Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157

Four veterans receive “Quilts of Honour” at Legion meeting

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Four local veterans received “Quilts of Valour” as part of a meeting at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 last Thursday night.

Richard Girard and Charles Goodchild, both Korean War veterans, joined Ernie Fryer and Garry Marshall in receiving quilts from Quilts of Valour Canada representatives. Fryer and Marshall both served as peacekeepers with Fryer serving in Cypress and Marshall stationed in Halifax.

“I think it’s an incredible honour,” said Marshall. “I don’t know if I’m as deserving as everyone else.”

Marshall added he was very appreciative of being one of the recipients.

“I am very honoured to receive it,” said Fryer.

Fryer thanked those who created the quilts and believes they should be blessed for their work.

“I feel overjoyed,” said Goodchild, after receiving his Quilt of Valour.

Goodchild remarked that it must have taken a lot of effort to create each quilt.

“It’s really an amazing amount of work they put into this,” he said.

Girard also admired the amount of effort the volunteers who made the quilts put into it.

Four veterans received a “Quilt of Valour” at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 last Thursday night. From left: Richard Girard, Charles
Goodchild, Ernie Fryer and Garry Marshall.

“It must take a lot of work to do something like this,” said Girard.

Girard added he was approached by his son Tim and spoken to about such an honour three months ago.

Afghan veteran Teresa Kitzul was also scheduled to receive a quilt but she was unable to attend.

Janet Bergeron, an Amherstburg resident who serves as the regional representative for Quilts of Valour, said the organization has distributed over 10,000 quilts to members of the Canadian Armed Forces both past and present. The quilts are designed to be “quilts of comfort” for members and veterans.

“It’s to say thank you for their service,” said Bergeron.

Bergeron noted that Quilts of Valour Canada is a charitable organization that runs with the aid of volunteers.

“All of the quilts are very different,” she added, noting all quilts made in the Windsor-Essex County areas have a maple leaf on them.

Amherstburg police chief Tim Berthiaume (right) shakes hands with the recipients of the Quilt of Valour last Thursday night. The presentations were made at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157.

Amherstburg police chief Tim Berthiaume was also on hand, and presented each recipient with a “Chief’s Award of Excellence” coin. He said it is awarded to individuals, organizations or institutions that have made “a significant contribution to the Amherstburg Police Service or community.”

“What you’ve done for us and your community is incredible,” Berthiaume told the veterans. “We do not give these out unless you’ve earned it.”

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said it was his privilege to bring greetings on behalf of the town, saying the meaning behind quilts is “amazing.”

“Our freedoms and rights are thanks to you,” said DiCarlo. “We should remember veterans not just on Remembrance Day, but all year long.”

For more information on Quilts of Valour, visit www.quiltsofvalour.ca, e-mail janet.bergeron@quiltsofvalour.ca or info@quiltsofvalour.ca or call Bergeron at 519-726-5016.

Quilts of Valour is also on social media with their Facebook page being found at www.facebook.com/groups/QOV.Canada and their Twitter page being found at www.twitter.com/QuiltsofValour.

Legion, Marsh Collection teaming up for cenotaph upgrades

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 and the Marsh Historical Collection are teaming up to pay further tribute to local veterans.

The two organizations will be embarking on a project to enhance the area around the cenotaph with a focus on honouring those Amherstburg residents who gave their lives in World War I. Chris Gibb, board member with the Marsh Historical Collection, pointed out November 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

The plan envisions having six standalone plaques around the edge of the area surrounding the cenotaph, similar to the plaques in the Fort Covington Peace Garden just south of the Amherstburg police station.

Gibb said they want to tell the stories of who the men were, what they did, where they fought and died.

“These stories need to be remembered to never forget their sacrifice,” said Gibb.

The area around the Cenotaph, pictured on a snowy Monday morning, in King’s Navy Yard Park will be getting enhancements thanks to a partnership between Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 and the Marsh Historical Collection.

Lena Mangoff Lazanja, secretary with Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157, told town council at their most recent regular meeting there are other initiatives planned as well.

The Legion and Marsh Collection also propose a “Walk of Heroes,” which would be banners on town light posts with photos of veterans on them. Lazanja said they would stretch from the Duffy’s property and head north before winding up near Fort Malden National Historic Site. The banners would be displayed from Legion Week through Remembrance Day.

Lazanja said they would seek permission of the veterans’ families and look to cover costs through sponsorships. Money from the Legion’s poppy fund would be used to help offset costs of the cenotaph enhancements, she added.

Members of town council were enthusiastic about the plan.

“I love the idea of telling their stories,” said Councillor Leo Meloche.

Councillor Rick Fryer called it “a fantastic idea” and a “great initiative” while Councillor Joan Courtney believed future generations would be able to pay tribute to Canada’s fallen heroes.

“It’s a wonderful idea,” said Courtney. “A visual is worth 1,000 words.”

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 recognizes poster and literacy contest winners

 

 

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 wrapped up its poster and literacy contest with the winners being recognized.

There were 57 entries this year over several categories. The winners were as follows:

 

BLACK AND WHITE POSTER

Junior

First – Robbie McLaughlin (Grade 6, Anderdon Public School)

Second – Liam Dixon (Grade 4, Anderdon Public School)

Third – Cadence McLennan (Grade 6, Anderdon Public School)

 

Intermediate

First – Cam Sinasac (Grade 8, St. Peter’s ACHS College School)

Second – Hanna Hurst (Grade 7, Anderdon Public School)

Third – Michael Sabbadin (Grade 8, St. Peter’s ACHS College School)

 

Senior

First – Ryan Sinasac (Grade 11, General Amherst High School)

COLOUR POSTER

Junior

First – Jessica Flore (Grade 4, Anderdon Public School)

Second – Keira Hansen (Grade 4, Anderdon Public School)

Third – Shaun Espiu (Grade 5, St. Peter’s ACHS College School)

 

Intermediate

First – Hanna Hurst (Grade 7, Anderdon Public School)

Second – Maegan Sulja (Grade 8, Anderdon Public School)

 

POETRY

Intermediate

First – Cam Sinasac (Grade 8, St. Peter’s ACHS College School)

Second – Konner Lauzon (Grade 8, St. Peter’s ACHS College School)

 

Senior

First – Gabriel Patsouris (Grade 12, Western Secondary School)

Second – Petrina Franz (Grade 12, Western Secondary School)

 

ESSAY

Senior

First – Nigel Kirk (Grade 12, Western Secondary School)

Cadets hold annual mess dinner with addition of friends, family, members of parliament

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

With more than 120 guests in attendance, including Essex MP Tracey Ramsey and MPP Taras Natyshak, the 202nd Fort Malden Windsor regiment Army Cadet Corps held their annual mess dinner, which also wrapped up their annual canned good drive.

“It’s actually a training night for cadets,” explained captain commanding officer, Jeff Turner. “It gives them the opportunity to see what a mess dinner is all about, how to behave, how to eat, how they have to march in, what they have to do with toasts, how to say grace and just basically how to socialize during a military mess dinner.”

Turner explained, previously the dinner was strictly for cadets, staff and selected guests such as past commanding officers. This year however, they allowed cadets to invite parents and a guest of their own choices.

The dinner was what Turner called a “traditional roast beef dinner,” cooked by the Legion and paid for by the support committee to ensure there was no cost to the cadets or the guests.

The 202nd Fort Malden Windsor regiment Army Cadet Corps held their annual mess dinner Dec. 20, with MP Tracey Ramsey and MPP Taras Natyshak in attendance. The evening also wrapped up their canned goods drive, which were donated to the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

During the dinner, cadets were also presented with a number of awards, one of them being from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 157 pertaining to what the cadets and staff did during the poppy campaign and Remembrance Day activities. Another award was a certificate of recognition on behalf of Ramsey’s office.

“It’s a recognition of the work they have been doing throughout the year and what they have been achieving as they have been ranking up and everything that they are working on,” said Ramsey. “It’s just a small token for them to have to show the appreciation from the federal government for what they are doing for our country. It’s something that we do at the federal and provincial level just to thank people in the community for the work that they do and I just thought it would be nice for the cadets to have that tonight.”

For fun, the cadets also participated in a gift exchange. The evening also saw the end of their canned good collection, which was donated to the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

“It’s important for us to be here to honor them and to thank the leadership and thank the families and parents,” explained Natyshak. “The program instills such wonderful values, duty and responsibility, and respect and service. Any youth who has those values at their core by any standards is doing great so we want to thank them and congratulate them and celebrate the holidays as well.”

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.