Medal for HMS Ere­bus Team

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The Royal Cana­dian Ge­o­graph­i­cal So­ci­ety an­nounced that 220 peo­ple have been awarded the Ere­bus Medal, a spe­cial one-time honor com­mem­o­rat­ing the find of one of the lost ships of the Bri­tish Arc­tic Ex­pe­di­tion com­manded by Sir John Franklin.

The first Ere­bus Medals were pre­sented at a spe­cial re­cep­tion at the Royal On­tario Mu­seum on March 4, in the pres­ence of Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper and Lau­reen Harper. Among those rec­og­nized were key lead­ers of the 2014 Vic­to­ria Strait Ex­pe­di­tion, in­clud­ing divers from Parks Canada's Un­der­wa­ter Ar­chae­ol­ogy Ser­vice, Marc-An­dré Bernier and Ryan Harris.

"This new medal is a recog­ni­tion of the im­por­tance the So­ci­ety places on the dis­cov­ery of HMS Ere­bus, one of the most sig­nif­i­cant un­der­wa­ter ar­chae­o­log­i­cal dis­cov­er­ies in history. It also speaks to the im­pact Ere­bus, and the search for that ship, had on the map of Canada," said John Geiger, CEO of The Royal Cana­dian Ge­o­graph­i­cal So­ci­ety.

Other re­cip­i­ents at the re­cep­tion in­cluded rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 2014 Vic­to­ria Strait Ex­pe­di­tion part­ners, in­clud­ing Parks Canada, the Royal Cana­dian Navy, Cana­dian Coast Guard, Arc­tic Re­search Foun­da­tion, The W. Garfield We­ston Foun­da­tion, One Ocean Ex­pe­di­tions and Shell Canada.

Said Geiger: "Ev­ery­one who con­trib­uted to the find, from he­li­copter pi­lot An­drew Stir­ling, to Inuit oral his­to­rian Louie Kamookak, to Tom Zagon of the Cana­dian Ice Ser­vice, to the Prime Min­is­ter of Canada, has been awarded this medal. All par­tic­i­pants in the dis­cov­ery, in­clud­ing those in the field and those who worked be­hind the scenes are be­ing rec­og­nized. To­gether, they have rewrit­ten the history books and un­der­scored the im­por­tance of the ge­og­ra­phy of Canada's arc­tic."

Dr. Paul Ruest, Pres­i­dent of The Royal Cana­dian Ge­o­graph­i­cal So­ci­ety, added: "On be­half of the So­ci­ety's Board of Gover­nors, I want to con­grat­u­late all re­cip­i­ents. The ex­pe­di­tion was a team ef­fort by a coali­tion of public and pri­vate part­ners. They suc­ceeded where many oth­ers failed over 17 decades. They found Franklin's ship."

The Ere­bus Medal was de­signed by renowned Cana- dian medal de­signer Su­san Tay­lor. It fea­tures a styl­ized HMS

Ere­bus su­per­im­posed on a nau­ti­cal com­pass and, on the re­verse, the Com­pass Rose of The Royal Cana­dian Ge­o­graph­i­cal So­ci­ety, with the So­ci­ety name and Ex­pe­di­tion name in both of­fi­cial lan­guages, along with the in­scrip­tion: "For con­tri­bu­tions to the dis­cov­ery of HMS Ere­bus". Small crowns sym­bol­ize the So­ci­ety's Royal pa­tron­age, and the fact that Ere­bus is a Royal Navy ship. The medal is cast in bronze, a ref­er­ence to the Ere­bus bell.

The RCGS is ded­i­cated to im­part­ing a broader knowl­edge and deeper ap­pre­ci­a­tion of Canada -- its peo­ple and places, its nat­u­ral and cul­tural her­itage and its en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­cial and eco­nomic chal­lenges. The So­ci­ety is one of Canada's largest non-profit ed­u­ca­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions and, as part of its man­date to make Canada bet­ter known, pub­lishes Cana­dian Ge­o­graphic mag­a­zine.

Com­modore Brian San­tarpia RCN and ci

vil­ian over­seer Olivier Poulin, re­lin­quished com­mand to Cap­i­taine de vais­seau René-Jean Crig­nola of the Marine na­tionale dur­ing a for­mal change of com­mand cer­e­mony held on board the French Ship Var April 6th. On left is Olivier Poulin, the mys­te­ri­ous civil­ian over­seer for

Com­modore San­tarpia, with the vague job ti­tle Pol­icy Ad­vi­sor (PO­LAD). DND PAO Bruno Trem­blay re­fused to pro­vide a de­tailed job de­scrip­tion or who ex­actly as­signed him to this po­si­tion. Canada CMF

Photo.

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