[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
Hugo and Nebula Winner

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[Diamond Jubilee Medal]

Press Release
For Release Thursday, January 31, 2013

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Imagine my surprise to receive a phone call from the office of the Governor General of Canada in December 2012. Sadly, I didn't get to take the call directly — I was sailing the Caribbean as one of the celebrity speakers on the "Not the End of the World" cruise aboard the Norwegian Pearl.

But when I returned to shore and called back, I found I was on the Governor General's personal list of recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and was being invited to receive the medal personally from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, at a ceremony in Toronto.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the ceremony; ironically, I was already scheduled to be in Cambridge, England, that day, to give one of the prestigious annual Darwin Lectures at Darwin College, Cambridge University. (I did quip to the GG's office that it'd be nice if they might see if Her Majesty might pop by and give me the medal in person.)

I'm very proud of this honour. I display the medal in a case in my living room alongside my Hugo Award and Nebula Award trophies.

Here's the follow-up letter I got this letter from the Governor General's office, followed by information about the medal:

Dear Mr. Sawyer:

On behalf of His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada,

I am pleased to inform you that you are a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, created to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty's accession to the Throne, is a special honour awarded to Canadians who have demonstrated a great service to Canada.

It is our pleasure to invite you and four guests to attend a special presentation of The Diamond Jubilee Medal, on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. in downtown Toronto.

For your reference, please find attached an electronic invitation.

Please let us know if you will be attending or sending regrets by Monday, January 7, 2013. Should your schedule permit to attend this event, we will forward the details of the location in a separate email early in the New Year.

Please advise us if you have any special needs, dietary or mobility restrictions.

A formal invitation keepsake card will be available after the event.

Congratulations on being awarded this honour, I hope that it will be possible for you to join us.

Kind Regards,

Office of the Secretary to the Governor General
Rideau Hall

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

A new commemorative medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. At the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.

During the year of celebrations, 60 000 deserving Canadians from across the country and various walks of life will be recognized.

The Chancellery of Honours, as part of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, administers the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal program.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for this honour, a person must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, but need not necessarily reside in Canada;

  • Have made a significant contribution to a particular province, territory, region or community within Canada, or an achievement abroad that brings credit to Canada; and

  • Be alive on February 6, 2012, the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty's accession to the Throne. The medal can be awarded posthumously, as long as the recipient was alive on that date.

Nomination Process

To ensure that a variety of fields of activity are recognized, partner organizations have been invited to nominate candidates from their community or organization for this national honour.

Members of the general public are welcome to contact the offices of members of Parliament, senators, lieutenant governors, territorial commissioners, or provincial and territorial premiers to suggest names of candidates.

Recommendations can also be made for individuals affiliated with non-governmental organizations participating in this program. The list of partner organizations that can submit nominations is posted on www.gg.ca/diamondjubilee.

Description of the Medal

The obverse depicts a crowned image of the Sovereign, in whose name the medal is bestowed. The reverse marks the sixtieth, or diamond, anniversary of the accession to the Throne of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The anniversary is expressed by the central diamond shape, by the background composed of a pattern of diamonds, and by the two dates. The Royal Cypher consists of the Royal Crown above the letters EIIR (i.e., Elizabeth II Regina, the latter word meaning Queen in Latin). The maple leaves refer to Canada, while the motto VIVAT REGINA means "Long live The Queen!"

The ribbon uses a new arrangement of the blue, red and white colours found in the 1953 Coronation Medal, the 1977 Silver Jubilee Medal, and the 2002 Golden Jubilee Medal.

The design of the Diamond Jubilee Medal was created by the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

The medal is composed of nickel silver and features a proof finish and will be manufactured by the Royal Canadian Mint at their Ottawa facility. For more information, please visit www.mint.ca.

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