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Retiring Dutch Consul receives a special Medal of Merit

Dr. Westenberg longest serving of all

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

KINGSTON, Ontario - The longest serving honorary consul of the Netherlands in Canada, Dr. Hans Westenberg of Kingston, Ontario, was honoured with a very special Gold Medal of Merit at his recent retirement party.

In his introductory remarks, Dutch ambassador Wim Geerts praised Westenberg for his “exceptional and personal efforts for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and for the international relations of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.”

As the longest serving honorary consul, Dr. Westenberg was described as a cornerstone for the Dutch community in and around Kingston for 45 years. Throughout the years, Dr. Westenberg established a tremendous network and acted as an exemplary member of the network of Dutch missions in Canada, noted the ambassador, who himself is subject to a new diplomatic posting every three years.

The Dutch Medal of Merit was created in 2010 by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, as “a lasting memory of extraordinary and special services on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the advancement of international relations on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.” Only four have been awarded to date; two in silver and now two in gold.