Craig Bakay | Apr 11, 2018
They gathered at the Legion Branch 425 in Sharbot Lake Saturday to honour their own.
After honours and awards chair Patty Middleton introduced Zone Commander Ty Seeley, Dep. Zone Commander Jean Compeau and President Alden McLellan, guest speaker Tom Miller spoke on the importance of volunteering.
“A volunteer is someone willing to provide a service to another, not expecting to be paid for it,” said Miller, who was in the RCAF from 1953 to 1958.
A resident of Amherst Island, Miller was a member of that branch until it surrendered its charter and now he’s a member of 623, Bath and Area.
“I can’t imagine a Legion Branch operating anywhere without volunteers,” he said. “For one thing, you need somebody to lock the door at night but then there’s cleaning, cooking, cutting grass, shoveling snow, office work and bartending.”
Miller told stories about working on the ferry service, operating a small store on Amherst Island and the very first time he ever heard the radio — Dec. 7, 1941.
“We didn’t have electricity in the house so we had to take the buggy to the store to get a dry cell and a wet cell battery charged,” he said. “When we got back, we tuned in to a U.S. broadcast telling us that Pearl Harbour had been attacked.
“That was the first thing I ever heard on radio.”
He concluded his talk urging people to be decisive.
“Be decisive, right or wrong,” he said. “The road is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.”
Then it was time to pass out the awards and James Smith led the procession with something you don’t see very often — a 50-year ordinary member pin.
There were a couple of other long-service pins presented to Gloria Cunningham, 40 years, and Marcel Giroux, 35 years.
Lloyd Arnold received a 15-year pin and Dave Hansen a 5-year pin.
Judy Huffman, Joyce Irwin and Sharon Quinn received Associate 20-year pins. William Bush, June Crawford, James Gutowski, Peter Hallam, Sandy Hallam and George Hollywood received 15-year Associate pins. Denzel Killingbeck, Evelyn Killingbeck, Carolyn Richardson and Kathleen White received 10-year Associate pins and Bill Zwier, Candy Claessen and John Richter received 5-year Associate pins.
Alden McLellan, Bill Bowick, John Campbell, Linda Cooke, Francis Smith, Connie McLellen, Vern Crawford, June Crawford, and Patty Middleton received various executive medals and bars.
Peggy Muldoon was named Volunteer of the Year.
Paul and Carol Raymo donated a cake in memory of Paul’s father who was a veteran and member of the branch