L.Col. John Chew Mean Mah, G.C.St. J., C.D., Q.C.


John Mah arms


John Mah badge John Mah flag
flag (banner)

Differenced arms of his children:

Andrew Augustus Mah arms
Carolyn Irene Mah arms
Andrew Augustus Mah

Artist: David Farrar

Registered in The Chinese Armorial, November 7, 2011.

Arms: Azure a Pegasus rampant Argent gorged with bauhinia flowers proper, holding between its forelegs a terrestrial globe, all within a tressure Or charged at each angle with a Maltese cross Argent.

Crest: Issuant from a coronet erablé Gules the circlet charged with mullets Or, a demi-tiger vambraced and gauntleted proper holding in the dexter paw a balance Or.


Badge: Two Curtana swords in saltire Or surmounted by a torteau charged with a horse’s head Or

Flag: A banner of the Arms

Grant: Canadian Heraldic Authority, The Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada, Volume V, page 120, March 15, 2007.

Background and History:

John Mah, Q.C., is a partner in the law firm Chomicki Baril Mah LLP in Edmonton, Alberta, and Hong Kong. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the Canadian Forces. He is also a past Governor of the University of Alberta and past National Chair of the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association. He was the first Chinese Canadian to be appointed as Chancellor of the Priory of Canada of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. In 2009, he was promoted to Bailiff Grand Cross, the highest grade of the Order.

The horse represents the Chinese name Mah, meaning horse. The Maltese crosses joined by a thin line to portray a simple collar of office allude to the armiger's significant participation in leadership positions in the Order of St. John. The globe illustrates his interests and activities around the world. The bauhinia flower is an emblem of Hong Kong.

The tiger indicates that Col. Mah was born in the Chinese year of the tiger. The tiger's armour and scales are based on those of the JAG badge. The coronet represents his service to the Sovereign of Canada as a military officer serving the “Maple crown”. The gold stars on red are based on the flag of China, alluding to his birth there.

The Latin motto means “Strength through knowledge”.

The coat of arms is shown with the decoration of a Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order of St. John and the Canadian Forces Decoration suspended from the shield.

Col. Mah's grant of arms also granted differenced arms to his son Andrew Augustus Mah and daughter Carolyn Irene Mah. Andrew's arms are differenced by a three-pointed label, a mark of cadency for the first son in the Canadian heraldic system. Andrew will inherit his father's coat of arms.

Personal Arms