Remarks by
The Honourable Gary A Filmon, P.C., O.C., O.M.
on behalf of
The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

Government House
Thursday, November 21, 2019 – 5:00 p.m.

Friends and fellow Manitobans; volunteers and leaders; members of the world’s largest network of humanitarians – welcome to Government House and this celebration of service.

We are gathered on Treaty One land, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Metis people.

I’d like to begin by acknowledging that the Anishinaabe and Metis people lived here long before this place became known as Winnipeg. And our province remains home to a large and vibrant Indigenous community.

When Manitobans think about what makes life here special – and especially when we think about the ideals that we aspire to as a province – we often think of the way people here use their time, energy and resources to help others.

We think of the interdependence of prairie communities – the traditions of people helping one another to build a home or raise a barn or to push cars out of the ditch or at least a snowdrift.

We think of communities that work together to overcome flood waters or forest fires.

And we think of the thousands of community organizations founded by people who came together to meet a need – whether that need was felt around the corner or around the world.

But of course, we don’t have a monopoly on compassion, dedication and humanitarianism.

The worldwide Red Cross and Red Crescent network is expression of the common bonds of humanity that unite us all – wherever we live, whatever language we speak, whatever our beliefs and cultural practices.

So tonight’s honorees truly represent the best of us – as Manitobans, as Canadians and as human beings.
Tonight we are recognizing outstanding volunteer contributions with the Order of the Red Cross, the Distinguished Service Award, the Service Award and the Certificate of Merit. We are also recognizing long-term contributions from individuals who have been giving their time and skills for 30 or even 40 years.

In their service to the Canadian Red Cross, tonight’s honorees have helped to meet the needs of Manitobans – or others – forced to evacuate by fires and floods. They have strengthened the Red Cross’s ability by recruiting and training countless other volunteers. They have taught others the skills they may need to save lives. They have provided assistance to migrants seeking safety in a new country.

In strengthening the Canadian Red Cross and its programs, each of these individuals has brought hope where there was fear and comfort where there was pain.

Their service sets an example for each of us and shows us that we can change the world for the better by getting involved and taking responsibility.

Congratulations to tonight’s honorees and to all of those who make the Canadian Red Cross what it is, I offer thanks.

Thank you. Merci. Meegwich.