Governor General of Canada



Governor General of Canada

October 10, 2012 14:55 ET

Governor General to Present 44 Decorations for Bravery on the Occasion of the 40th Anniversary of Their Creation

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 10, 2012) - His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present 44 Medals of Bravery at a ceremony at Rideau Hall, on Friday, October 12, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. This ceremony will mark the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Decorations for Bravery.

"I am deeply honoured to have the opportunity to recognize remarkable acts of courage in the service of others," said His Excellency. "Through their actions, the recipients of the Decorations for Bravery have had an immeasurable impact on the lives and families of so many. On behalf of all Canadians, I commend their courage, honour their bravery, praise their heroic deeds, and recognize their humble hearts."

Created in 1972, Decorations for Bravery recognize people who risked their lives to try to save or protect the lives of others. The Cross of Valour (C.V.) recognizes acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril; the Star of Courage (S.C.) recognizes acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril; and the Medal of Bravery (M.B.) recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.

A media schedule for the presentation ceremony, a list of recipients and their citations, and a fact sheet on the Decorations for Bravery are enclosed.

CEREMONY SCHEDULE

Members of the media are asked to observe the following schedule:

9:45 a.m.: Media start to arrive at Rideau Hall
10:30 a.m.: Ceremony begins
The Governor General speaks
The Governor General presents the Decorations for Bravery
12 p.m.: Interviews with recipients

RECIPIENTS

MEDAL OF BRAVERY

Constable Jennifer Elizabeth Anderson, M.B. Bowmanville, Ont.
Sergio Avaca, M.B. La Colonia, Argentina and
Montréal, Que.
Jason Bavelaar Jr., M.B. Wasaga Beach, Ont.
Constable Sandi Joanne Begg, M.B. Victoria, B.C.
Darrell Black, M.B. London, Ont.
Michael Black, M.B. London, Ont.
Bernard Joseph Blanchard, M.B. Bocabec, N.B.
Eldred Burden Jr., M.B. Port Hope Simpson, N.L.
Daniel Chrusch, M.B. Pine Falls, Man.
Constable Peter Christopher Crouse, M.B. Kirkland Lake and
Chaput Hughes, Ont.
Constable Shaun Nicholas De Grandpré, M.B. Ottawa, Ont. and
Behchoko, N.W.T.
Anthony Del Balso, M.B. Laval, Que.
Adlene Fetni, M.B. Constantine, Algeria and
Montréal, Que.
Vincent Bradley Fontaine, M.B. Sagkeeng and Pine Falls, Man.
Dwight Stephen Foster, M.B. North Gower, Ont.
Detective Constable Bradley William Fraser, M.B. Victoria, B.C.
Daniel Glanville, M.B. Seaforth and Ailsa Craig, Ont.
Philip Hall, M.B. Toronto, Ont.
Dr. Ursula Higgins, M.B. Toronto, Ont.
Brent Kirchner, M.B. London, Ont.
Benoit Ladouceur, M.B. London and Brantford, Ont.
Guillaume Langlois, M.B. Montréal, Que.
Claude Lapierre, M.B. Oxford Mills, Ont.
Tim Leclair, M.B. Osgoode, Ont.
Aline L'Écuyer Lacroix, M.B. Messines and Gatineau, Que.
Jeffery Thomas Ray Lennox, M.B. North Gower and Nepean, Ont.
Reno Levesque, M.B. Wasaga Beach, Ont.
Peter Levy, M.B. Toronto, Ont.
Russell Levy, M.B. Toronto, Ont.
Gian Frank Mameli, M.B. Squamish, B.C.
William John McKeag, M.B. Kincardine, Ont.
Sergeant James Wesley McLaren, M.B. Edmonton and Gleichen, Alta.
Corporal Daniel Richard Melanson, M.B. Saint-Paul and Campbellton, N.B.
Birunthan Muralidaran, M.B. (posthumous) Toronto, Ont.
Constable Franco D. Pittui, M.B. Rouyn-Noranda, Que. and
Kirkland Lake, Ont.
Bruce Wayne Raymond, M.B. Digby, N.S. and
Port Blandford, N.L.
David Rego, M.B. Toronto and Caledon, Ont.
Sergeant Scott Wesley Rempel, M.B. Vernon, B.C.
Sergeant Stéphane Réal Joseph Roy, M.B., C.D. Kingston, N.S. and
Courtenay, B.C.
Candace Irene Dawn Smith, M.B. Winnipeg, Man.
Dr. Kenneth W. Sniderman, M.B. Toronto, Ont.
Daniel Sokolowski, M.B. Kingston, Ont.
Constable Mark Tan, M.B. Toronto, Ont.
Jacqueline Lorraine Vanderwood, M.B. Victoria, B.C.

CITATIONS

MEDAL OF BRAVERY

Constable Jennifer Elizabeth Anderson, M.B.
Bowmanville, Ontario
Philip Hall, M.B.
Toronto, Ontario
Birunthan Muralidaran, M.B. (posthumous)
Toronto, Ontario
Constable Mark Tan, M.B.
Toronto, Ontario

On December 10, 2006, Toronto Police Service constables Jennifer Anderson and Mark Tan, along with Philip Hall, tried unsuccessfully to rescue Birunthan Muralidaran and his friend, who had fallen through the ice of a reservoir, in Toronto, Ontario. Eleven-year-old Birunthan had made his way out to where his friend had fallen through, but the ice had broken in the process, leaving both boys unable to climb out. A witness to the incident, Mr. Hall grabbed a long extension cord, slid across the ice to reach them, and threw one end of the cord to Birunthan, who was unable to grab it. Tying a lasso into one end of the cord, Mr. Hall threw it again, but the ice broke under him. As he came back up to the surface, he saw that constables Anderson and Tan, while attempting to make their way to him, had also fallen through the ice. Unable to get any closer to the victims, Mr. Hall and the two constables were pulled to shore by two other officers. Emergency workers in a recovery boat were able to reach the boys; sadly, neither of them survived.

The decoration awarded to the late Birunthan Muralidaran will be given to his father, Mr. Muralidaran Nadarajah.

Sergio Avaca, M.B.
La Colonia, Argentina and Montréal, Quebec
Anthony Del Balso, M.B.
Laval, Quebec
Adlene Fetni, M.B.
Constantine, Algeria and Montréal, Quebec

On October 21, 2010, Sergio Avaca, Anthony Del Balso and Adlene Fetni rescued a woman who was being attacked at a food court, in Montréal, Quebec. The men saw an individual sneak up behind the woman and repeatedly stab her on the head with a knife. The victim managed to get away, knocking over chairs behind her in an effort to trip the attacker as he chased her down. The woman ran past Mr. Avaca, who tried to stop the assailant but was pushed out of the way. Mr. Fetni grabbed a small table to protect himself and cornered the attacker, while the other men blocked the path leading to the victim. The three rescuers were then able to restrain the man until security guards arrived.

Jason Bavelaar Jr., M.B.
Wasaga Beach, Ontario
Reno Levesque, M.B.
Wasaga Beach, Ontario

On March 10, 2010, firefighters Jason Bavelaar and Reno Levesque rescued a man from a burning house, in Wasaga Beach, Ontario. Although they were not on duty at the time, Messrs. Bavelaar and Levesque heard the dispatch concerning the fire and decided to assist. First at the scene, Mr. Bavelaar entered the smoke-filled house but had to exit several times to get some air. He and Mr. Levesque, who had just arrived, then made their way to the basement where they located the unconscious victim and brought him outside. Fire and ambulance services arrived and brought the man to the hospital where he recovered.

Constable Sandi Joanne Begg, M.B.
Victoria, British Columbia

On November 17, 2009, Constable Sandi Begg, of the Victoria Police Department, rescued her sister from a possible drowning in Bilston Creek, in Metchosin, British Columbia. Constable Begg was walking with her sister and her dogs along the river when one of the dogs ran into the water and began to struggle against the strong current. Her sister ran in to grab the animal, but the woman's feet were swept out from under her and she disappeared beneath the surface. Constable Begg ran in after her, holding on to a large overhanging branch with one hand and grabbing her sister with the other. With much effort, she was able to pull her sister to safety.

Darrell Black, M.B.
London, Ontario
Michael Black, M.B.
London, Ontario
Daniel Glanville, M.B.
Seaforth and Ailsa Craig, Ontario
Brent Kirchner, M.B.
London, Ontario
Benoit Ladouceur, M.B.
London and Brantford, Ontario

On August 28, 2004, the above-mentioned firefighters rescued a man who was trapped inside a silo, near Woodstock, Ontario. The victim was chest-deep in solidified cement dust at the bottom of a narrow trench. Any movement could result in his sinking deeper into the moving sands below. One at a time, the firefighters were harnessed and lowered into the confined space. Suspended by a rope rescue system, they worked diligently and carefully, using a jackhammer to break up the debris around the victim and vacuum it out of the silo. During this process, they were positioned directly under an outcropping of unstable solidified cement dust weighing nearly 15 tonnes. The rescue operation took nearly 13 hours before the victim was freed and brought to safety.

Bernard Joseph Blanchard, M.B.
Bocabec, New Brunswick

On November 13, 2008, Bernard Blanchard rescued a man from a burning house, in Bocabec, New Brunswick. Mr. Blanchard was driving by when he noticed smoke escaping from a house, and saw a man and two children in the yard. Reassured that no one else was inside, Mr. Blanchard called 911. Meanwhile, the man re-entered to recover some of his belongings, even though considerable smoke and heat were coming from the residence. Mr. Blanchard ran in after him and found him collapsed on the floor. After pulling the victim outside, Mr. Blanchard did CPR twice on the victim to revive him. The paramedics arrived and brought the man to the hospital where he later recovered.

Eldred Burden Jr., M.B.
Port Hope Simpson, Newfoundland and Labrador
Christopher Larkham, M.B.
Port Hope Simpson, Newfoundland and Labrador

On February 7, 2009, Eldred Burden Jr. and Christopher Larkham rescued a friend whose snowmobile had broken through the ice of the Alexis River, in Mill Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador. When the rescuers heard that their friend was in the water, they got on their machines and ventured out in the dark, on dangerous ice, to locate him. They conducted several sweeps along the river before they found him clinging to the ice near some open water. Mr. Burden carefully made his way over to the victim and grabbed him by the hand. After numerous attempts, he finally managed to pull the man out. Mr. Larkham then grabbed both men and pulled them to safer ice.

The decoration awarded to Mr. Larkham will be presented at a future ceremony.

Daniel Chrusch, M.B.
Pine Falls, Manitoba
Vincent Bradley Fontaine, M.B.
Sagkeeng and Pine Falls, Manitoba
Candace Irene Dawn Smith, M.B.
Winnipeg, Manitoba

On November 19, 2008, Daniel Chrusch, Vincent Fontaine and Candace Smith rescued a man from a burning house, in Pine Falls, Manitoba. Ms. Smith, Mr. Fontaine and his elderly father, who lived in the house, woke up to find their living room on fire and their exit blocked. Mr. Fontaine climbed out of his bedroom window, but unfortunately, his father had fallen unconscious in the hallway and Ms. Smith was trapped in her bedroom. Their neighbour, Mr. Chrusch, entered the house and, after withdrawing several times because of the heat and smoke, called out to the victims to come towards his voice. Crawling beneath the smoke, Ms. Smith grabbed the elderly victim and dragged him towards Messrs. Chrusch and Fontaine, who helped bring him outside.

John-Paul Bacon, M.B.
Kirkland Lake, Ontario
Constable Peter Christopher Crouse, M.B.
Kirkland Lake and Chaput Hughes, Ontario
Jonathan Tyler Hillgren, M.B.
Kirkland Lake, Ontario
Constable Franco D. Pittui, M.B.
Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec and Kirkland Lake, Ontario

On November 24, 2009, John-Paul Bacon and Tyler Hillgren rescued a man from a burning apartment, in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. Messrs. Bacon and Hillgren heard the fire alarm and saw smoke coming from the bottom of the victim's door. They kicked down the door and found the victim unconscious on a couch that had caught fire. They grabbed the man and pulled him out to the fire escape, where others tried to revive him. Messrs. Bacon and Hillgren ran back inside the apartment to extinguish the fire while constables Peter Crouse and Franco Pittui, of the Ontario Provincial Police, crawled through the thick, black smoke to search for other residents. Sadly, the victim did not survive.

The decorations awarded to Messrs. Bacon and Hillgren will be presented at a future ceremony.

Constable Shaun Nicholas De Grandpré, M.B.
Ottawa, Ontario and Behchoko, Northwest Territories

On June 30, 2010, RCMP Constable Shaun De Grandpré rescued two individuals from the Arctic Ocean, in Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. Called to the scene, Constable De Grandpré arrived to see a man and a woman struggling in the water approximately 100 metres from shore. Removing his equipment, he ran into the freezing water, swam out to the intoxicated couple and started pulling them towards the shore. Once she felt the ground beneath her feet, the woman was able to make her own way to safety. Constable De Grandpré had to keep a strong hold on the man, however, who resisted the constable's efforts to help him.

Dwight Stephen Foster, M.B.
North Gower, Ontario
Claude Lapierre, M.B.
Oxford Mills, Ontario
Tim Leclair, M.B.
Osgoode, Ontario
Jeffery Thomas Ray Lennox, M.B.
North Gower and Nepean, Ontario

On March 3, 2010, Tim Leclair, Claude Lapierre, Dwight Foster and Jeff Lennox risked their lives to rescue a man who was trapped in a silo, in Osgoode, Ontario. The man had been emptying a corn silo when a huge amount of it shifted and buried him. Mr. Lennox ran to the victim, shovelled some of the corn away so that he could breathe, and then went to get help. Messrs. Foster, Lapierre and Leclair arrived and formed a human barrier around him, pulling corn away as a nine-metre-high wall of it was slowly coming down on them. After approximately six hours of vacuuming out large amounts of the corn and then cutting into the side of the silo, firefighters were finally able to extract the victim and bring him to safety.

Detective Constable Bradley William Fraser, M.B.
Victoria, British Columbia
Jacqueline Lorraine Vanderwood, M.B.
Victoria, British Columbia

On January 29, 2009, Detective Constable Brad Fraser, of the Victoria Police Department, and Jacqueline Vanderwood rescued an injured woman from a damaged vehicle following a head-on collision, near Valemount, British Columbia. Detective Constable Fraser and Ms. Vanderwood were driving by when they spotted the wrecked cars: smoke billowed from the engines and fuel leaked onto the pavement. The occupants of the first vehicle had not survived the collision, but the three passengers in the second car were still alive. While other passersby pried open the front doors to retrieve the driver and front passenger, Detective Constable Fraser crawled through a small opening of the rear door to reach a woman in the back seat. Fearing that the fuel could catch fire at any moment, Detective Constable Fraser quickly untied the woman's seat belt and, with the help of Ms. Vanderwood, carried her to safety. All three victims of the second vehicle survived.

Jordan Adam Appleby, M.B.
Toronto, Ontario
Dr. Ursula Higgins, M.B.
Toronto, Ontario
Peter Levy, M.B.
Toronto, Ontario
Russell Levy, M.B.
Toronto, Ontario
David Rego, M.B.
Toronto and Caledon, Ontario
Dr. Kenneth W. Sniderman, M.B.
Toronto, Ontario

On August 1, 2010, doctors Ursula Higgins and Kenneth Sniderman, along with Peter Levy, Russell Levy, David Rego and Jordan Appleby, rescued an injured man who was trapped under an overturned speedboat, in Lake Simcoe, Ontario. The individuals witnessed a boat driven at high speed become airborne and then break apart when it hit the water. Using several boats, they made their way to the submerged vessel and discovered that an elderly man was trapped beneath the wreckage. Without a thought to their own safety, they dove amid shards of glass and volatile gasoline spreading over the surface of the water to reach the victim. Dr. Sniderman succeeded in pulling the man free and, with the help of the others, brought him onto one of the crafts where the doctors were able to revive him.

The decoration awarded to Mr. Appleby will be presented at a future ceremony.

Guillaume Langlois, M.B.
Montréal, Quebec

On September 1, 2010, Guillaume Langlois risked his life to rescue a suicidal woman who had jumped onto the subway tracks, in Montréal, Quebec. Mr. Langlois was at the station when he noticed a gathering of people near the edge of the platform. He went to investigate and saw a young woman stretched out onto the tracks. Fearing that she might touch the rails and possibly be electrocuted, Mr. Langlois jumped down to help her, but the woman refused to get up. Knowing full well that a train could come by at any minute, Mr. Langlois decided to stay with her until emergency personnel came down to the tracks to help bring the woman into protective custody.

Aline L'Écuyer Lacroix, M.B.
Messines and Gatineau, Quebec

On May 19, 2010, Aline L'Écuyer Lacroix, then 92 years old, was instrumental in the evacuation of the residents of a burning retirement home, in Gatineau, Quebec. Ms. L'Écuyer Lacroix, who lived at the residence, noticed smoke coming from a community room across the hall. She found that a fire had started in the room and was growing in intensity. Ms. L'Écuyer Lacroix closed the doors to the room and, despite her limited mobility, made her way door-to-door in the smoke-filled hallway to alert everyone. Thanks to her actions, all residents of the home were safely evacuated.

Gian Frank Mameli, M.B.
Squamish, British Columbia

On February 2, 2010, Gian Mameli risked his life to try to rescue a man trapped inside a burning vehicle, in Richmond, British Columbia. Mr. Mameli witnessed the vehicle crash into the wall of the George Massey Tunnel and burst into flames. Braving the heat, smoke and flames, he tried unsuccessfully to open the damaged door. After breaking the window, Mr. Mameli climbed in up to his waist and tried in vain to locate the driver. He jumped back down onto the pavement and assisted others in evacuating the tunnel, which was filling up with thick, toxic smoke.

Michael John Hancock, M.B. (posthumous)
Kitchener, Ontario
William John McKeag, M.B.
Kincardine, Ontario
Jason William Phillips, M.B.
Kincardine, Ontario
Ronald Earl Walton, M.B.
Elmira, Ontario

On September 7, 2008, Michael Hancock lost his life trying to rescue his daughter who was caught in the strong current of Lake Huron, in Kincardine, Ontario. He and his family were spending the day at the beach when his daughter was caught up in the waves. He swam out to her and was bringing her back to shore when they were pulled apart. In a nearby boat, William McKeag and Ronald Walton donned life jackets and navigated towards the victims, only to end up in the water themselves as the waves swamped their small craft. They swam towards Mr. Hancock and struggled to bring the unconscious man in. When they were some 30 metres away from shore, bystanders threw them a ring buoy and pulled the three men to safety. Meanwhile, Jason Phillips swam out to the girl and brought her to the beach, where she was revived. Sadly, Mr. Hancock did not survive.

The decorations awarded to Messrs. Hancock, Phillips, and Walton were presented at a previous ceremony.

Sergeant James Wesley McLaren, M.B.
Edmonton and Gleichen, Alberta

On May 25, 2009, RCMP Sergeant James McLaren risked his life to try to rescue a suicidal man, in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. Responding to a call that an intoxicated man was threatening to jump in the Arctic Ocean, Sergeant McLaren arrived to find that the man had already jumped into the water after his inebriated girlfriend ran towards him. Sergeant McLaren jumped onto the ice and crawled to the edge. He threw a rope with a hook to the man, who refused to reach for it. Sergeant McLaren was unable to help the victim, as he had to keep the girlfriend from jumping in. He pulled the struggling woman to safer ice and waited until search and rescue teams arrived.

Corporal Daniel Richard Melanson, M.B.
Saint-Paul and Campbellton, New Brunswick

On May 3, 2008, RCMP Corporal Daniel Melanson rescued a man from a possible drowning in the Chaleur Bay, in Belledune, New Brunswick. Corporal Melanson responded to a call concerning two men whose canoe had overturned. One man had managed to swim to safety, but the other man was near the overturned craft approximately 30 metres from shore. Corporal Melanson took off some of his clothing and equipment and made his way to the victim. Corporal Melanson grabbed him by the neck and pulled him to shore, where paramedics rushed him to the hospital. Thanks to Corporal Melanson's actions, the victim survived.

David Edison Adams, M.B.
Port Blandford, Newfoundland and Labrador
Bruce Wayne Raymond, M.B.
Digby, Nova Scotia and Port Blandford, Newfoundland and Labrador

On February 1, 2010, David Adams and Bruce Raymond rescued a man whose ATV had broken through the ice, in Port Blandford, Newfoundland and Labrador. Mr. Raymond heard cries for help and alerted Mr. Adams. Together, they made their way towards the victim, who was struggling against the strong current to hang onto the edge of the thin ice. Mr. Adams crawled in closer and threw a rope to the victim. After several attempts, the rescuers pulled the man onto the ice and dragged him safely to the shore.

The decoration awarded to Mr. Adams will be presented at a future ceremony.

Sergeant Scott Wesley Rempel, M.B.
Vernon, British Columbia

On July 29, 2009, off-duty RCMP Sergeant Scott Rempel pulled a man from a burning vehicle, near Vernon, British Columbia. After witnessing a collision between a pickup and a delivery truck, Sergeant Rempel and several other men ran to help the occupants who were trapped in their damaged vehicles, which had also caught on fire. Sergeant Rempel broke the window of the delivery truck, climbed in and pulled the disoriented driver out. With the help of the others, Sergeant Rempel brought him safely away from the intensifying flames. Unfortunately, the driver of the pickup truck did not survive.

Sergeant Stéphane Réal Joseph Roy, M.B., C.D.
Kingston, Nova Scotia and Courtenay, British Columbia

On December 4, 2009, Sergeant Stéphane Roy rescued a military diver from a possible drowning, in Comox, British Columbia. The divers were conducting a training exercise underwater when a member became disoriented. Subsequently, his regulator became tangled and his mask started coming off. In an effort to breathe, the diver mistakenly took in a large amount of seawater. Sergeant Roy tried unsuccessfully to insert his own regulator into the mouth of the victim. Cut off from his air supply and fighting against the panicked diver, Sgt. Roy worked to free the victim from the tangled gear. After the diver lost consciousness, Sgt. Roy continued to care for him and signalled to others for help. They carried him to the surface and to safety.

Daniel Sokolowski, M.B.
Kingston, Ontario

On February 22, 2010, Daniel Sokolowski rescued a woman from a possible drowning, in Cayo Largo, Cuba. The victim had been playing in the water when she was pulled further away from shore. Several men set out to help, but returned to shore, unable to swim in the rough waters. Mr. Sokolowski ran in and battled against the crashing waves and strong undertow to reach the woman. Although he is not a strong swimmer, Mr. Sokolowski managed to get the victim safely to shore.

FACT SHEET ON THE DECORATIONS FOR BRAVERY

BACKGROUND

The Decorations for Bravery were created in 1972. They recognize people who risk their lives and choose to defy their own instinct of survival to try to save a loved one or a perfect stranger whose life is in immediate danger.

The three levels of the Decorations for Bravery reflect the degree to which the recipients put themselves at risk:

The Cross of Valour (C.V.) recognizes acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.

The Star of Courage (S.C.) recognizes acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril.

The Medal of Bravery (M.B.) recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.

ELIGIBILITY AND NOMINATION

Anyone is free to propose the name of a person who has risked injury or death in an attempt to rescue another person. The incident need not have taken place in Canada, and the rescuer need not be Canadian, but Canadians or Canadian interests must be involved. The Decorations may be awarded posthumously.

Nominations must be made within two years of the incident, or within two years after a public entity, including a court, a quasi-judicial tribunal or a coroner, has concluded its review of the circumstances surrounding the incident or act of bravery.

For more information on the Decorations for Bravery, please visit www.gg.ca/honours.

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