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Sonya Mount

Participant Gold

Participant Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Memories

My record book started in December 1969.  It is a “Girls” record book because girls, as we were called, had a different program than the boys. After completion of Bronze and Silver I completed my Gold Award in 1973.  It was presented to me by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh on August 1, 1973 in Ottawa.

I was not part of a group but rather completed the program on my own, after being introduced to the program by another local who had also obtained her Gold Award on her own.   Because of my situation my sponsor was Commander George Mason who answered my questions and of course signed off on my progress.  Everything was done through the mail or on the telephone. The program for me was a way to combine all my interests and activities into one achievable goal.

The Gold Award ceremony was the only one I had.  My parents and I drove to Ottawa, an eight-hour drive, and stayed at a friend of my Mother’s.   There are no pictures because they were expressly forbidden.  I do remember that I wore an orange and white mini dress, matching platform shoes and of course the mandatory white gloves.  His Royal Highness was gracious and curious, my parents always insisted that he spoke with me the longest; parents are like that.

I had the opportunity to meet Prince Philip again at a fundraiser in Toronto in the early 1980s.  It was open to Award Alumni, we did not attend the dinner but rather he came in and “worked the room” for a bit, spoke with each of us and then left.  Unfortunately, again no photos.

I have my letters, the activity book, my record book, my certificates and of course my pins.  The recent death of the Duke of Edinburgh prompted me to read and remember.  The Duke of Edinburgh Award was part of my youth. The program provided me with and continues to provide many with a sense of direction and accomplishment.   I am proud to be part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Alumni, and when people mention His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh in conversation; I am particularly proud to humbly say “I’ve met him twice”.

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