Donald Ethell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
His Honour Colonel The Honourable
Donald Stewart Ethell
Donald Ethell.jpg
17th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Assumed office
11 May 2010
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Michaëlle Jean
David Johnston
Premier Ed Stelmach
Alison Redford
Dave Hancock
Jim Prentice
Preceded by Norman Kwong
Personal details
Born (1937-07-23) July 23, 1937 (age 77)
Vancouver, British Columbia
Spouse(s) Linda Ethell
Profession Soldier

Donald Stewart Ethell OC OMM AOE MSC CD (born July 23, 1937[1]) is a retired Canadian soldier, the 17th and current Lieutenant Governor of Alberta since April 2010.


Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, to a nurse and a navy chief petty officer, he enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1955 after being rejected by the Navy and rejected from the Air Force.[2]

Ethell enlisted as a rifleman in the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada at the age of 17 and underwent basic training at the Currie Barracks in Calgary. He served in Germany during the Cold War and rebadged to Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in 1970 when the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada was removed from regular army service. He rose through the non-commissioned officer ranks to warrant officer until he was commissioned as an officer in 1972.

Demonstrating an ability for leadership, Ethell eventually rose to the rank of colonel. He eventually became a veteran of 14 international peacekeeping deployments, with service in Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Central America and the Balkans.

Following his military retirement, Colonel Ethell became involved in humanitarian efforts, including CARE Canada.

He is an officer in the Order of Canada[3] and the Order of Military Merit[4] and a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence.

Lieutenant governor[edit]

On 8 April 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced his appointment as the next Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.[5] He was installed on 11 May 2010.[6] He was made a Knight of Justice in the Venerable Order of Saint John on September 11, 2010, and installed as vice prior of the order's Alberta Council.[7]

As the vice-regal representative in Alberta, he is styled "His Honour" while in office and has the right to the style "the Honourable" for life. He succeeded Norman Kwong.


Arms of Donald Ethell
June 15, 2011
An umbrella thorn acacia tree proper
Or two swords in saltire Bleu Céleste hilted Azure between four infantry helmets Bleu Céleste, a chief dancetty Azure
Two lions per fess Or and Azure
A grassy mount set with poppy flowers proper
Duty and service above all
The ribbon of the Order of Canada: Desiderantes meliorem patriam "(They desire a better country)". The insignia of a Companion of the Order of Canada, Officer of the Order of Military Merit and Member of the Alberta Order of Excellence
Blue and yellow are the provincial colours of Alberta, as well as the national colours of Sweden, Her Honour’s ancestral country. The crossed swords symbolize infantry and thus mark His Honour’s military career with the Queen’s Own Rifles and Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. The four helmets represent a formation of soldiers, the light blue colour indicating United Nations peacekeepers, marking the fact that His Honour was deployed on 14 international peacekeeping missions. The upper section refers to the mountains of Alberta, especially the Three Sisters mountains near Canmore, and also to His Honour’s love of mountain climbing. The umbrella thorn acacia tree is characteristic of the African savannah, and it is also found in the Middle East. It therefore alludes to His Honour’s work with development agencies in Africa after his retirement from the Canadian Forces, and to the peacekeeping missions in the Middle East for which he was deployed. This type of tree is notable for its large canopy, its hardiness and the variety of uses to which its products can be put. It can therefore serve as a metaphor for aiding and protecting others. The lions refer to His Honour’s sign of the Zodiac, Leo. The grassy base indicates the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, a reference to His Honour’s home in Calgary. The poppies symbolize his involvement in veterans’ organizations.[8]


External links[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada
Order of precedence in Alberta
as of 2014
Succeeded by
Jim Prentice, Premier of Alberta