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Donald Stewart Ethell
Grant of Arms and Supporters
June 15, 2011
Vol. VI, p. 54
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Or two swords in saltire Bleu Céleste hilted Azure between four infantry helmets Bleu Céleste, a chief dancetty Azure;
An umbrella thorn acacia tree proper;
Two lions per fess Or and Azure standing on a grassy mount set with poppy flowers proper;
DUTY AND SERVICE ABOVE ALL;
Blue and yellow are the provincial colours of Alberta, as well as the national colours of Sweden, Her Honour’s ancestral country. The crossed swords symbolize infantry and thus mark His Honour’s military career with the Queen’s Own Rifles and the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. The four helmets represent a formation of soldiers, the light blue colour indicating United Nations peacekeepers, marking the fact that His Honour was deployed on 14 international peacekeeping missions. The upper section refers to the mountains of Alberta, especially the Three Sisters mountains near Canmore, and also to His Honour’s love of mountain climbing.
The umbrella thorn acacia tree is characteristic of the African savannah, and it is also found in the Middle East. It therefore alludes to His Honour’s work with development agencies in Africa after his retirement from the Canadian Forces, and to the peacekeeping missions in the Middle East for which he was deployed. This type of tree is notable for its large canopy, its hardiness and the variety of uses to which its products can be put. It can therefore serve as a metaphor for aiding and protecting others.
The lions refer to His Honour’s sign of the Zodiac, Leo. The grassy base indicates the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, a reference to His Honour’s home in Calgary. The poppies symbolize his involvement in veterans’ organizations.