Just got back from the swearing in of the new Governor General, David Johnston. It was something!!
As I was walking in I saw my good friend Gen. Walt Natynczyk who was in full dress uniform. He was getting ready to escort the Governor General, who is the Commander in Chief of the Canadian Forces, into the Senate chamber.
Ambassador Jacobson and Gen. Walt Natynczyk
I met with a group of the Deans of the Diplomatic Corp in the Speaker’s Office before the ceremony. There was a lot of discussion about the new Chief of Staff in the White House. But we had to turn off our Blackberries before the official announcement came out.
Ambassador Jacobson and the Deans of the Diplomatic Corp in the Speaker's Office
A few thoughts about the event itself. First when the outgoing Governor General, Michaëlle Jean and her husband, John Daniel Lafond, entered the chamber there was loud and sustained applause. It was touching.
During Prime Minister Harper’s address he talked about how Governor General Johnston had been a two time All-American hockey player at Harvard. He added that it goes to prove that “the best All-Americans are actually Canadian.” I must admit it was a great line. Even if it was at our expense.
During the ceremonies, there was a whole lot of bowing to people of higher authority. When the Governor General’s wife Sharon was introduced, it was a wonderful gesture when he bowed to her. While I have not yet met them they seem like wonderful people.
The Governor General after talking about some of the people who had a lasting impact on his life, including his Hockey coach at Harvard, said if there is one headline we should remember from his speech it would be to “Cherish our Teachers.” He clearly understands the importance of education to our future well being.
The ceremony was wonderful. Everyone was in a great mood. I was honored to be able to attend.