Dr. Thierry Chopin will receive the Medal of the Order from Mr. Vincent Hommeril, Consul Général of France in the Atlantic Provinces, at a ceremony at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, on February 27, 2015.
Dr. Chopin was Honorary Vice-Consul of France from 2001 to 2010, and has been Honorary Consul since 2011. He has also been a professor of marine biology at UNB Saint John since 1989.
The Ordre National du Mérite was founded on December 3, 1963, by Président Charles de Gaulle. It is an Order of State and is awarded by the President of the French Republic, Grand Master of the Order, on the advice of his Ministers (the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Mr. Laurent Fabius, in the case of Dr. Chopin). Général Jean Louis Georgelin is the present Chancellor of the Order, which has about 190,000 members.
French citizens, as well as foreign nationals, men and women, can be received into the Order, for distinguished civil or military achievements. It is the second highest honour of France for civilians, after the Légion d’Honneur.
For Dr. Chopin, this is a proud moment. “I have been involved with the French and francophone communities of New Brunswick for 15 years. I have been at UNB for 25 years, and this month, I will have spent as much time in my adoptive Canada as in my native France.”
“What a wonderful way to mark this milestone with such an honour, reflecting both the services rendered and a profound attachment to my roots!”
Dr. Chopin was inducted as Chevalier in the Ordre National du Mérite by decree of the Président of the République Française, Mr. François Hollande, on November 13, 2014.
Media contact: Heather Campbell