LITTLE CURRENT—Along with recognizing some of the organizations that provide help and support toward the cause of the War Pensioners of Canada (WPC), the WPC also recognized the special support it has received from Dominic Beaudry, who received the prestigious WPC Ambassador Award.
“Today we are presenting an WPC ambassador award to a friend of mine, whom I’ve known since 2005,” said Colin Pick, WPC national president and CEO, at a luncheon held at the Edgewater Restaurant in Little Current last week. “The first time I met Dominic he was a high school principal in Wikwemikong.”
Mr. Beaudry “had come up with an idea, through a thesis he had done in university in relation to the warriors’ peace pole remembrance service and developed the peace pole program in the school,” explained Mr. Pick. He said the program promotes peace, the elimination of racism, people getting along, and remembering all veterans both Native and non-Native.
“Since the program was developed students have started to gain a better appreciation of who they are, the contributions of veterans, and how to mould into adulthood,” said Mr. Pick.
“I would like to thank the veterans for all the sacrifices they have made and all the work they have done for our country over the years,” said Mr. Beaudry, on being presented with the WPC Ambassador Award. He said that with the help of Mr. Pick and Scotty Fisher, a warriors’ peace pole remembrance service was held at the Wikwemikong school in 2005.
“We now have peace poles and ceremonies in Wikwemikong, M’Chigeeng at the Ojibway Cultural Foundation and Manitowaning,” said Mr. Beaudry. “This ceremony is now being embraced by many communities, and students learn about the contributions of all veterans. On behalf of my community I would like to say miigwetch for this award.”
During the event, Ray Constantineau, president of the North Shore branch of the WPC, presented Mr. Pick with an exceptional service medal from the WPC.
“I don’t have to tell you about what Colin has done for the war pensioners,” said Mr. Constantineau. “Ever since he joined he has been on top of everything and worked diligently through the system to get assistance and recognition for the needs of all veterans.”
Mr. Pick then introduced his wife, Helene, saying, “Our veterans would not be here without our wives.”
As well, the WPC members paid a special tribute-remembrance to the late Garfield Van Horne. “I knew Garfield for years, I was the secretary of the branch when I first met him,” said Mr. Constantineau. He noted that his brother and Mr. Van Horne had served in Camp Borden together. “They never got to see each other again until after the war. Garfield said he had a friend on the Island who had been in the services, and I found out later he meant my brother. It was very heartwarming after all these years to find out that he knew my brother.”
“Garfield was a wonderful member (of WPC), he was part of everything we did, was a director for years and was a go to guy to get things done on the Island. He was a very good member and will be missed by all his comrades,” said Mr. Constantineau.
Mr. Pick recalled, “I got to know Garfield about 15 years ago. He was a compassionate man, with a sharp sense of humour. When we started the ceremonies, putting plaques on the headstones of veterans who have passed on, he didn’t miss very many of these ceremonies.”
“Garfield was a kind, compassionate, hard working individual who served this country very well,” said Mr. Pick.
The WPC presented several more awards during the luncheon, including those to members of the local, The Manitoulin Expositor, Manitoulin West Recorder, 100.7 FM The Island and the Mid-North Monitor.