The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
Heraldry Today

The contents of this Register are intended for research purposes only. The heraldic emblems found in the Register may not be reproduced in any form or in any media without the written consent of the Canadian Heraldic Authority and/or the recipient.

Sylvia Mary Burkinshaw

Kingston, Ontario
Grant of Arms
October 21, 1997
Vol. III, p. 206

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



Azure issuant from a lymphad oars in action a demi lion Or armed and langued Gules bearing in the dexter forepaw a rod of Aescalapius Or on a chief also Or a hedgehog Azure between two hurts each charged with a fouled anchor interlaced by two open compasses Or;


Issuant from a mural coronet Or masoned Azure set with a frieze of lilac flowers Purpure a demi griffin Or armed and langued Gules its dexter claw holding an ancient lamp Azure enflamed proper its sinister claw resting on a closed book Azure embellished Or;





Blue and gold reflect Miss Burkinshaw’s naval service and are colours long associated with the arms of her mother’s family. The ancient galley refers to the navy and her birthplace in Scarborough, Yorkshire. The demi lion is taken from a signet ring worn by her father. The rod of Aescalapius recognizes Miss Burkinshaw’s career as a nurse. The hedgehog is borrowed from the Arms of Douglas Harris, her maternal uncle. The anchors and compasses, taken from the insignia of the Queen Alexandra’s Nursing Service, celebrate her career in the naval services during the Second World War.


The stone coronet refers to Kingston, the site of Miss Burkinshaw’s public career. The lilac coronet symbolises her residence in the Township of Pittsburgh. The griffin is another reference to Kingston as it is one of the supporters in the city’s Arms. The lamp suggests Miss Burkinshaw’s nursing career while the book recalls her work in public administration.


Meaning “By faith, and not by force of arms”, this Latin phrase appeared on a signet ring worn by her father, and thus honours Miss Burkinshaw’s paternal heritage.


Canada Gazette Information

The announcement of the Letters Patent was made on March 14, 1998, in Volume 132, page 522 of the Canada Gazette.

Artist Information

Original concept of Robert D. Watt, Chief Herald of Canada, assisted by the heralds of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

Ilona Jurkiewicz

Suzzann Wright

Recipient Information