Intrepid’s Exploits Honored

Governer General Schreyer presents Order of Canada to Will Stephenson Feb 6 1980.
Governor General Schreyer presents Order of Canada to Sir William Stephenson.

Ottawa Citizen 6 February 1980

HAMILTON, Bermuda (CP) — It was a long time coming, but former spy chief Sir William Stephenson received the Order of Canada in a ceremony Tuesday at his hilltop home here.

Winnipeg-born Sir William, 84, was helped to his feet to accept his citation making him a Companion of the Order — Canada’s highest honor — from Gov. Gen. Ed Schreyer, who made a special trip to the British island.

Sir William, who earned the code name Intrepid from the late British prime minister Winston Churchill, has lived quietly in Bermuda for 17 years.

He was Churchill’s personal envoy in New York and director of British security co-ordination in the Western Hemisphere from 1940 to 1946. Some of Sir William’s exploits remain classified, but he was the subject of a best-selling book and a television series.

“He played a key role in the Second World War when, amongst other notable achievements, he organized and directed so daring an espionage network that it is credited with playing an important part in the allied victory,” the citation said.

With guests lining both sides of the room at Sir William’s home, Schreyer placed the medal around the neck of the former British intelligence chief.

In a voice barely audible, Sir William replied “This is a heartwarming occasion for me — very sincerely.

“Particularly as you (the Governor General) have been so gracious to invest me yourself personally — for taking the trouble to do that. That makes it a double honor. I thank you.”

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