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A little bit of History

Our school was named after Canada’s first French-Canadian Governor General, Georges P. Vanier. We are proud to be part of his legacy and accomplishments.

Georges Vanier

Georges Vanier

Who was Georges Vanier?

Georges P. Vanier

1888 – 1967 Governor-General of Canada

Canada’s first French-Canadian Governor General, Georges Vanier, was born in Montreal, Quebec on April 23, 1888. He took pride in the fact the Vanier name was represented in the first Canadian census in 1681. Upon graduating from Laval University in 1911, he became a lawyer.

Mr. Vanier was the founding member of the “Vandoos” and served overseas as an officer in World War I. During a battle in 1918, his right leg was shattered by an artillery shell and had to be amputated. He was awarded the Military Cross for bravery.

Refusing to let this disability stand in his way, Mr. Vanier embarked upon a public service career and in 1939 he was named Ambassador to France. When Hitler’s troops stormed France during World War II, Mr. Vanier and his family narrowly escaped from the German army by making their way to safety in England on a fishing boat.

After World War II, Mr. Vanier was appointed Canadian Ambassador to France. Upon retiring in 1953, he and his wife Pauline, became active in charity work focusing on families.

Prime Minister John Diefenbaker asked Mr. Vanier if he would consider coming out of retirement to accept the position of Governor General of Canada. Mr. Vanier gladly took on the responsibility of becoming the representative of the Crown in Canada. Queen Elizabeth II made the formal announcement of the appointment during a State Visit to open the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959.

Governor General Vanier proved to be popular and so well respected by all Canadians, that at the end of his five year appointment, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson asked him to remain in the position during Canada’s 100th anniversary celebrations. Mr. Vanier died while still in office on March 5, 1967.

Today, numerous elementary schools and high schools across the country are named in honour of this outstanding Canadian.