Little Current Legion Branch #177 honours members on awards night

Past President Ruth Eadie presents Kari Bourque with the Legionnaire of the Year Award for 2022.

LITTLE CURRENT—Royal Canadian Legion Branch 177 Little Current held an Honours and Awards Ceremony for the first time since the advent of the pandemic recently. Past president Ruth Eadie welcomed attendees and noted that the 2022 event covers the years 2020, 2021, 2022 to the present due to COVID.

The evening began on a sombre note, as Comrade Eadie recited the names of those comrades who have passed, including Comrade Jeff Marshall (December 24, 2019), Comrade Wilbert (Peewee) Oliver (January 1, 2020), Comrade Fred Nesbitt (August 21, 2020), Comrade Ray Rivet (September 11, 2020), Comrade Florence Hubert (August 25, 2021), Comrade Terrence Hari (December 10, 2021) and Comrade Jim Nevills (February 14, 2022). “They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old,” Comrade Eadie intoned the Act of Remembrance. “Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we shall remember them, we shall remember them.”

Legion Chaplin Whitney Bruno then delivered the chaplin’s prayer.

Comrade Eadie said that as past president and Honours and Awards chair, “I feel very honoured to present tonight’s ceremony,” she said, introducing the evening’s host Christy Deschamps. “Christy and I have worked on this presentation for months. It is a very important and special moment for those deserving recognition for their achievements, dedication, commitment and contribution to the Legion branch.”
Comrade Eadie was then presented with the past president’s bar, Comrade Catherine Morrison her treasurer’s bar and Comrade Leslie Moore her past vice president 2 bar.

The Legion then honoured its life members for the past three years: Comrade Debbie Menard (presented by Comrade Eadie), James Corrigan (presented by Comrade Linda Bowerman) and Comrade Eadie (presented by current Legion president Sue Morin).
Comrade Norris Valliquette was declared Legionnaire of the Year for 2020, Comrade Lois Middaugh Legionnaire of the Year for 2021, while Comrade Kari Bourque and Comrade Doug Clarke shared the honour of Legionnaire of the Year for 2022.

“Comrade Norris Valliquette has been a member of our Legion for 19 years,” said Comrade Eadie. “He has been on the bar committee since 2018. Comrade Norris would always volunteer for all the events the entertainment committee put on. I believe that his favourite task was scrambling eggs for the breakfast lunch. He organized pool tournaments over the years and is willing to take on, listen and provide input on any idea the Legion is thinking of putting on.”

“Comrade Lois Middaugh decided to join our Legion in 2019,” said Comrade Eadie. “She does our Thursday wing night, she sometimes cooks, sauces the wings and will call around to see if any of the regular customers would like wings. Comrade Lois volunteers her time to work on all the other events that the entertainment chair puts on and when the Legion had to shut down in March of 2020, Lois stayed on and helped with different events. Comrade Lois is now vice three. She has recently assumed the responsibility of helping with Legion deposits on Mondays and works diligently to make sure the Legion bills are paid as well.”

Comrade Eadie went on to not that Comrade Middaugh “has an unbelievable and appreciated dedication to the Legion. She always attempts to come up with a solution to every problem the committee is faced with and goes above and beyond for the Legion.”

“Comrade Doug Clarke has been with the Legion, off and on, for 23 years,” said Comrade Eadie. “He now has six years in and has been at every event that has been run through the Legion building, volunteering at dances and breakfast brunches. Every Thursday night you can count on Comrade Doug to cook wings and clean the deep fryer. Comrade Doug also does the maintenance on the Legion property, cuts grass and whipper snips. Comrade Doug has been a great volunteer over the years, even when the Legion had to shut down during COVID he stayed on to help with whatever Legion tasks were needed.”

“Comrade Kari Bourque has been a Legion member for seven years,” said Comrade Eadie. “Comrade Kari has volunteered her time at the Legion doing a lot of different things, including bartending, whipper snipping, cutting grass, cleaning the deep fryer and being secretary. Comrade Kari has recently joined the Poppy Chair committee with President Sue Morin. Comrade Kari is a very dedicated volunteer to Branch 177 and goes above and beyond. If you have a question or an issue, she will be able to offer a suggestion or jump right in and work at any problem or task at a moment’s notice.”

Awards of Appreciation were presented to Comrade Blake St. Jacques, Comrade Roy Eaton, Comrade Linda Bowerman, Comrade Leslie Moore, Comrade Ted Bemister, Comrade Darrell (Spike) Eadie, Comrade Judy Miller, Comrade Charlene Clarke, Comrade Dave Patreau, Comrade Paul Abbott, Comrade Cathy Morrison, Comrade Brian Morrison, Comrade Tammy Walsh, Comrade Luke Walsh, Comrade Mary Valcoiurt, Comrade Jean Marc Pouliot, Comrade Elaine Peck, Comrade Bill Cassidy, Comrade Noreen Parkinson, Comrade Christy Deschamps, Comrade Paula Daily and Comrade Tony Dickson.

Special Awards of Merit were presented to Comrade Sue Morin and Comrade Ruth Eadie. “Comrade Sue Morin has been Poppy Committee chair for ever,” said Ms. Deschamps. “She always mentioned that ‘if you need help for your events, just call.’”

“Comrade Ruth Eadie has been a Legion member for 23 years,” said Ms. Deschamps. “She has held various positions during her years as a member, including vice 2, vice 3 and entertainment chair. She was president for five years and, most recently, she is past-president and Honours and Awards chairperson.” Comrade Deschamps went on to note that Comrade Eadie was the person who inspired her to join the Legion ranks, making her feel welcome and appreciated.”

The awards for years of membership were then given out. Refreshments and camaraderie followed the awards ceremony.