“This is a confirmation of years of working,” said Jacques J. Gagné, “and also of doing other things from the sidelines.”
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Un capitaine à la retraite de Rockland honoré pour ses services méritoires
The retired captain of the Canadian Armed Forces referred to his nomination for the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers. The Office of the Secretary of the Governor General had contacted him about his nomination earlier in the season but the official announcement was not made until the morning of Canada Day, though Gagné was permitted to speak to media beforehand on condition that all news of his nomination remain secret until July 1.
“I was surprised,” Gagné said, regarding his initial reaction when told of his nomination.
The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers is awarded to those who have provided outstanding community service in their field. Gagné’s nomination highlights his work since 2004, providing support service for military families through the Royal Military College Club of Canada and through the Royal Military College Foundation.
Gagné, now retired after more than 35 years with the Armed Forces, considers himself “very fortunate” at having a chance to service not just country but also others who have given of themselves for Canada.
Even now, in retirement, Gagné continues to volunteer his time for various professional organizations and alumni groups related to the military.
“There’s always something to do,” he said, adding that he enjoys going out for walks to relax, along with reading.
He also enjoys travelling when he has the opportunity. For now, he continues with his various volunteer activities, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic situation like everyone else, and waiting for his official summons to Rideau Hall to receive his service medal from the hands of Governor General Julia Payette herself.
“I am thankful for receiving this award,” he said. “This is a prestigious honour.”