Over the past decade we have noticed a rampant increase in the number of people who are wearing their orders, decorations and medals incorrectly. The cadre of people who flagrantly violate the official rules on how you are supposed to wear your medals ranges from the average veteran right up to current and former Governors General. Indeed, there is much evidence to suggest that the higher the rank of the individual the more likely they are to just wear whatever they want, however they want. We like to think of this as “Instant Dictator Syndrome” or self-aggrandizement at its most obvious.

Why do people wear their medals incorrectly? Often it is because they simply do not know any better. If you are one of these people you should consult WEARING ORDERS, DECORATIONS AND MEDALS which is available from the Chancellery of Honours at Rideau Hall. This guide will help you figure out how you are supposed to wear your officially granted orders, decorations and medals.

When it comes to wearing your medals incorrectly the worst offenders tend to be former Governors General, Lieutenant Governors and retired Generals. When these people – all in authority and all surrounded by staff who know better – wear their medals wrong they are obviously suffering from the dreaded Instant Dictator Syndrome. The attitude accompanied with this most severe condition is “the more medals I wear the more important I will look.”

This simple blog is aimed at revealing the myriad of fellow Canadians who cannot seem to wear their medals correctly.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Without Further Comment; Daniel Woolf

A few readers sent us this photo of the now former President of Queen's University, Dr. Daniel Woolf, wearing what appears to be the United Nations Korea War Medal. Given that Dr. Woolf's biography states he was born in 1958, we are not quite sure how he managed to serve in the Korean War with US or Commonwealth troops. 
UN Korea War Medal
Woolf all dressed up with Arthur McDonald, a Companion of the Order of Canada, who also received the Nobel Prize;  it is a bizarre image. This photo was taken in December 2015 with Professor McDonald was presented with his Nobel Prize. 

One can only imagine what the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, who knows a thing or two about medals, thought of the Canadian university administrator parading around with a lone medal he could not have possibly earned. Not exactly an effective way of looking "important" in a auditorium filled with a few Heads of State and some of the most highly honoured/decorated people in the world. Perhaps a university scarf of jersey would have been a more effective way of announcing the crowd "look at me, I'm important too." 

You really shouldn't wear medals you didn't earn, even if you're putting them on the right hand side of your jacket. 

ViceRegal Report Card 2018

This report is a bit late, but it will certainly be of interest to our loyal readers. It is that time once again to grade the various professional medal wearers; the Governor General and the Lieutenant Governors from across Canada. We won't look too deeply into the sad situation of the Governor General here. On the whole the Lieutenant Governors are doing a solid job of wearing their medals correctly. 

Off to the Magic Show?
The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta,
the Hon. Lois Mitchell.
The main offender in the provinces is Alberta's Lois Mitchell who seems to enjoy wearing all sorts of different capes! Rule number one of wearing robes/capes/mantles, you don't pin medals on them and you don't wear mayoral or Order chains over top of them -- unless you want to look really really strange and desperate to appear more important than you are. You also don't wear multiple Orders on bows. Where is a slightly knowledgeable ADC or RSM when you need one?

As we saw in a previous post Alberta really does seem to be the "wild west" of wearing medals and wearing all sorts of fake municipal and provincial medals.

The new Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan Tom Molloy, is a quick study and after his installation seems to have corrected the "olympic medal" style of wearing his neck gongs. Great improvement here. 
Lieutenant Governor Molloy at his Installation.
OC worn "Olympic Style"

Lieutenant Governor Molloy wearing his SOM and insignia correctly.
Our most improved student. 
Similarly the news Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Janet Austin is doing a great job wearing her medals -- not sure what the deal is with the Presidential salute though! Of course there remain a few outliers -- the LG of Prince Edward Island doesn't seem to wear medals at all. 
The Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Great at wearing medals.
But... what's with the Presidential Salute? 
This is the most solid report card we have had since we started this blog in 2010 in an effort to combat the habitual rule breakers. 

With Bob Paulson gone as Commissioner of the RCMP the wearing of unapproved/fake medals (aside from the Governor General according to media reports) has come to a end for the time being at the top of Canada's national police force.