Legion Week underway in Amherstburg



By Ron Giofu


Legion Week1 Legion Week3Legion Week is underway and both Legion members and dignitaries alike asking people to remember those from both the past and present who have served Canada.

A week’s worth of events at the Legion were kicked off Saturday morning with the parade which went from General Amherst High School and travelled down Laird Ave., North St., Sandwich St. S., Richmond St. and Dalhousie St. before concluding at Legion Br. 157.

Essex MP Jeff Watson was joined by his 10-year-old son Elijah, the latter being part of the ceremony due to what his father said was his “love and honour for those who have served courageously” defending Canada and the rights and values of Canadians.

Watson said they wanted to join with the Legion in honouring veterans who have given so much to Canada and also to commend the Legion for being “passionately devoted” to acts of remembrance.

Merv Richards, executive assistant to Essex MPP Taras Natyshak, sent Natyshak’s best wishes and greetings. Richards said Br. 157 is a “social hub of Amherstburg and the community” but also a “constant daily reminder” of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country and to those still serving it as well.

“This Legion, I think, is one of the best in the province,” said Richards.

Mayor Wayne Hurst, a Navy veteran who would later receive a 45-year of service pin from the Legion, noted it was significant that so many organizations turned out to participate in the parade. Participants included the Legion and its Ladies Auxiliary, Naval veterans, Vietnam veterans, the #202 Fort Malden Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, the Amherstburg Knights of Columbus and the North Wall Riders’ Association. Hurst also praised Rev. John Burkhart for his years of service to both the Legion and the community as well as Sgt. Dick Girard for his continuous efforts in organizing the Legion parade.

“It’s a team,” said Hurst, of efforts at the Legion.

Hurst encouraged people to support Br. 157 during Legion Week.

“They do a tremendous job in our community not just during Legion Week and Remembrance Day activities, but throughout the year,” he said.

Ladies Auxiliary president Pat Amlin praised her group for being “the backbone of the Legion.” She said they fundraise for the branch as much as they can.

Amlin also noted the losses Legion Br. 157 has suffered in recent months, including the deaths of veterans John White and Ollie Caron.

“Within a month, we lost them both,” she said. “It was heart-wrenching. It still is.”

Amlin also paid tribute to Doris Dufour, a Ladies Auxiliary member who worked hard for the group during her lifetime.

Br. 157 president Dennis Purdie and Amlin both thanked those who turned out for the parade, with Purdie stating, “I’ve never seen a parade like this before.” He noted activities run at the Legion through Sunday.

“Legion Week is about one thing,” said Purdie. “It’s to let people know what the Legion is all about.”


Ordinary Members

10 Years of Service

Laura Gazdig, Terry Hall, James P. Jennings, Russell Revington

20 Years of Service

Tracy Cooper

25 Years of Service

Desmond Pattison, William R. St.-John

30 Years of Service

John D. Copland, Lori Parent

35 Years of Service

Flo Hebert

40 Years of Service

James G. Colburn

45 Years of Service

Wayne Hurst

50 Years of Service

Richard Girard


Associate Members

10 Years of Service

Pauline Beaulieu, Laurie Cavanaugh, Jocelyn Hagarty, Donald J. Kowalchuk, David Lucier, David W. Thrasher

15 Years of Service

Gary Cooper, Kimberly Ann Crump, Gail Duby, Dawn M. Gouin, Stanley Langlois, Allen Roger Mickle, Dennis Pajot. Mary T. Rocheleau, Karrie Thrasher

20 Years of Service

John D. Bratt, Mark Fox, Irene Hendershott, Clarke Moore, Ulyses Wayne McKinnon, Josephine Helen Renaud, William Gyori

25 Years of Service

Carol Ann Godbout, B. Sprague Jr.

30 Years of Service

J.F. Fox, J.I. Goulin, Cameron Jones

35 Years of Service

Ron Duby, G. Murray Jr.

40 Years of Service

J.P. Mertens


Affiliate Voting

10 Years of Service

Randy Meloche

15 Years of Service

Dennis G. Vennelly, Carl Gibb, Norman Kendell, William McLean, D. Ross, Michael Sullivan, Leo Beneteau, Marie Amlin, Albert Beneteau, Michael J. Duby, David Handsor.

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