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Home >> World
UPDATED: 07:53, September 22, 2005
Canadian forces bid farewell to outgoing Governor General
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The Canadian Forces paid an emotional tribute Wednesday on Parliament Hill to Commander-in- Chief and Governor General Adrienne Clarkson who is leaving her post at the end of this month.

Before his guard doffed their caps and let out three hearty cheers, Chief of Defense staff, Gen. Rick Hillier, thanked Clarkson for helping to forge a new bond between Canadians and their soldiers, sailors and air crew emerging from years of budget cuts and the Somalia scandal of 1992-1993.

Clarkson, who called her job as ceremonial head of the military a privilege and her "greatest honor," spent a Christmas at sea with the navy in the Persian Gulf and twice marked New Year's with soldiers in Afghanistan.

"Your work, your efforts and your dedication to us visibly and tangibly and around the world brought a confidence to each and every man and woman in uniform and to our veterans who served before," Hillier said.

Defense Minister Bill Graham and the head of the Senate defense committee, Colin Kenny, were in attendance as an air force band played and Clarkson was thanked.

With the predominantly gold-blue pennant flying over the Peace Tower, Clarkson was visibly moved as she took more than half an hour to talk to veterans and inspect the guard, which included Arctic rangers and cadets.

"A family shares its blood and it shares its memories," Clarkson said in her speech. "Thank you for including me in the Armed Forces family."

In 1999, Clarkson was sworn in as the 26th Governor General of Canada, making her the first non-white and the second female in the post. In late 2004, She was asked -- and agreed -- to remain in office for an additional year to provide stability as the country faced the potential constitutional challenges of a minority government.

Clarkson's successor Michaelle Jean, 48, will officially be installed on Sept. 27.

Source: Xinhua


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