Governor General honours 15 Canadians for bravery

May 25, 2007 | Articles

Posted: May 25, 2007 2:31 PM ET Last Updated: May 25, 2007 2:13 PM E

Fifteen Canadians have received awards for acts of bravery from Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean, with the highest honour going to a Mississauga, Ont., man who fought an attacking black bear with a pocket knife in an attempt to save his wife.

Mark Jordan was setting up camp in Missinaibi Provincial Park in northeastern Ontario two years ago when the bear suddenly grabbed his wife, Jacqueline Perry, and dragged her into the woods.

He wrestled with the animal and repeatedly stabbed it with a pocket knife until the bear finally released Perry.

Tracked by the wounded bear, he managed to drag his wife to the beach,and despite his own injuries, pulled her into their kayak and paddled toward a nearby campsite to get help. Despite his efforts, hiswife did not survive.

After the horrific ordeal on Sept. 6, 2005, Jordan was left with wounds that required 300 stitches to close.

He receivedthe Star of Courage, awarded to people for “acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril,” the Governor General announced this week.

Fourteen others were honouredwiththeMedal of Bravery, “foracts of bravery in hazardous circumstances,” including Pte. Jonathan Beaudin of Lorraine City, Que.

Despite his own injuries Beaudin rescued his team leader trapped inside their submerged armoured vehicle during a night tactical training exercise at CFB Wainright, Alta., on Sept. 20, 2005.

Two women were honouredposthumously. Rachel Davis, 23, died of gunshot wounds to the head after she broke up a gang assault on a teenage boy in Vancouver on Jan. 3, 2004.

Jessica Holman-Price, a 21-year-old from Portugal Cove, N.L., was struck and killed by a snow-removal truck in Montreal in December 2005 after pushing her 11-year-old brother to safety. She was a student at Concordia University at the time.

Four men from Ontario — two police officers and two ambulance attendants — were honoured for rescuing a suicidal woman who had set fire to her house in Ajax, Ont., on Oct. 29, 2005.

Robin Johnston of Bowmanville, Thomas Martin and Const. Leon Sowa of Pickering,and Det.-Const. Paul Stuart of Whitby found the womanhiding under a desk behind office equipment she had placed in front of her for concealment.

Other Medal of Bravery recipients:

  • Matthew Dekoning of Cache Creek, B.C., risked his life to grab a loaded hunting rifle from a suicidal man in a bar in Langley, B.C.
  • Rocky Hanson of Edmonton and Bradley Patrick Roy Smith of Red Deer, Alta., rescued several seniors from a burning apartment complex in Edmonton.
  • Daniel Harold Peacock, 15, of Rimbey, Alta., rescued a friend from drowning and nearly lost his own life when the other teen panicked and pulled him under the water.
  • Claude Plante of Lambton, Que., rescued an elderly man from drowning off Margarita Island in Venezuela, struggling against a powerful undertow.
  • Off-duty firefighter James Daniel Reilly of Toronto rescued a woman from a burning house, charging into the building a third time after being blocked by smoke and flames in his first two attempts. Despite his efforts, the victim did not survive.
  • Gerald Alfred Strickland of Newmans Cove, N.L., saved an elderly couple from their burning house, seconds before the building was destroyed by the fire.


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