Eugene “Frank” Michon (right) receives his medal from Commander Officer Yves Germain on Aug. 17, 2012.
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Eugene “Frank” Michon says he never thought he would receive an award like the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee for his years of service both in the military and as a civilian.
Michon and four other recipients received the award at a ceremony on the HMCS Ville de Québec Friday. Each person was awarded a medal for their years of service in both the military and for their significant contributions to their communities and country.
Michon said he was proud to wear his new medal and placed it right next to his Canadian Forces Decoration medal.
“I feel very proud to be receiving the medal,” Michon said.
“It is an acknowledgement of efforts I have put forward in the military and as a civilian. It means that somebody out there recognizes that I have done something important. When I was a young fella medals weren’t the name of the game. You go out there and do your duty.”
Michon first joined the Royal Canadian Navy in April 1961 where he worked as a marine engineer technician on three destroyers, a frigate and a minesweeper before joining the submarine service.
He said his proudest moments were onboard the submarines HMCS Grilse and HMCS Rainbow.
“I spent five years serving on a submarine in the west coast,” he said. “At the time we only had one submarine and being on that submarine was really special. I really enjoyed being a submariner.”
Capt. Anne Zuliani, who retired in August last year, was one of two women who received the award. Zuliani joined the naval reserve in 1976 and through the years rose to the rank of Captain. She said women in the military back then didn’t have as many options as they do now.
Although she has been successful in her career, Zuliani said she never really thought of herself as a role model for women but a role model for everyone.
“I was just thrilled to be nominated but to be one of the recipients is really special,” Zuliani said. “I tried to be a role model for both men and women. I tried to be a good leader, a good manager of people and a good mentor.”
The following also received a medal:
• Lloyd Melvin Michon
• George Kearney
• Isabelle Mercier
A number of Thunder Bay firefighters were also given awards for exemplary service including:
• Deputy Fire Chief Greg Hankkio
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• Platoon Chief Dave Long
• Platoon Chief Joe Grezelewski
• Director Brian Berringer
• Director Dennis Brescacin
• District Chief Dave Grant
• District Chief Alan Grey
• Capt. Dave March
• Acting Capt. Darren Smallwood