Fanshawe President Receives France’s Highest Honour

Photo of Peter J. Devlin during his time as Commander of the Canadian Military.

Fanshawe President Peter Devlin was given the highest honour possible in France on Thursday, for work he did prior to his time at the college.

Devlin was invested into France’s National Order of the Legion of Honour in recognition of his efforts to promote strong relations between the Canadian and French Armies while he was Commander of the Canadian Army. The event at the French Embassy in Ottawa was hosted by His Excellency Nicolas Chapuis, the new French Ambassador to Canada, and the award was given by General Gratien Maire, French vice chief of defence staff.

Devlin served in the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 35 years and was commander from June 2010 to July 2013.

According to a media release from Fanshawe College, Devlin deployed on several operational missions to Cyprus, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq and always encouraged international cooperation between armies. Throughout his extensive career Devlin developed professional and friendly ties with the French Army.

The National Order of the Legion of Honour was established by French Emperor Napolean Bonaparte in May 1802 to recognize distinguished accomplishments of service to France and is the highest decoration in France. It is divided into five degrees: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross). Peter Devlin was welcomed in the degree of Officer.

“I am tremendously honoured to receive this award from France,” says Devlin. “The French Army is an important ally to Canada and it was rewarding to have strong, courageous and professional French and Canadian soldiers working together.”