Ralph MacNally

It is a sad time in my life, and I know it is the same for many others because we laid to rest HRH Prince Phillip, who was an inspirational leader to the world and the visionary who founded the Duke of Edinburgh's award program to support youth on their self development journey.

I received my gold level award from HRH in June of 1978 in Alberta. Other than my marriage and the birth of my son that royal handshake ranks as one of the most memorable moments in my life. I had a smile on from ear to ear. He noticed my blackened thumbnail while shaking my hand and jovially asked if I was the black sheep in the family. I laughed and said looks like it and told him about my accident a week ago.

I am grateful to HRH for the self development opportunity. My favorite section is called the Adventurous Journey now. I was in the Boy Scout program when our troop leader Larry Mercer got us involved with the DOE program. I recall completing two very memorable canoe trips. One thru Algonquin park, the second to Moosonee via Fraser Dale.

These challenges taught me how to plan and execute an adventure, the importance of team work to achieve goals and the value of being prepared and adaptable. Other life lessons that still put a smile on my face some 45 years later as follows: When portaging a canoe do not spit if you are wearing a bug net. Right Jim! LOL. Do not dangle your hot feet in dark water inhabited by Northern pike as they could nibble on your toes which is very startling. Right Geoff & Randy. LOL.

I still use skills I developed as a youth today. I chose a career in mining exploration and can say I have been on numerous adventures! I would encourage any youth looking into this self development program to get involved and complete it. Initially you may not know where it might lead you, but it is worth your time and effort and it is priceless just like HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

Thank You Prince Phillip and RIP

Ralph MacNally, Ontario, Canada
(1978 Award Photo)