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7 Manitobans honoured with medals for acts of courage

A Winnipeg man who was shot in the Dominican Republic while protecting visiting Manitoba students from armed intruders is getting a Star of Courage.

Les Lehmann, 67, went after two men with a bat after they broke into an apartment complex he owns in Puerto Plata in January 2014. He was shot 10 times and beaten but survived and carries permanent scars and other injuries from the attack.

Governor General David Johnston will present Lehmann with the Star of Courage on Friday at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. The ceremony will also recognize 42 other acts of bravery.

The Star of Courage “recognizes acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril,” according to a news release from the federal government.

The following is the citation for Lehmann:

On January 31, 2014, Lester Lehmann defended 26 Canadian students from armed intruders in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Two men were trying to access the hotel rooms where the students were staying. When Mr. Lehmann confronted the assailants, they beat him and left him injured. Undeterred, he grabbed a bat and charged after the men, hitting one of them on the head and knocking him down. The other suspect shot Mr. Lehmann several times before he fled the scene, dragging his unconscious partner with him.

Among those staying at the complex were a dozen students from the Manitoba communities of St. Jean Baptiste and Ste. Anne, many of whom witnessed the violent encounter. They were in the country to help out at a local orphanage, as part of a humanitarian project.

The students and their chaperones, who were unhurt, cut short the trip and returned to Manitoba the next day.

Johnston is also awarding several other Manitobans with the Medal of Bravery, which “recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.”

The citations are listed below:

  • Derron Orlando Brown and Bryan Raymond Henzel (Winnipeg)

On Aug. 5, 2012, Derron Brown and Bryan Henzel rescued three people from a burning recreational vehicle following a head-on collision in Winnipeg. The men helped two passengers out through a rear window before entering the smoke-filled cabin to free the injured driver and bring him to safety.

  • Audrey Gay Hicks and Della Brynn Shore (Arnes)

On June 1, 2014, lifeguards Audrey Hicks and Brynn Shore rescued two men whose sailboat had capsized into the cold waters of Lake Winnipeg near Arnes, Manitoba. Navigating a canoe through rough waters, the women paddled for half an hour to reach the victims, but the waves caused them to overshoot their position. They finally reached the men and hauled them into the canoe. The two women then fought against the waves that threatened to tip their overloaded boat and successfully reached the shore.

On Oct. 18, 2012, Paul Peters, Danny Prive and Jason Quick rescued a man from a burning truck in Winnipeg. The driver of a pick-up truck had collided with and become trapped between two other vehicles, which had caught fire. To add to the danger, several jerry cans had toppled over and spilled fuel on the ground. Despite the risk involved, Peters, Prive and Quick jumped on the hood of the pick-up, pulled off the damaged windshield and helped the driver escape.

Peters and Prive were presented with their medals at a previous ceremony.

  • Gordon Paul Kenneth Tourand (Winnipeg)

On Sept. 18, 2014, building manager Gord Tourand put his own safety at risk to evacuate the occupants of a hotel during a devastating fire in Dauphin, Man. After the flames broke out in the early morning hours, Tourand went to every room in order to evacuate the residents, many of whom were elderly. Undeterred by the thick smoke, he then returned inside the dwelling and attempted to put out the flames, before the smoke forced him to retreat.


Oct 28, 2016

Category: DR News |

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Last updated January 14, 2018 at 12:43 AM
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