Greater Victoria residents among first to receive Diamond Jubilee medal

Naval member flown to ceremony from deployed CFB Esquimalt warship

  • Feb. 9, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Master Seaman Christopher Switzer

Two Greater Victoria residents are among the first in Canada to receive a medal honouring Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne 60 years ago.

Colwood resident Master Seaman Christopher Switzer was flown to Monday’s ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa from Panama City, just after his ship, HMCS Vancouver, passed through the Panama Canal on its way home to CFB Esquimalt from the Mediterranean Sea.

Switzer was one of 60 Canadians, including four Canadian Forces personnel, who were presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by Gov. Gen. David Johnston.

Victoria resident Maureen Shaw also received the commendation in recognition for her leadership in occupational health and safety, corporate social responsibility and education for manufacturing workers.

Switzer was able to reconnect with his wife Jennifer and his Ontario-based parents and in-laws at the ceremony ahead of his warship’s return to CFB Esquimalt later this month. The crew has been away since last July.

“That was the key benefit right there, when they flew me out to see my wife after so long,” he said via telephone from Ontario. He is scheduled to return to his ship in San Diego, Calif. this weekend.

Switzer was nominated to receive the medal by his superiors in recognition for his contributions to the Royal Canadian Navy and several local charities. Switzer is a hull technician who is in charge of the ship’s junior ranks mess. He organizes social events and charity efforts for 160 non-commissioned sailors.

“It’s my job to make sure everybody’s happy, and keep the welfare up,” said Switzer, who also trains sailors in emergency preparedness, such as fighting ship fires.

The medal is an honour he won’t soon forget.

“It was really nice to be flown out,” Switzer said. “That really meant a lot, to be taken away from a deployment and to come do this and be sent back to the deployment.”

The Diamond Jubilee Medal will be given to 60,000 Canadians this year.

“The recipients who are honoured by this medal have made Canada better,” Johnston said in a statement. “Individually, they have improved the well-being of many in our communities, and together, they have helped to create a smarter, more caring nation.”


Just Posted

Major expansion coming to Royal Bay Secondary

Province will build space for 600 more students on same site

Colwood wins Victoria Flower Count for a five-peat

The 43rd annual Flower Count had over three billion blossoms counted in total

West Shore municipalities eye mass notification system

System would send out info via text, email or phone call in an emergency

Moving fire dispatch services will save taxpayers thousands, say mayors

Transition will save about $1.5 million over the next five years

One World Performance and Expo returns to the McPherson Playhouse

The annual event has been presented for nearly 40 years

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 16, 2018

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

Dead rabbits found at Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds stoke concerns about Nanaimo virus

A B.C. wildlife veterinarian says a few of the dead bunnies will be sent for diagnosis next week.

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

Most Read