His Honour, Colonel the Honourable Donald S. Ethell, OC, OMM, AOE, MSC, CD, LLD was installed as the 17th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta on May 11, 2010. His vice-regal duties came following a distinguished career in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Donald Ethell was born in Victoria. B.C. and joined the Canadian Army (Regular) as a rifleman in the Queen’s Own Rifles in 1955. He moved to the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in 1970 and was commissioned as an officer in 1972. His service included NATO duties in Germany as well as extensive service in Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Central America and the Balkans. During the first Persian Gulf War he served as the Chief of Staff/Deputy Force Commander with the Middle East-based Multinational Force & Observers. In 1987 he received the Meritorious Service Cross for his work with neutral observers to plan and negotiate large scale, short notice prisoner of war exchanges in the Middle East. His last tour of duty was as the Canadian Head of Mission to the European Community’s Military Mission to the former Yugoslavia during the wars of 1992 in both Croatia and Bosnia. Colonel Ethell retired from the Army in 1993.
In retirement, he travelled extensively as a military advisor and worked to support veterans causes. He also became involved with CARE Canada, which maintains refugee camps in Eastern Kenya and Somalia, and with the International Committee for the Relief of Starvation and Suffering (ICROSS), which delivers aid to Africans facing starvation and AIDS-related illnesses.
Don and his wife, Linda, have been married since February 1960. Their family includes two sons and daughters-in-law, Darrell/Ruth and Doug/Iryna, and two grandchildren, Natalie and Alec.
In 2023 Don was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Regiment Senate.