Better know a Canadian functionary: the Chief of Protocol of Canada

The Chief of Protocol of Canada is a senior official at Global Affairs Canada (formerly the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development) (formerly the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (formerly the Department of Foreign Affairs) (formerly the Department of External Affairs).

It is his or her job to keep straight a confusing mishmash of levels of seniority, forms of address and details of etiquette for every country, culture and religion the Canadian government may have to deal with so that our ambassadors don’t shame the nation by wearing the wrong socks or burping into the soup or referring to a chieftain as “Your Fancifulness” when he should be called “Your Most Irresistible” or something like that.

The government’s need for someone to handle protocol began when the Department of External Affairs was founded in 1909. The subject was handled ably by the deputy minister, Sir Joseph Pope, for whom this sort of nitpicking was a hobby. When Sir Joseph retired in 1925, the responsibility nominally passed to his successor, Oscar Douglas Skelton, but in practice it went to an official named Howard Measures, who had been the Department’s protocol expert since the waning years of Sir Joseph’s tenure. Measures was eventually appointed as the first official Chief of Protocol in 1930.

The Chiefs of Protocol of Canada have been:

William Howard Measures, 1930-58.
Herbert Frederick Brooks-Hill “Temp” Feaver, 1958-61.
Henry Francis Davis, 1961-65.
Christopher Campbell Eberts, 1966-69.
Norman Frederick Henderson Berlis, 1969-72.
E. Benjamin Rogers, 1972-75.
James Barker, 1975-78.
André Couvrette, 1978-81.
L.H. Amyot, 1981-83.
Georges-Henri Blouin, 1983-86.
Théodore Jean Arcand, 1986-89.
Pierrette Lucas, 1989-92.
Lawrence David Lederman, 1993-97.
Alain Dudoit, 1997-2000.
Richard Kohler, 2000-2003.
Robert Collette, 2003-05.
Malcolm McKechnie, 2005-07.
Robert William Peck, 2007-10.
Margaret Huber, 2010-13.
Angela Bogdan, 2013-now.

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