After seven years as the Commander-in-Chief and Governor General of Canada, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston received a final farewell from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) during an official ceremony on Sept. 27.
“Serving as commander-in-chief has been a wonderful journey for me. It has also been a journey for my wife, Sharon, who was named an honorary naval captain for her work in supporting military families to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness. Both of us are grateful for having been welcomed into the Canadian Armed Forces family. It is a remarkable family consisting of remarkable people. Together, you serve Canada with a profound sense of duty and honour,” said Johnston.
During Wednesday’s ceremony, Johnston reflected on his seven years as Governor General and Commander-in-Chief and thanked the military for their service.
“It’s a remarkable family consisting of remarkable people. Together, you serve Canada with a profound sense of duty and honour.
“The role you play is complex, challenging and always changing.
“You are warriors, of course, but you are also ambassadors for our country.
“You are peacekeepers, protectors, and rebuilders of civil society. You are teachers and advisors.
“You are rescuers, medics, technicians, engineers, and leaders.
“The job you do for Canada is so varied and illustrious, it’s impossible to do it justice in a speech. During the past seven years, we have tried to pay tribute to your dedication to duty, honour, and service,” noted Johnston.
The Governor-General, during his tenure, made it a priority to support military members and their families.
In the last seven years, Johnson has attended 330 military events and activities; approved 79 new badges; visited 12 CAF bases; visited Canadian troops abroad on seven occasions; attended two Change of Command ceremonies for Chief of the Defence Staff; and accepted the role of Honorary Patrons of the Military Services Program in 2011.
To mark HIs Excellency’s achievements, a CF-18 Flypast, a 21-gun salute and a 100-person Guard of Honour were part of Wednesday’s ceremony.
Chief of the Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance, the Canadian Armed Forces Chief Warrant Officer Kevin West, along with the Governor General’s spouse, Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, Honorary Captain (Navy) of the Military Personnel Command, were all in attendance.
“It is with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to our Commander-in-Chief, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston. Both he and Her Excellency Sharon Johnston have made the welfare of our women and men of the CAF one of their foremost priorities.
Over the past seven years, they have freely and selflessly given their time in support of those of us in uniform, whether here in Canada or overseas. It has been an honour and a privilege to know them, and I offer them my sincerest thanks for their tireless service,” said Gen. Vance.