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RCMP salutes history's unsung heroes

Former members' wives honoured with Second Man Award

ALLISTON, ON, Oct. 2, 2013 - A ceremony was held on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, in which S/S/M Rob Akin of the 'O' Division RCMP, and the President of the Georgian Bay RCMP Veterans' Association, retired Sergeant Dennis Roughley paid tribute to the wives of RCMP members who helped to support their husbands' policing careers while living in some of the country's most isolated communities.

Mary Hagymasi, Staff Sgt. Major Robert Akin, Janet Keough and retired Sgt. Dennis Roughley (President of the Georgian Bay RCMP Veteran's Association)
Mary Hagymasi, Staff Sgt. Major Robert Akin, Janet Keough and retired Sgt. Dennis Roughley (President of the Georgian Bay RCMP Veteran's Association)

Mary Elizabeth Hagymasi and Janet M. Keough received the Second Man Award - an honorary, silver brooch with the RCMP's crest, and a certificate of appreciation from the RCMP Commissioner. The creation of the Second Man Award was approved by the RCMP in October 2010.  The contributions are chronicled in the 2004 book, "When the Second Man was a Woman," by Ruth Lee-Knight, the inspiration behind the Second Man Award.

Thirteen women will be honoured in three separate presentations across 'O' Division, with a total 468 recipients across the country.  They are being honoured for the often unrecognized support they provided to the RCMP from the 1900s onwards. Each of their stories outlines unique challenges and hardships they endured while on post, often living in inadequate housing and with growing families of their own to tend to.

During this period of the Force's history, women often performed a range of duties in support of police operations, from answering phones, to searching female prisoners, and providing prisoner meals. Their homes often served as the accommodations for visiting RCMP senior officers, judges, doctors and nurses to whom they also provided meals and entertainment.

S/S/M Rob Akin who served as Masters of Ceremonies for the 'O' Division presentation remarked, "The RCMP is honoured by the selfless support provided by each of these women to the RCMP members in the conduct of their duties, and by their assistance to the people in these remote communities. Their contributions are a proud part of our history."

For further information:

Sgt. Richard Rollings,
RCMP Media Relations
'O' Division (Ontario)
(416) 992-4409