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Royal Canadian Legion
Burlington, Ontario - Branch #60

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Fostering Remembrance is a part of everything we do. Through The Royal Canadian Legion's longstanding annual Poster and Literary Contests, Canadian school children honour Canada's Veterans through creative art and writing, and help perpetuate Remembrance. 

We are delighted to present our 2021 award winners - 22 of them - including 9 in the GOLD category. They are:

Caroline Enache, Joel Barrels, Elias deJagel, Gwen Roth, Anneliese Harskamp, Siddhartha Vatrapu, Anne Roth, Kathryn Beldman and Charlee Crooks.

Plus, we had 7 SILVER and 6 BRONZE winners. Congratulations!

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Thanks to those who joined us on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021 as we paid tribute to Past President Matt MacPherson for his years of outstanding service. President Burns Macleod presented Matt with a plaque and a Past President's medal set as part of the ceremony.

Matt's wife, Marguerite, has also been a driving force behind many Legion activities over the years. We truly appreciate her dedication to making Branch 60 the success that it has been and continues to be.

Matt was instrumental in turning our finances around during his Presidency. So, it was only fitting that he light the torch to officially "burn the mortgage"!

Enjoy this interview with Matt from March 2020 just before COVID hit.

 

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Branch 60 Veteran Celebrates 103rd Birthday and MORE!

 Branch 60 member Douglas Ross Rickard was born in Toronto on June 25, 1918 just before the last German offensive at the battle of Amiens in the First World War. The deadly Spanish flu that killed 55,000 Canadians was still raging.

On Friday, June 25th, 2021 he was joined by a handful of people outdoors, including Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and fellow veteran Gordon Schottlander, at Branch 60 to celebrate his 103rd birthday. He has experienced a lot of what life has to offer. Things most of us read about in the history of Canada in the past century, Doug has lived through.

Recently, in a small ceremony at Branch 60, Doug was presented with the French Legion of Honour medal, Chevalier or Knight degree. The award was presented by Col. Roger Vandomme, Deputy Defence Attache with the French Embassy in Canada. In Col. Vandomme's words, Mr. Douglas Rickard, on those dark days of 1942 many young Canadians crossed the Atlantic and landed in France to defend our common values in a sacrifice mission whose invaluable lessons contributed to shape future Victory. For what you did and the sacrifices you made, the people of France will be forever grateful.

As witnessed at the ceremony, Doug was quite happy and when asked for a comment he thanked Col. Vandomme in English and French and said he was sorry the men he served with could not be with him to share in the honour.

What did Mr. Rickard do to deserve such an award? Like many Canadians, Doug enlisted in 1939 and as his father before him, joined The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. He drilled and trained with a commando unit in Scotland for an important mission. Just before first light on August 19 th , 1942 Doug arrived at the coastal town of Dieppe in France. He and other members of his unit were aboard a tank landing craft (TLC) containing three tanks. His station was in the stern of the TLC with an officer in an armoured cabin. Doug's job was to act as a signaler relaying messages from three other signalers that landed with the South Saskatchewan Regiment, the Essex Scottish and the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.

After some hours of battle, he was knocked unconscious by a shell blast but was revived by an officer. Refusing to leave his post under fire, he continued to receive and transmit messages until further damage to the vessel knocked out an engine and forced them to leave. With only one propeller working, they slowly tried to return to Britain. They were set upon by enemy fighters off the coast of England and to avoid injury Corporal Rickard was forced overboard. He was able to remove his heavy boots and swim over a kilometer back to an English beach and safety.

At this Royal Canadian Legion event, Don Cranston, Honourary Colonel for the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Wentworth Regiment, presented information on the Dieppe Raid that highlighted the logistics, cost in lives and the lessons learned to help us prepare for D-Day. Branch 60 member Bob Ankrett presented information on the importance of the success of D-Day to the free world and background material previously mentioned about Doug in this article.

Doug Rickard returned to Canada with his wife Jean after the war and went on to be a very accomplished artist, inventor, businessman and father of two girls. Men like Doug not only fought for our freedom but did something more. They came home to that freedom and built a country that we enjoy today.

See the story that CHCH-TV did here: https://youtu.be/G4uCJ96pOFc

A YouTube link to the Legion of Honour ceremony is available at: https://youtu.be/Vl77BKRSDso

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Remembering Jim Warford

It is with profound sadness that we are sharing the passing of Alfred James (Jim) Warford on the morning of Jan 27, 2020. A former Sergeant of the Royal Canadian Army Corps during WWII, Life time member of the Royal Canadian Legion and Navy Club, Stelco Retiree, volunteer firefighter, and Burlington Legion Track & Field coach, Jim was a consummate gentleman, a beloved Father and Grandfather, and a Hero to many who knew him. He passed away peacefully with family by his side and he will be forever missed but never forgotten. He will be lovingly remembered by his children Kaylynne (John), Valerie (Ray), Karen (John), Brian (Diane), and Kevin, Grand children James (Jody), Toni (Jake), Aaron (Emily), Tyler and Alex, and great grand child Liam. A celebration of Jim's life was on Saturday, February 1, 2020 Branch #60. Donations in memory of Jim may be made to the Legion Poppy Fund, Canadian Tire Jumpstart, or a charity of your choice.

Over the years, there have been many occasions wherein Branch members have engaged with Jim Warford: public/City events; various WW2 anniversaries, Branch initiatives to honour WW2 veterans/battle anniversaries. Jim was a great friend of the Branch and ambassador for the Legion and the City.  On these occasions, inevitably, photos were taken and stories told.  Jim provided the Branch with photos of him and his comrades in WW2 situations. A slideshow of these photos and stories has been created and is available for viewing as a YouTube video: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=4eMPWobgO3s&feature=youtu.be

Plus, there is information and photos on Jim's return to Juno Beach in 2019 at the bottom of this page.

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Thank you to all who supported the 2021 Poppy Campaign and to those who joined us for our virtual Remembrance Day service at City Hall. Watch the 2021 service here.

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On September 13th, 2019Minister Karina Gould presented a $24,992 cheque to your Branch from the New Horizons For Seniors grant program: for repairing rear wall foundation (dampness/mold concerns), and new flooring . Last year she presented a similar cheque for improvements to the upstairs kitchen ( to meet food-safety requirements ). There have been 2 other federal grants awarded to the Branch from the NHFS program in previous years. Bob Ankrett (governments liaison) and Burns MacLeod (1st VP) welcomed Minister Gould and thanked her for the grant cheque. They also presented Minister Gould with a letter of thanks for her support over the past three years. A letter was also provided, thanking Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan for visiting Jim Warford at Joseph Brant and then visiting the Branch for a luncheon with other veterans.

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This happy gang is your Branch's new Kitchen Cleaning Crew. The Branch's Gerry Bardy initiated the idea for a cleaning crew after he and others laboured to clean and paint the walls and ceilings of both the downstairs and upstairs kitchens prior to installation of new equipment and flooring via the federal government's New Horizons For Seniors program.  The crew will meet regularly per Gerry's schedule to clean equipment, surfaces, and floors in both kitchens. In Gerry's words: "This is a great crew of five who have volunteered. I am sure the job will be well done.  They are all conscientious, hard-working and fun to be with." The cleaning crew members volunteered after seeing the email that went out to all members pleading for help in keeping the kitchens clean.  Thank you Kitchen Cleaning Crew for saying " YES "!

 

 

Branch 60 was proud to participate in the Burlington Performing Arts Centre event, Burlington Remembers Juno 75, on May 6, 2019.

Because Burlington featured significantly in the creation of the Juno Beach Centre, and to honour veterans and all who served in the war, some Burlington residents including members of City council will be attending the June 6th ceremonies at Juno Beach.  Unfortunately, most Burlington veterans of the D-Day landings are not physically able to make the journey to Juno Beach.  The City, therefore,  decided to provide Burlington residents the opportunity to honour and remember those who served in that terrible, but turning-point battle. 

The Branch Colour Guard was featured prominently at Burlington Remembers Juno 75. Members marched-on-the-Colours along the audience aisle and onto the stage at the beginning of the event. In the YouTube video link below, you will see them proudly represent the Branch, veterans and all Canadians who have served in wars for freedoms of others, for peace-keeping missions, and in the protection of our country.

Branch 60 member Bob Ankrett (Government Liasion), was emcee for the evening and contributed significantly to the creation of the event.  Member David Stempin (of Burlington's Drury Lane Theatre's Mr. Chairman fame) played a role in the performance. The City produced a video of the event. You can view it by clicking on this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=7A8O2L4XN6k

Plus, enjoy this news story about the event from InsideHalton.com: https://www.insidehalton.com/community-story/9341816-the-surprising-connection-between-burlington-and-juno-beach/

 


 Updated: June 29, 2022
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