tulip bulb to Don White, a Canadian veteran who served with the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Italy and Holland.
Het Torentje, Binnenhof 17, 2513 AA The Hague, Netherlands
OPEN TO MEDIA

Vlissingen
Saturday, August 31

10:30 a.m.
Presentation of the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers and Meritorious Service Decoration

The Governor General will present the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to three Dutch recipients who have worked to preserve the memory of Canadian soldiers who served in World War II. She will also present a Meritorious Service Medal to a Dutch captain for his service alongside the Canadian Armed Forces. Following the ceremony, she will meet with recipients and their families, and sailors aboard the vessel. The list of recipients and their citations are available below.
HMCS St. John’s, Vlissingen, Netherlands
OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS ONLY

Terneuzen
Saturday, August 31

12:30 p.m.
Luncheon Hosted by Prime Minister of the Netherlands

The Governor General will attend a reception hosted by Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands. They will be joined by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, His Majesty King Philippe of Belgium and other international dignitaries.
Dow Boerderij, Herbert H. Dowweg 5, Terneuzen, Netherlands
OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS ONLY

2:30 p.m.
Remarks at Official Ceremony Marking the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Scheldt

The Governor General will deliver remarks at the official ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Scheldt, where Canadian soldiers helped the Allies win control of the Dutch and Belgian shores of the strategic Scheldt River.

This costly battle, fought from September to October 1944, secured a vital supply line that helped Canada liberate the Netherlands and made the Allied liberation of western Europe possible.
Scheldetheatre, Westkolkstraat 16, 4531 AW, Terneuzen, Netherlands
OPEN TO MEDIA

4:30 p.m.
Presentation of a Book on the Battle of the Scheldt

The Governor General will be presented with the first copy of the first comprehensive Dutch book on the pivotal Battle of the Scheldt.
Scheldetheatre, Westkolkstraat 16, 4531 AW, Terneuzen, Netherlands
OPEN TO MEDIA

VISIT TO POLAND

Warsaw
Sunday, September 1

12:00 p.m.
Official Ceremony Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Outbreak of World War II

The Governor General will attend the official ceremony commemorating the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. The ceremony will take place at Pilsudski Square, where the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located.
Pilsudski Square, 00-001 Warsaw, Poland
OPEN TO MEDIA

5 p.m.
Official Dinner Hosted by the President of the Republic of Poland

The Governor General will attend an official dinner hosted by His Excellency Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, with other foreign dignitaries.
Royal Castle, Plac Zamkowy 4, 00-277 Warsaw, Poland
PHOTO OP – At the beginning of the dinner

8 p.m.
Commemorative Concert

Her Excellency will attend a commemorative concert led by world-renowned Polish composer Maestro Krzysztof Penderecki. The orchestra will perform the “Polskie Requiem.”
Grand Theatre, Plac Teatralny 1, 00-950 Warsaw, Poland
OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS ONLY

Warsaw
Monday, September 2

10:00 a.m.
Presentation of Canadian Honours

The Governor General will present a Meritorious Service Decoration to a serving member of the Polish army. The recipient’s name and citation are available below.
Embassy of Canada, Matejki 1/5, 00-481 Warsaw, Poland
OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS ONLY

10:30 a.m.
Visit to AstroCeNT International Research Centre

The Governor General will visit AstroCeNT, an interdisciplinary international research centre collaborating with over 300 scientists based in 15 countries through the Global Argon Dark Matter Collaboration, including Canada through the McDonald Institute.

AstroCeNT’s main objectives are to make key contributions to an internationally leading effort to detect and study ultra-faint signals from the invisible universe. For more information, visit https://astrocent.camk.edu.pl.
AstroCeNT, ul. Rektorska 4, 00-614, Warsaw, Poland
OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS ONLY

Members of the public can follow the Governor General’s visits to the Netherlands and Poland on Facebook and Twitter, and online at www.gg.ca, where photos and videos will be posted.

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Media wishing to obtain photos of the visit can contact the Rideau Hall Press Office.
This itinerary is subject to change without notice.
To obtain the latest updates, please visit www.gg.ca.

 

Media information:

Charles Anido
Rideau Hall Press Office
343-548-1784 (cell)
Charles.Anido@gg.ca

For events in the Netherlands:

Nancy Mason
Embassy of Canada to the Netherlands in The Hague
+31 70 3111681 (office)
+31 6 13928867 (cell)
Nancy.mason@international.gc.ca

For events in Poland:

Agnieszka Magiera
Embassy of Canada to Poland
agnieszka.magiera@international.gc.ca

Follow GGJuliePayette and RideauHall on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

RECIPIENT CITATIONS

MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL (MILITARY DIVISION)

Captain Kamil Ksok (Polish Army)
Poland

Captain Ksok was deployed to Latvia from May to December 2017 as the Polish Tank Company commander. He demonstrated unparalleled leadership, command presence and tactical acumen in key mechanized brigade exercises, ensuring a superb serviceability rate of the Polish PT91 battle tank and showcasing its capabilities. This, in turn, contributed significantly to the success achieved by the Canadian-led Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group and bolstered the NATO deterrent. Captain Ksok’s extraordinary dedication to duty brought great credit to the Polish Army and to Canada.

Captain Paul Schouten (Royal Netherlands Army)
Netherlands

Captain Schouten served as the Netherlands Defence Force liaison officer to the Task Force Mali Aviation Battalion from July to October 2018. He displayed exemplary initiative and professional acumen in enabling the seamless execution of operations involving Dutch ground forces and Canadian aviation assets, and was instrumental in the timely and efficient delivery of the Aviation Battalion’s operational capability. Captain Schouten’s outstanding efforts decisively contributed to Canada’s high standing with international partners in Mali, bringing great credit to himself.

SOVEREIGN’S MEDAL FOR VOLUNTEERS

Alice van Bekkum
Netherlands

Alice van Bekkum is the co-founder, president and research coordinator of Faces to Canadian War Graves Groesbeek Foundation, an organization that collects information on fallen Canadian soldiers involved in the 1945 liberation of the Netherlands. Pursuing a mission to create a virtual memorial to Canada’s fallen in the Netherlands, she has helped gather the photos and life stories of more than 2 000 Canadians buried at the Groesbeek War Cemetery.

Marc Fraser
Netherlands

As chair of the Stichting Viering Nationale Feestdagen, Marc Fraser has planned various remembrance services in the Netherlands to recognize Canadian soldiers for their involvement in the Second World War. Most notable among these ceremonies is the annual Christmas Eve Vigil, for which he brings more than a thousand Dutch citizens, many of them youth, to the Holten War Cemetery, where they lay candles to honour fallen Canadian soldiers.

Albert Hartkamp
Netherlands

Since his creation of the National Committee Thank You Canada and Allied Forces (NC TYCAF) in 1975, Albert Hartkamp has worked to ensure that veterans from Canada and other allied nations are honoured for their roles in the liberation of the Netherlands. Under his tireless leadership, NC TYCAF has organized numerous commemorative events, while also leading efforts to arrange travel and accommodations for more than 65 000 Canadian veterans who have visited the Netherlands to participate in remembrance ceremonies.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON CANADIAN HONOURS

About the Meritorious Service Decorations
The Meritorious Service Decorations celebrate Canadians who have performed an exceptional deed or activity that brings honour to Canada. The decorations are separated into military and civil divisions, with two levels each: a cross and a medal.

The Military Division recognizes a military deed or activity that has been performed in a highly professional manner or of a very high standard that brings benefit or honour to the Canadian Armed Forces and to Canada. 

About the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers
The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes the remarkable volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields. As an official Canadian honour, the Medal pays tribute to the dedication and exemplary commitment of volunteers.