|Robert Pullen and Cooper|
This series of milk run flights was a pleasant departure from the past! I thoroughly enjoyed my flights as much as anyone can enjoy flying. It feels like the planes get smaller but I thinks that's also got
something to do with the extra 35 pounds from quitting smoking that I am still packing.
My flights took me from Grande Prairie to Calgary, Calgary to Winnipeg and Winnipeg to Kingston.
My day started at 4:30 AM and it culminated with me arriving at the Econolodge Hotel in Kingston at about 8:00 PM. I got all checked in to the room and went in search of my sponsor and other fellow postulants.
Allan Plett from the Canadian Army Veterans Motorcycle Units is my sponsor into the Order and he is also the sponsor of Robert Pullen and Tony Moore.
Tony Moore is a veteran and is the president of the Whalley Legion in Surrey BC. They are demolishing their Legion and building an Urban Veterans Facility where the Legion will have it's new digs.
When I realized the caliber of volunteerism and dedication to veterans and cadets these men had, I knew I was with the right group of people.
We enjoyed a beverage in the old pub next door to the hotel and after some chatting, we headed off to our respective rooms.
I wasn't in my room three minutes when I got a knock at the door, my friend Ron Bacon and his son Rick from Cold Lake Alberta were here a day early!!!!
So, What is the Order and Why is this an Honour?
The Order of St. George in Canada has a different mission than it's counterparts in the rest of the world.
The Order of St George also has it's own medal that it presents to top Staff Cadets and Junior Canadian Rangers (JCR).
Here is the criterion for being awarded:
- The medal may be awarded only once to any one individual.
- The medal is awarded upon one recognized national standard.
- Each Cadet Training Centre (CTC) / Enhanced Training Session (ETS) must award this medal annually.
To be eligible for consideration, a cadet / JCR must meet the following conditions: a. meets all requirements of the CTC / ETS summer training program;
b. is regarded by peers and superiors as exemplifying the model cadet/JCR;
c. be a member in good standing of one of the three cadet organizations (Sea, Army, Air) or the JCR program;
d. has demonstrated outstanding leadership and compassion for subordinates. Was able, through different leadership techniques to motivate subordinates to do what was required;
e. has completed three years as a cadet / JCR;
f. has participated in community service events that the CTC /ETS promotes during the summer;
g. has demonstrated leadership qualities;
h. has demonstrated instructional abilities.
Friday we got to know each other as a group by walking all over Kingston's downtown core, what a beautiful place. We had lunch with Knights and Dames from Atlantic Canada and my good friend Gabby Koch even came to visit and then we attended the meet and greet at the Four Points Sheraton.
There are many Knights and Dames in the Order of St George that are Canadian Army Veteran Motorcycle Unit members and it did not take me long to feel comfortable with all of the MP's like David Sweet, the Lords and Ladies like Lord Robbie Sprules and his wife, Lady Lucinda. The people behind the titles of General and Admiral and all of the other military titles, coupled with the civilians who do huge fundraising and offer immense support to families and children, is utterly incredible.
|Barb & Mitch|
After a wonderful evening it was time to turn in. The big day was upon us and started with a Postulants breakfast at 8:30 AM that gave us the run down of the day and made sure we were schooled in protocol. My friend of 30 + years Barb Dransfield Fuller and her hubby Mitch came in from the Ameliasburgh area. Barb is a hair dresser and she did an amazing job of making me look good!
Pretty soon it was time to go to the St. George's Cathedral.
With 32 postulants becoming Knights and Dames, this was to be a two hour ceremony.
The Cathedral has amazing history behind it and was such a fitting place for this ceremony.
The Grand Master, Gareth Greene and Charles Hill the President of the Order here in Canada were the main officiants, with Gareth wielding the sword and Charles presenting the Orders. (I can not remember the name of the Knight who was spurring us all.)
Here is a short video of my Investiture:
The gala afterwards was an elegant affair. The meal was amazing and then it happened.....the Grand Master called on me to come to the podium. I thought, oh oh, what is up now?
He started talking about personal commitment to the order and asked me to show the room my tattoo of the Coat of Arms for the Order. The Inscription on our Coat of Arms stands for United in Love and Service and truly, from what I have seen, that motto is accurate and way I wanted it as a tattoo, it resonates with my heart.
Renita Senz of Golden Gopher Tattoo Studio in Derwent Alberta got a great plug that night!
What an amazing experience.
What an incredible honour.
|Some of my Fellow Knights from C.A.V with Romeo and 80+ year old Veteran Knight!|
Being a Dame in the Order of St. George is already proving to be rewarding.
To learn more about the Order of St. George in Canada visit: www.orderstgeorge.ca
If you are blessed enough to be riding today, please remember to ride like everyone around you is blind and cannot see you.
Renee Charbonneau DStG
AKA Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider
|Ron Bacon from Cold Lake|
|Rick Bacon from Cold Lake|