On Saturday, June 9, Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 36 Fernie, held its annual Veterans’ Dinner to honour local veterans living and departed.
MC Derek Marshall welcomed the veterans, widows, family and guests and then invited everyone to enjoy a roast beef dinner prepared by the Legion Ladies Auxiliary.
Mayor Mary Giuliano gave a short speech saying, “Veterans are the pride of our country, it is because of our veterans that we are fortunate to live in a free Canada. Freedom has never been free, it comes from those that paid the ultimate price, made the ultimate sacrifice, that of giving their lives for their country.” She went on to extend congratulations and thanks in recognition of all that veterans have done for Fernie and Canada.
Legion president Terry Rimmer recounted how when he came home from hospital after losing his leg his workmates gave him an envelope with a cheque in it. “I didn’t open it until I got home. I’d only been at the mine for three months and I thought I would be truly grateful if I got a couple of hundred dollars. To my amazement it was 20 times more than I expected. My wife and I were overcome. I spent the weekend trying to come up with a fitting response to express our gratitude, no matter how hard or long we tried, everything came out in two words. Thank you. It’s with that same sincerity I say those two words to our vets and their families. Thank you.”
Auxiliary president Bev Mandel thanked everyone who attended saying “We are so used to moving around freely but as a woman I wouldn’t be able to walk alone in some countries. Thank you for your service. The Legion ladies are proud to put on this dinner for the vets and their families.”
Terry then read the names of all the veterans present and also those of the widows who were in attendance as well as some of those that were recently deceased.
Forty year pins were presented to Legion members Jim Singleton and Rick Yarborough and an immediate past-president pin to Jennifer Cronin.
Birthday wishes were sung to Mary East who was celebrating her 95th birthday on that day and special mention was made of her four sons and their spouses who were also present at the dinner.