Laurie Cavanaugh

Legion Week parade helps kick off festivities

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Legion Week is underway in Amherstburg with the local branch kicking it off last Saturday with parades and awards.

Legion Week, the origins of which date back to 1953 when an open house was held in Dresden, is traditionally celebrated the third week of September. Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 held its parade and gathered back at the branch afterward. Capt. Jeff Turner, commanding officer of the #202 Fort Malden Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, acted as master of ceremonies and read proclamations from Ontario Command and other dignitaries, including Premier Doug Ford.

Ford’s statement included comments about it being a good opportunity for members of the community to come out and discover more about their local Legion branch.

Zone Commander Gayle Brown congratulated Legion Br. 157 for its parade and hoped the community would go to the Legion to find out what it’s all about.

The Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 colour guard leads the Sept. 15 parade down Dalhousie St. (above) and Sandwich St. S. (below).

“I invite everyone to come in and see what the Royal Canadian Legion does and why we are part of this organization,” she said.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale brought greetings from the town, as Mayor Aldo DiCarlo was in Ohio with local Miracle League players at the Miracle League all-star game. DiPasquale stated the Legion is a very worthy organization.

“This building and the people who work inside of it make it go,” said DiPasquale. “It’s a great place.”

The parade returned to Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 upon its conclusion.

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 president Laurie Cavanaugh thanked those who helped put Legion Week together.

“A lot of work goes into this week,” she said. “It takes a lot of people, a lot of volunteers.”

Cavanaugh said the Legion is hopeful of having people come in and see what it offers.

“This week, if we get one or two members or if we get one or two people come out that have never been here before, it’s an accomplishment,” said Cavanaugh.

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 also recognized members with Years of Service Awards.

Awards for affiliate members included Mark Denunzio (10 years) and Michael J. Duby (20 years).

Associate member ten-year awards included James Cyrowski, Martina Heeren, Christina Hindi, Diane C. Langlois, Judith Loomis, Murray Loomis, Amber Turner and Constance Sinasac. Cavanaugh and Jocelyn Hagerty received 15-year awards while 20-year award went to Gary Cooper, Ed J. Delisle, Dawn M. Fryer, Dennis Pajot and Karrie Thrasher. Receiving 25-year awards were John D. Bradt, John Richard Crozier, Mark Fox, Ulyses Wayne McKinnon, Clark Moore and Michael Prue.

Associate 30-year awards went to Carol Ann Goodbout and B.B. Sprague Jr. while J. F. Fox, I.J. Goulin and Cameron Jones were recognized for 35 years of membership. Receiving awards for 40-years were Kathryn Lancop and G.G. Murray Jr. while J.P. Mertens received a 45-year award.

Capt. Richard Girard received an award for his 55 years of service to Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157.

Years of Service Awards for ordinary members went to Allan Carroll and Shawn Cooper (10 years), Laura Gazdig, Terry Hall and Russell Revington (15 years), Tracy Cooper (25 years), William St. John (30 years), John Copland (35 years), Wayne Surtees (45 years), Wayne Hurst (50 years) and Richard Girard (55 years).

Activities and events the remainder of Legion Week include a veteran appreciation dinner Wednesday night at 7 p.m. where veterans eat free, a general membership meeting Thursday at 7 p.m., a Ladies Auxiliary dinner 4-6:30 p.m. Friday, a chicken wing special Saturday from 4-6 p.m. and a Sunday breakfast from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. where veterans eat free. There will also be music and other events during the week as well.

To view more photos from the Sept. 15 Legion Week parade in Amherstburg, visit our Facebook album.

Motorcycle Ride for Dad roars through Amherstburg

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Over 500 motorcycles roared through Amherstburg Sunday morning as the annual Motorcycle Ride for Dad came to town.

As is now tradition, the first stop on the ride after it left the Windsor riverfront plaza was Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157. James Prior, a committee member with the local Motorcycle Ride for Dad, accepted a cheque for $3,000 from the Legion and said it was an “outstanding, beautiful day” for the ride.

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 president Laurie
Cavanaugh (left) presents a $3,000 cheque to Ride for Dad committee member James Prior.

Prior believed the local Motorcycle Ride for Dad “did well for sure” this year and there were “tons of bikes” that took part. He praised Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 for stepping up.

“The Legion is always really supportive,” said Prior. “We’re appreciative of the $3,000 donation. That’s outstanding.”

Prior pointed out the Motorcycle Ride for Dad raises money for prostate cancer research. He said that money raised locally stays in the area for research and prevention.

Ride organizers recently presented Dr. Lisa Porter, this year’s recipient of the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation’s grant, a cheque for $20,000 for her research study involving prostate cancers that are not treatable by conventional therapies. A press released called it “exciting news, as she will also be collaborating with the University of British Colombia (Vancouver Prostate Center), University of Oxford (UK) and Seoul National University (South Korea) on this project.”

“As therapies improve for prostate cancer, cancer cells find new ways to evolve and develop drug resistance. This project will focus on finding new drug targets for patients with the most advanced form of resistant disease. Funding from Windsor-Essex will be instrumental in fueling this new area of study right here in our community.” Dr. Porter explained. “We look forward to what this year’s Ride will bring in and what other new studies we can back in our community next year.”

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 hosted the over 500 motorcycles that took part in the Motorcycle Ride for Dad May 27.

Laurie Cavanaugh, president of Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157, said they teamed with the Motorcycle Ride for Dad about four years ago.

“It’s a good thing for the town. A lot of them come back during the year,” said Cavanaugh. “It’s a good cause.”

The Legion raises money throughout the year and decides which causes they wish to donate to, she explained.

After leaving Amherstburg, the ride stopped at the Colchester Bar & Grill, Freddy’s Restaurant in Leamington and Mr. Bigg’s in Lakeshore before returning to Windsor.

To view more photos, visit our Facebook album.

 

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.

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.