Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157

Remembrance Day in Amherstburg features largest parade since WWII ended

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Remembrance Day in Amherstburg was even more memorable than ever this year.

While Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 did its usual excellent job organizing the parade and the service at the cenotaph, it was made extra special this year due to the parade’s size. Capt. Richard Girard, zone Sgt. At Arms, told those who marched that it was the largest parade in Amherstburg since the conclusion of World War II in 1945.

The Remembrance Day parade heads westbound on Richmond St. en route to the cenotaph.

“This is the proudest day I’ve had in a long time,” Girard told the parade participants after its conclusion outside of Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 Saturday morning.

The ceremony at the cenotaph included the roll call of all Amherstburg veterans who died at war and also included two minutes of silence to remember all of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey offered thanks to all of those who served Canada and also thanked the young people who attended the Remembrance Day ceremony. That included the members of the 202 Fort Malden Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps.

A member of the #202 Fort Malden Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps salutes as part of Nov. 11 ceremonies.

Ramsey also read a poem sent to her from St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School student Kathleen Drouillard, which captured the spirit of the day.

“It’s incredibly important that young people understand the sacrifices made by so many to have the freedom we have today,” said Ramsey.

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak said people have the “solemn obligation to remember” and that he was honoured to be in the presence of all of the veteran on Remembrance Day. Natyshak stated that “peace came with so much sacrifice” and that veterans need to be taken care of when they are at home.

Capt. Richard Girard, a Korean War veteran, salutes after laying a wreath in memory of his brother.

“Our debt is a debt that can never be repaid but by being here, we honour their sacrifice,” he added.

CAO John Miceli represented the town of Amherstburg and he read an address from Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, who was recovering from surgery. DiCarlo’s remarks, as read by Miceli, noted that “we are a better country” because of our veterans and that it is sad many are now passing away.

“The young generation of today will not have the honour of knowing our veterans like we have,” Miceli read.

The mayor added, via the CAO, that today’s youth need to be educated on the sacrifices of veterans and added “liberties and freedoms didn’t come by chance, but by the sacrifices of men and women.”

The Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 colour guard leads the Remembrance Day parade back to the branch Nov. 11.

Laurie Cavanaugh, president of Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157, thanked those who participated in the parade and all of those that attended the Remembrance Day service. She added the cadets stood guard at the cenotaph late Friday night as part of their tribute.

Cavanaugh added there were a lot of volunteers that helped make the Remembrance Day parade and service a reality and that the Legion was grateful for their efforts.

Legion Week gets started with parade and awards

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Legion Week began in Amherstburg last Saturday morning with the annual parade with some awards and medals following.

The parade took place Saturday and left from in behind General Amherst High School and went down to the Cenotaph where a “drum head” service took place. It was explained by Zone Sgt. At Arms Richard Girard that in times of conflict, pipe bands that were utilized often piled their drums so that ministers could use them for altars when needed.

That was re-enacted Saturday morning with the aid of the Sun Parlour Pipes and Drums with Rev. Maynard Hurst blessing the drum head. Hurst also recognized the veterans and those who served, as well as Rev. John Burkhart.

Burkhart, Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157’s regular chaplain, couldn’t attend Saturday’s service due to his health.

As part of the Legion Week parade, a drum head ceremony was held Saturday at the Cenotaph.

Legion Br. 157 recognized the people who saw it move to its current location, as president Laurie Cavanaugh pointed out Legion members talked about making things easier for the Ladies Auxiliary. The Ladies Auxiliary previously had to go up flights of stairs with food after preparing meals at home but the Legion was able to address that need in 1981 and the current design of the Legion was created.

Cavanaugh added the Legion has always been thankful of its volunteers, and that continued today.

“It’s about the volunteers,” she said. “We are thankful to our volunteers. Thank you to everyone who comes and helps out at the Legion and to everyone who showed up (for Saturday’s Legion Week ceremonies).”

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said there are those in the public who only realize what the Legion does on Remembrance Day but pointed out the Legion does good things for people in the community every other day of the year as well. He encouraged other people in the community to join the Legion.

“If you are not a member, please become one,” he said.

Charles Goodchild was recognized for his 60 years as part of the Legion. Patti Hayes, executive assistant to Essex MPP Taras Natyshak, presents him with a certificate.

DiCarlo thanked the Legion and those who fought for Canada for what they have done for the town and country.

“We will be forever in your debt,” he said.

Among the associate members recognized for ten years of service were Judith Bondy, Jacqueline Carroll, Sheila Meunier, Brian Sukarukoff and Amber Turner.

Warde Yorke and Richard Girard salute during the Sept. 16 Legion Week ceremony at the Cenotaph.

Those reaching the 15-year mark as an associate member are Tracy Beaudoin, Ronald Haystead, Alvin Jackson, Marguerite Jones, Virginia Moore, James Repaye and John Purdie. Recognized for 20 years are Tim DeHetre, Ed Delisle, Gerald Langlois, Linda McCourt, M.J. McLean, J.R. Murray and Pete Reid.

Those reaching the 25-year milestone as an associate member are Brian Barrett, Ronald Belward, Jennifer Brunett, Margaret Cote, John Richard Crozier, John Gorgerat and David Iler. Hitting the 30-year milestone are Bea Gibb, Janet Martlin, Peter McEwen and JoAnn Mooney.

Recognized for 35 years as an associate member are Marion DeCarlo and Randy Fox while 40 year pins went to Val DiPierdomenico, Kathryn Lancop, Charles Sanford and Robert Vance.

Linda McCort (left) and Pat Amlin (right) present Richard Girard and Charles Goodchild with watches in recognition of their Korean War service.

Awards to affiliate voting members went to Peter Thyrring (10 years) and Albert Beneteau, Carol Cormier, Michael Duby, Carl Gibb, William McLean, D. Ross and Michael Sullivan (20 years).

Pins for ordinary members went to Bryan Giles and Frederick Wilkinson for their 10 years of service, Fifteen-year pins went to Cornelis Heeren, Leo Lapage, Terrance Sawchuk and Jeff Turner, while Bart DiPasquale, Nick Hertlein, Reg Major, Marcel Pare and John Walsh will receive 20-year pins. Chris Bebbington will be recognized for 25 years as an ordinary member while Gary Rung will be honoured for 30 years. Recognized for 35 years will be Lori Parent and Richard St. Aubin while W.C. Briand and M.R. Hagarty will be recognized for 45 years.

Linda McCort (left) presents Pat Waugh with a pin for her 55 years of service to the Ladies Auxiliary.

Charles Goodchild was on hand to receive his 60 year pin, with Nadine Abiraad and Patti Hayes making presentations to him on behalf of Essex MP Tracey Ramsey and Essex MPP Taras Natyshak respectively.

Goodchild and Girard were also presented with watches as part of the Royal Canadian Legion’s recognition of Korean War veterans.

The Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 colour guard also received Legion Volunteer Service Medals.

The Ladies Auxiliary honoured Pat Waugh for her 55 years of service while Vera Botting was recognized for her 25 years of service. Kris Martin, Mary Ann Hasson, Bea Gibb and Ruth Ann Rocheleau were honoured for their 20 years of service to the L.A., while Dianne Breault, Debbie Sullivan and Jeannine Theriault were honoured for 15 years of service.

Melissa Pelletier, Linda McCort and Pat Sheardown were recognized for ten years of service while Mary Ann Brooker was honoured for five years of service.

Ladies Auxiliary holds steak dinner for families affected by Gore St. fire

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

After a fire destroyed their lives, the community has banded together to support two local families affected by the tragedy.

“My best friend is the owner of the house so we decided to do it for them,” said Ladies Auxiliary executive committee member and volunteer Jennifer Gammon. “We want to raise money for both of the families so they can start over again, start paying rent and get themselves back on track. It warms my heart because I love helping people and being able to make their lives better.”

Jessica Cockram and Erik Renaud sit outside the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 157 Saturday before the steak dinner is served with their two sons Logan and Easton. The proceeds from the Ladies Auxiliary steak dinner will be split between them and their neighbor who was also affected by the fire.

Jessica Cockram and Erik Renaud sit outside the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 157 Saturday before the steak dinner is served with their two sons Logan and Easton. The proceeds from the Ladies Auxiliary steak dinner will be split between them and their neighbor who was also affected by the fire.

Jessica Cockram, fiancé Erik Renaud and their two boys were present at the event Saturday to express their sincere gratitude for everyone who has reached out and helped them in some way. She explained the night of the fire, they had been up cleaning their house until 4 a.m. They were woken up at 7:30 a.m. by the fire alarms going off and the house filled with thick, black smoke. Renaud woke up first and yelled at Cockram to get the kids. She grabbed their son Logan, while he grabbed their son Easton and they all ran outside. They were able to save their dog, the firefighters rescued one of their cats, but they lost all of their reptiles and two cats in the fire, along with all of their belongings.

“Everybody has been amazing, I had people bringing stuff to us while we were at the end of the street,” said Cockram. “We’re looking for a place but it’s so hard to find in Amherstburg. We’re staying at Erik’s grandfather’s right now just taking it day-by-day, waiting for a place to come up.”

Cockram said they’ve received couches and beds, and their sons have been very well taken care of, so much so that they have had to sort through all of the donations and whatever they couldn’t use, they’ve donated back to the mission and donation boxes around town. Cockram said they wanted to keep the cycle going.
“It feels really surreal, I feel like I could just wake up tomorrow morning and go home and everything will be there, but you can’t. We have nothing from the house,” said Cockram. “We didn’t really get to say thank you to the police officers and the fire fighters and Red Cross, disaster teams, they were all so helpful and amazing. Everybody who on that day who helped us and helped the boys, were so amazing.”

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 157 is still accepting donations for the families affected by the fire.

Motorcycle Ride for Dad hits Amherstburg as one of its stops

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The fight against prostate cancer continued Sunday thanks to the Motorcycle Ride for Dad.

The ride saw hundreds of motorcycles come into Amherstburg as Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 was an early stop after it left Windsor. After it left the Festival Plaza in Windsor, the riders stopped at Brews & Cues near LaSalle before coming to Amherstburg. After that, it went to the Colchester Bar & Grill, Freddy’s in Leamington and Mr. Biggs in Lakeshore before returning to Windsor.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo was the ride captain of the 2017 Motorcycle Ride for Dad and leads the bikes along Dalhousie St. to Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo was the ride captain of the 2017 Motorcycle Ride for Dad and leads the bikes along Dalhousie St. to Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157.

Ride captain Aldo DiCarlo, also Amherstburg’s mayor, said everything was “so far, so good” when the riders hit Amherstburg.

“I think the numbers are good,” he said. “I know people were watching out to see what the weather was like but I think we did pretty good.”

DiCarlo admitted there was “a little bit of pressure” leading the ride, particularly into Amherstburg, but was still happy to do it.

“There’s still nothing like that feeling to see all those lights in your rear-view mirror,” he said.

The ride was a bit more laid back for him once it left Amherstburg, he added.

Motorcycles lined Dalhousie St. the morning of May 28 as the Motorcycle Ride for Dad hit Amherstburg and made Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 one of its stops.

Motorcycles lined Dalhousie St. the morning of May 28 as the Motorcycle Ride for Dad hit Amherstburg and made Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 one of its stops.

DiCarlo’s father survived prostate cancer several years ago and the mayor gets checked regularly due to it being in his family’s history. It is something he encourages others to do too, noting it is a simple test.

“If you are 40 or older or if it runs in your family, go get checked,” said DiCarlo.

DiCarlo wasn’t the only politician in the ride, noting Windsor city councillor Bill Marra was also involved and also shared his story about how prostate cancer impacted his family.

The mayor added that he starts looking for ways to help the Motorcycle Ride for Dad every year and is thrilled to see so many people in town for the event.

Legion Br. 157 president Laurie Cavanaugh said it is a big event and that the Legion does its part by selling food and drinks to the riders.

“It’s a good thing for the community,” she said. “We’re going to do it every year.”

Cavanaugh said they were told 500 registered for the ride. She said the hope was that riders come back and go to other businesses and stay longer in Amherstburg.

The estimated fundraising total is $30,000.

Memorial Cup trophy visits Amherstburg

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup will be decided at the WFCU Centre in Windsor but the trophy itself is visiting several areas of Windsor-Essex County while it is in the area.

Amherstburg was the Memorial Cup trophy’s stop last Sunday afternoon, as it came to the Libro Centre. The colour guard from Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 escorted the trophy into the main ice pad with the fans in attendance lining up to have their photograph taken with the cup.

The Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 colour guard pose with the Memorial Cup and the staff that brought junior hockey’s top prize to Amherstburg.

The Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 colour guard pose with the Memorial Cup and the staff that brought junior hockey’s top prize to Amherstburg.

“The Memorial Cup’s history is iconic to Canadian values,” said Mayor Aldo DiCarlo.

DiCarlo pointed out the trophy was originally dedicated in memory of Canadians killed in World War I, but was rededicated in 2010 to all soldiers who were killed in action. Legion Br. 157 president Dave Lauzon said they were pleased to have the opportunity to bring the trophy into the building and echoed DiCarlo’s statements about the history of the trophy.

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals and Mayor Aldo DiCarlo pose with the Memorial Cup while the trophy was at the Libro Centre May 21.

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals and Mayor Aldo DiCarlo pose with the Memorial Cup while the trophy was at the Libro Centre May 21.

Lauzon added it is the Legion’s honour to pay tribute to those who paid the supreme sacrifice.

“Further, we honour Canadian soldiers of today who partake in all conflicts globally,” he said.

The Memorial Cup trophy was originally donated by the Ontario Hockey Association in 1919 to honour the champions of junior hockey. It is considered by some the toughest trophy to win in sports.

Brandi Sieber brought her family and said they had been at the Libro Centre since noon. The kids said the best part was getting their picture with the trophy. Another fan, Josh Fex, said he is hoping to win the Memorial Cup and noted goalie and Amherstburg native Michael DiPietro is his idol.

Rex Bullard, Koheri Sieben, Brie Sieben and Macy Bullard stand beside the Memorial Cup during the trophy's visit to the Libro Centre May 21.

Rex Bullard, Koheri Sieben, Brie Sieben and Macy Bullard stand beside the Memorial Cup during the trophy’s visit to the Libro Centre May 21.

DiCarlo added the town was proud to host the Memorial Cup trophy.

“I think people learned about the history of it, which was very important,” he added.

The 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup runs through Sunday when the championship game will be played in Windsor at 7 p.m. The Spitfires’ last round-robin game is May 24 against the OHL champion Erie Otters.

To see a photo album of the Memorial Cup’s visit to Amherstburg, click here.