RCMP Assistant Commissioner Tracy Hardy honoured 22 Second Man recipients today at RCMP Headquarters in St. John’s.
A news release notes the Second Man Award is being presented to 468 women across the country who were the wives of RCMP members working in one or two-man detachments from the 1940's to the 1970's.
The presentation recognized their dedication and commitment to their spouses and the work of the RCMP.
Out of the 22 women being honoured in Newfoundland and Labrador, 19 recipients or family members were present today.
The release states the women were ultimately unpaid members who answered phones, searched female prisoners, and provided prisoner meals. They often used their homes as a hotel for visiting senior officers, court judges, doctors and nurses to whom they also provided meals and entertainment.
All of this done in very remote locations with inadequate housing and growing families of their own to which they had to tend. They provided these services out of loyalty to their husbands who were stationed by the RCMP to various areas of the country, each location bringing their own unique challenges.
In October 2010, the previous RCMP Commissioner, William Elliott, approved the creation of a recognition for the wives of RCMP members who served from the 1900's to the 1970's, and whose contributions are chronicled in a book entitled, "When the Second Man was a Woman" by Ruth Lee-Knight.
The RCMP Veterans' Association National Office in Ottawa was responsible for communicating with veterans across the country to solicit nominations with a deadline of Feb. 28, 2013.
Across Canada, 468 recipients were identified and each recipient has, or will, receive a broach in the shape of the RCMP crest and a certificate of appreciation from the Commissioner.