The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
Heraldry Today

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Michael Douglas Bechard

London, Ontario
Grant of Arms
October 20, 2005
Vol. V, p. 2

Click on each image to enlarge. The blazon and symbolism for each element will accompany the enlarged image.



Vert a maple tree Argent issuant from a graft fleury Azure;





The colours of green and blue here represent the ideas of verdant land and the Holy Spirit. The maple tree symbolizes the settlement in Woodslee, Essex County, of Father Bechard’s maternal family during the time of the Irish Famine in the mid-1800s. He is the fifth generation to be raised there from roots put down long ago. The tree is also symbolic of the cross of Jesus Christ, referred to as the “Tree of Life” in Revelation 2:7. The fleur-de-lis honours his father’s French heritage. In Christian symbolism, it also represents the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Holy Trinity. The base symbolises that a priest in the Roman Catholic Church is called joyfully to be a watchful builder of relationships under the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit.


This is a phrase taken from Canada’s national anthem, and is expressive of Father Bechard’s patriotic interests. It is also a reflection of his belief in Jesus Christ as risen from the dead.


Canada Gazette Information

The announcement of the Letters Patent was made on July 8, 2006, in Volume 140, page 2040 of the Canada Gazette.

Artist Information

Original concept of Darrel Kennedy, Assiniboine Herald, assisted by the Heralds of the Canadian Heraldic Authority

David Bowyer

Nancy Ellis

Recipient Information


View all Letters Patent for Michael Douglas Bechard