Thursday, November 15, 2007

Queen's Service Order
The Queen's Service Order was established by Queen Elizabeth II on 13 March 1975. It is a New Zealand Order awarded for "for valuable voluntary service to the community or meritorious and faithful services to the Crown or similar services within the public sector, whether in elected or appointed office", excepting military service. This Order was created after a review of New Zealand's honours system in 1974.
Awarded in Public and Community Service divisions, receipients of this award are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "QSO". Members of the Order are styled "Companion". "Extra" and "Additional" Companions can be added to the membership in the case of members of the Royal Family and former Governors-General, respectively.
The insignia of the order is a stylised manuka flower with five petals, which contains the effigy of the reigning monarch surrounded by a red circle indicating the division of the Order for which it was awarded (i.e. For Public Service or For Community Service). This circle is royally crowned. The ribbon has a traditional Maori motif of black, white and red diagonal 'steps' in the centre with red stripes along each edge of the ribbon. The insignia is worn on the left lapel of the coat or from a ribbon tied in a bow at the left shoulder.
There is also a related Queen's Service Medal, which is a silver circular medal bearing the effigy of the reigning monarch on the obverse, and the Coat of Arms of New Zealand on the reverse. The ribbon or bow pattern is the same as the Queen's Service Order. The Medal is also awarded in the same two divisions as the Order.

See also

British and Commonwealth orders and decorations
New Zealand Honours System

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