If you’ve looked carefully at photos of a Canadian Lieutenant Governor or a Governor General, you might have noticed a person in military uniform standing close by. This is likely an aide-de-camp ( French for field assistant ), an appointed, honorary volunteer. Aides-de-Camp are recognized by the gold braid or ” aiguillette ” they wear on the right shoulder of their uniform.
Sometimes recognized as a Chief of Staff, the aide is a personal assistant. It is the responsibility of the Honorary Aide-de-Camp to remain near the Lieutenant Governor at all times in order to assist in any way, to ward off any awkward situations, and to ensure the Lieutenant Governor is not “pressed” by individuals or large groups of people. The Aide will normally confirm arrangements with the organizer of an event, meet with the hosts, and visit the site in advance. Sometimes a rehearsal or dry run will be required. On the spot changes to the itinerary or programme must have the approval of the Aide.
Donald Cameron was Wing Commander, senior staff officer at RCAF Reserve Headquarters, Vancouver at the time of his appointment as Aide-de-Camp to Lieutenant Governor George Pearkes and his wife in the 1960s. It must have been an interesting military career for Cameron; not only did he have honours as related to the job itself, but he also had two very special assignments that he completed with honour!
If you would like to know more about Donald Cameron, come into the museum and chat with us!