This is a wonderful book about Canadian History and culture over the past fifty years from 1967 to 2017.
The book also contains a wonderful foreword by Jean Vanier, CC, GOQ. The book is as colourful as it is insightful! It is a collector’s book that I can see being on my coffee table in a bit.
Like the national flag of Canada and the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, the Order of Canada was created out of a sense of urgency and was seen as another mechanism to help enhance the unity of the country.
The development of a uniquely Canadian honours system, made up of Canadian symbols, also coincided with the broader realization that Canada was an independent actor on the international stage; we were no longer a dependent of he United Kingdom.
It was a tidy addition to the broader project of enhancing the Canadian character of the crown, thereby more fully Canadianizing a core institution of government and civil society.
The Order is a living institution, defined by the membership of the Order and also by those who dutifully and carefully administer its operation. The desire to recognize exemplary citizenship in all of its forms, as exemplified by the Order’s motto — Desiderantes meliorem partiam — continues to be a touchstone of what it means to be a Canadian.
While the face of the Order’s membership has greatly diversified since 1967, as has the population of the country, the constant goal of recognizing those who enhance our communities, large and small, is what helps to give the Order legitimacy and purpose beyond simply a bit of tinsel hung from a piece of silk.
I loved this book, and I learned so much about the Order of Canada. I also learned a lot about Canadian culture that I didn’t know.
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Canada. What a great country it is. And it is turning 150 years old this year!
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth