Manitoba Lieutenant Governor

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

The Honourable Anita R. Neville, P.C., O.M.

Canadian Military Intelligence Association Plaque Recognizing Manitoban Contributions to the Special Operations Executive

Remarks by

The Honourable Anita Neville, P.C., O.M.

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba


Manitoba Legislative Building

Thursday, July 13, 2023, 1:00 p.m.

(please check against delivery)



Fellow Manitobans – it is a privilege to join you today in paying tribute to the contributions and sacrifices of Manitobans engaged in a secret struggle for freedom and human dignity.

As Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, I honour and acknowledge that we are gathered on Treaty One land, and in the heartland of the Red River Metis.

This beautiful and diverse province is also the ancestral and the present-day home of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples.

I also recognize that northern Manitoba includes lands that were, and are, the ancestral lands of the Inuit.

Together, we will continue to work to hear truths, and to advance understanding, opportunity, and healing for all.

Canadians have learned in recent decades to face the aspects of their country’s history that fall short of our vision of a just, fair and compassionate country.

But that does not mean we no longer need to tell stories of bravery, innovation, dedication and sacrifice that show our fellow Canadians and fellow Manitobans at their very best. Paying tribute to such stories brings us together and creates a sense of common purpose in those who hear them.

There surely is no group of Manitobans more deserving of a place in this Hall of Honour than those commemorated on this plaque created by the Winnipeg Chapter of the Canadian Military Intelligence Association.

Like others who took part in the fight against fascism – whether in the sky over Europe, on the icy North Atlantic, in fields and forests and towns across Europe or anywhere else — the Manitobans honoured in this plaque risked all to end a genocidal tyranny.

Those involved with the Special Operations Executive took on the most extreme challenges to do so. Secret flights over occupied Europe, secret missions in occupied countries, the uncertainty of clandestine operations that were often improvised gambles – these were some of the many difficulties they faced.

The individuals memorialized here contributed in many ways. Some worked at the highest levels in planning and coordinating special operations. Others carried them out on the ground in constant danger. Many of them flew into enemy fire to insert agents or supply operations.

And as we will see, many of them paid the ultimate price.

Here, in this special place, consecrated to the principles of democracy, visitors will be able to learn about a group of Manitobans who played an essential part in the shadow war against tyranny.

To the Canadian Military Intelligence Association and all of those who supported this project, thank you for keeping the light of history shining on this important story and these great Manitobans.

May generations of visitors to this building find inspiration here.

Thank you. Merci. Meegwich.