A Vancouver Starbucks manager who died saving the life of a co-worker is one of 21 Canadians awarded the Medal of Bravery by the Governor General on Friday.
Tony McNaughton, 39, was stabbed to death while trying to protect a woman co-worker from her estranged husband who was armed with a knife.
The woman escaped unharmed. Her husband was tried and convicted of second-degree murder.
McNaughton died in the arms of Vancouver Police Sgt. Gerry Pike, who was one of the officers who responded to the 911 call.
"I knew this man for 20 seconds and would later discover that he had done the most heroic thing that I had ever seen in my life," he said.
That selfless act of courage was recognized on Friday at a special ceremony in Quebec City, as McNaughton's partner, Allen Sawkins, accepted the award.
"It's a double-edged sword. I'm extremely proud to have had this person in my life for 12 years, and for him to have done what he did," says Sawkins. "But it doesn't overshadow that I should be here watching him receive the award."
McNaughton was one of four British Columbians who received Medals of Bravery Friday from the Governor General. .
Governor General's awards
Surrey school teacher Mohamed Chelali was also honoured for stopping the attempted assassination of French President Jacques Chirac on July 14, 2002 in Paris.
Chelali tackled a man who had aimed a rifle at Chirac during the annual Bastille day parade in the French capital and then helped hold the man down until police arrived.
Chelali has also received the Legion d'Honneur. The award, which is equivalent to a British knighthood, is France's highest honour.
B.C. hero honoured by France
Two men from the B.C. Interior also received Medals of Bravery Friday. James Samuel Graff of Kelowna and Earl Douglas Spence of Midway rescued an elderly woman from a burning house on July 3, 2001.
Graff and Spence saw smoke coming from the house in Midway and forced their way past the woman's disturbed husband, forcing open a locked door.
They then crawled on their hands and knees through thick black smoke, calling out to the woman who refused to co -operate.
When they saw her, they grabbed the woman and pulled her to safety.