The Wearing of Medals (Letter to the Editor)


legionMy finger is poised over the send button as I prepare to send out this final letter on the subject in the heading. I have attached a copy of the letter below for you to read.  I have waited for the appropriate moment to send it, hoping to achieve a maximum coverage across the country. This Letter is going to as many newspapers all across the country as I can find with an email addresses listed. I believe I have a contact for at least one newspaper in each of the ten Provinces.  Of course I can’t know if all or indeed any papers will actually publish my letter.  I have no way of knowing if newspapers other than my locals will have published the letter unless some kind person sees it and and lets me know. I sincerely  hope people will tell me if they see it in their local papers. I truly believe that the vast majority of Canadians have no idea this law even exists, I certainly didn’t until a few years ago. It goes without saying I was frankly shocked to learn one could be arrested for such a respectful action of remembering loved ones.  I have tried repeatedly to reason with those who determine the policies of the Royal Canadian Legion, always without success. I’m not sure where to turn after this final approach of my letter. I’m hoping if people see and read it they too might be outraged at this senseless law.  If enough people demand change then perhaps the Royal Canadian Legion will be forced to petition the Dept of Justice to have the law changed. So folks I’m asking for your help and your support, together we can make the change for the coming Remembrance Day Services. Please consider posting copies of this blog far and wide, the more people who see it the better the chance of success.

I will press send tomorrow morning 30th October 2015 with the hope the letter will appear in early November.

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Remembrance Day
As November 11th approaches it is appropriate to mention an obscure and seemingly unnecessary Canadian Law pertaining to wearing of medals. Shortly after the Great War of 1914-18, cenotaphs were raised in cities,towns and villages all across the Empire. Thousands of mothers and widows who had lost love ones in that war attended the unveiling at those ceremonies. It became traditional for them to wear their late loved ones medals on their right breast. They did so as a mark of respect, of pride and in memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. To this day that tradition continues throughout most Commonwealth countries. However, should a mother or widow in Canada wear their loved ones medals they would be subject to arrest.  The law in Canada forbids anyone but the owner of medals to wear them. In other words, if an 80 year widow wore her late husbands medals on her right breast to a service in Canada she could be arrested. See article 419 of the criminal code, it does not set out a specific penalty, but for summary conviction offences, the penalty is a maximum of six months imprisonment or a $5,000 fine or both. The reason of this law mystifies me almost as much as trying to imagine a police officer making such an arrest.  What I find so disturbing is the fact that the Royal Canadian Legion not only support this law, they defend it. However, if you were to ask the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command why they support this law, and I have done so on more than one occasion, you might wait a very long time for a clear and reasonable answer. This makes one wonder if the Legion is actually serious about their latest motto ”Preparing for the 21st Century”?
Respectfully Submitted  F.Ben Rodgers CD. Naval Veteran
Abram Village PE. Tel 902-786-3020

God Bless and keep reading

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About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
This entry was posted in family, HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges, military, politics, The Royal Navy & Me, veterans and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Wearing of Medals (Letter to the Editor)

  1. Neville Pearson says:

    I’m on it like a chicken on a bug in a PEI Farmyard, if there are any left. You have my full support and will keep you informed of any reaction in the Moncton Area
    Bravo Zulu

  2. irishroverpei says:

    thanks Neville, I have had to shorten the letter to 250 words, seems that is the maximum of most papers.

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