Carnegie Hero Fund Commission president Eric P. Zahren traveled to Ottawa, Ont., to present the Carnegie Medal to the family of Michael Lumahang and Jesse T. Haw at a Nov. 9 ceremony held at the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General.
Michael Lumahang’s posthumous medal was presented to his mother, Aquilina Tremblay. Also pictured are Haw, left, accepting the Carnegie Medal from Zahren at the joint ceremony.
On Aug. 23, 2014, a 12-year-old boy slipped and fell into the Ottawa River in Ottawa. Lumahang, who was with the boy, jumped into the 65-degree water and moved toward the boy. The two shouted for help.
Haw was nearby, heard them shouting, and responded to the scene. He swam to Lumahang and the boy and grasped both of them. Haw swam with them toward the bank, but submerged a few times. Unable to continue to swim with both of them, Haw and Lumahang separated, and Lumahang was taken downstream by the current. Haw swam with the boy toward the bank where others took him from the water. Lumahang submerged and drowned.
The presentation was part of Zahren’s visit to the Canadian Chancellery of Honours, which grants decorations and medals in recognition for Canadians tremendous contributions to society.
“Granting honours is a gracious, tangible, and lasting way to pay tribute to people whose achievements are exceptional, who have performed outstanding acts of bravery, or who have benefited Canada or humanity in general,” the Govenor General website states.
Lumahang and Haw also received the Canadian Medal of Bravery.