What do Céline Dion, Oscar Peterson, Jean Béliveau and Lotta Hitschmanova all have in common?

What could possibly link together such a diverse group of beloved Canadians: a singer, a pianist, a hockey player and a humanitarian?

Could it be that each became household names far beyond the borders of Canada? That starting from very humble beginnings, each has made an enduring mark in their respective professions? Or might it be the uniforms that both Lotta and Jean Béliveau wore?

The answer simply put is that each received from the Governor General Canada’s top civilian honour: becoming a Companion of the Order of Canada.

It is a year of celebrations, Canada turns 150, and the Order of Canada, established in 1967, turns 50 itself.

Of special note, as we approach World Refugee Day on June 20, is that amongst the 7,000 Canadians  who have worn the Order of Canada insignia, Dr Lotta is one of the very few refugees to Canada to have been granted this honour.

Canada would be a very different place indeed, were it not for her contributions to our country’s social history in the 1940s to 1980s.

Thank you Lotta!

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