Manitoba, eh ?!
www.manitoba-eh.ca .


Why the title

Sir William Stephenson, C.C.

??


Who is William Stephenson ?

for Stephenson :

       Sir -- denotes knighthood into the order of Knights Bachelor .
C.C. -- denotes the Companion of the Order of Canada .


Comments (positive, negative, otherwise) from visitors to this website are welcomed.
Contact Paul Armstrong of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada at paul-armstrong@shaw.ca .

In the rationale below, I will attempt to make the case that, in Canada, the frequently used title of 'Sir William Stephenson' should be discouraged, and be replaced with the title:

Sir William Stephenson, C.C.

Furthermore, 'Sir William, C.C.' should replace 'Sir William'. Also, his name 'William Stephenson' is appropriate in many situations.


Rationale :

(1) (a) Stephenson's knighthood (Britain's highest non-military honour) was presented to him by the monarch, King George VI.
      (b) Stephenson's Companion of the Order of Canada (our country's highest non-military honour) was presented to him by the monarch's representative, Governor-General Ed Schreyer.

  • My interpretation of these two events places the two honours on a similar level, and thus it is my contention that when one of these honours (Sir or C.C.) is affixed to his title, then the other should similarly be attached.

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    (2) Annabelle Cloutier (Honour Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs, Office of the Secretary to the Governor General) referred me to a link on the website of the Governor-General, http://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=71# . Its content deals with the Canadian Honour System's Order of Precedence. She stated that item 5 on this link applies in Stephenson's case.

    Viewing that section, one notes that information regarding the order of precedence concerning pre-nominals and post-nominals is lacking. However, what might be derived from this website is that in most cases, Canadian honours take precedence over the majority of British honours.

  • Here is evidence that supports the inclusion of both C.C. and Sir in his title.

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    (3) Recent events (display of his medals, etc. at the Billy Bishop Building in Winnipeg, street renaming to William Stephenson Way, newspaper articles, etc.) have presented an unique opportunity to enhance public knowledge of this hero. In my opinion, the most important group to be targeted are young Canadians.

    My concern is that this group, when introduced to the title 'Sir William Stephenson', may conclude that he has received no other honour similar to his knighthood since 'Sir' is the only honour noted in this title. When they are made aware of his C.C. (and its significance to Canadians), they may wonder why the citizens of his homeland would be reluctant in giving him that recognition in his title. That is precisely  what my thoughts were when first becoming cognizant of his C.C.

  • Since educational materials are best presented to young people in small doses, my opinion is that the first 'dose' should place the emphasis on his two major honours, 'C.C'. and 'Sir'. This is best facilitated by including both terms in his title. Over time, his other awards, honours, etc. could be brought to their attention through displays, school projects, guest speakers, family investigations, etc.

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    (4) In those cases where an individual possesses more than one post-nominal, the question becomes whether or not all post-nominals should be recorded.

    William Barker and Billy Bishop, two highly decorated Canadian First World War flying aces, possess the titles :

           William Barker, VC, DSO & Bar, MC & Two Bars.
           William Bishop, VC, CB, DSO & Bar, MC, DFC, ED.

    However, the examination of websites, books, etc. relating to these men (read the section below entitled  Barker and Bishop  before proceeding further) reveals that they are frequently referred to as 'William Barker, VC' and 'Billy Bishop, VC'.

    One can only speculate as to why only one post-nominal [VC] is often used with either title, but possibly it was thought that employing all of their post-nominals would tend to make their titles unwieldy for use in naming buildings, displays, plaques, books, press releases, etc. Another possibility is that if all of their post-nominals are listed, the magnitude of the most illustrious of them [VC] would be lessened.

    Stephenson's full title, to my knowledge, is Sir William Stephenson, C.C., MC, DFC, LL.D., D.Sc., D.Sc.(Mil).
    For the meanings of these terms, click here.

  • For the sake of brevity, and for the reasons listed herein, I suggest that in most cases that C.C. be the only post-nominal in Stephenson's title . One could argue that it is his most distinguished post-nominal, especially in Canada.

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    (5) In my experience, a substantial number of Canadians have little knowledge of and/or minimal appreciation for the significance of the term 'Order of Canada'. In Stephenson's case, an example that demonstrates the need for his C.C. was a Winnipeg Free Press article dated Nov. 16, 2009 that cited his knighthood and his U.S. Presidential Medal for Merit, but failed to make reference to his Companion of the Order of Canada.

  • Through the addition of 'C.C.', an opportunity is created to inform the public of the existence of this honour.


    Although my focus has been on Stephenson for the inclusion of his Order of Canada, my hope is that the same consideration will be afforded other Canadians in similiar situations.



     Barker and Bishop  

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    William Barker

    In the atrium of the Billy Bishop Building at Canadian Forces Base, Winnipeg is a display dedicated to William Barker. The display has the title :

    'Wing Commander William George Barker, VC.'

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    From : http://www.410wing.cyberus.ca/barkerbio.html

    Recorded on this website is, "The Executive and Members of 410 RCAF (William Barker, VC) Wing, are very proud of the fact that theirs is one of the first of thirty three Wings to receive its Charter during the initial start-up year of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association."

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    A book by Wayne Ralph -- 'Barker VC: William Barker, Canada's Most Decorated War Hero"

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    From : http://www.mysteriesofcanada.com/VC_Recipients/barker.htm

    The title of this link is "Lt. Col. William (Billie) George Barker VC".

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    From : http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/general/sub.cfm?source=department/mincorner/photos/027

    His statue in Dauphin, MB states on its plaque :

    "Lt. Col. William George Barker, VC -- Canada's Most Decorated Soldier":

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    Billy Bishop

    In the atrium of the Billy Bishop Building at Canadian Forces Base, Winnipeg is a display dedicated to this flying ace. The display has the title :

    'Air Marshall William Avery "Billy" Bishop, VC.'

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    From : http://www.billybishop.org/index.php

    Recorded on this website is, "The Billy Bishop Home and Museum in Owen Sound Ontario Canada is the birthplace of William Avery "Billy" Bishop, V.C., this country's most famous WWI flying ace."

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    From : http://www.billybishop.net/

    The title of this website is "Billy Bishop, VC".


    Comments (positive, negative, otherwise) from visitors to this website are welcomed.
    Contact Paul Armstrong of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada at paul-armstrong@mts.net .