Manitoulin War Pensioners group amalgamates with Sudbury branch

Colin Pick, War Pensioners of Canada Espanola/Manitoulin chapter president

MANITOULIN – The War Pensioners of Canada (WPC) Espanola/Manitoulin branch has now amalgamated with the Fred Vincent branch, Sudbury. 

“We held a meeting on November 29th at the Espanola Legion,” said Colin Pick, president, and chief executive officer of the WPC Espanola/Manitoulin. “The purpose of the meeting was to finalize our amalgamation. An agreement in principle was unanimously agreed on by all members.”

“The amalgamation of the WPC Espanola/Manitoulin branch, with the Fred Vincent branch, Sudbury, is our most recent accomplishment, which is another step in keeping the ship afloat until the WPC is ready to surrender our colours and close our charter, with pride in ourselves and respect for those who have passed before us,” Mr. Pick explained. “Thus, our intended trip to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, will be adjusted and postponed until COVID restrictions are lifted,” explained Mr. Pick.

“Basically, I’m the president of the Sudbury branch and Ray Constantineau was the president for Espanola/Manitoulin. Ray will now become immediate past president of the WPC,” said Mr. Pick.

“The WPC is getting close to the point where we will be surrendering our colours, but before that, we have to close the charge, make sure the financials are in place and present this to the Canadian War Museum,” continued Mr. Pick. “Next year we will be going to Ottawa to present and surrender our colours.”

“This will affirm the pending amalgamation of the Espanola/Manitoulin Branch, inclusive of the WPC members belonging to the Sgt. Charles Golden Silver Star Ceremonial Rifle Team, with the Fred Vincent Branch, Sudbury, of the War Pensioners of Canada Inc,” the agreement reads in part. “This amalgamation will collectively put all WPC administrative and financial maters into a collective format, before we eventually surrender our colours to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, hopefully by September 2022, COVID-19 restrictions permitting.”

Mr. Pick explained, “collectively, both branches must prepare all important documents, historic artifacts and symbols of our existence as an injured veterans pensions association, since 1922, ready to be left in the care of the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, after which, all remaining members will be known as ambassadors of the (WPC), until such time that we are individually deceased. In the future, one of the last of us standing, should contact their local MP and MPP to have it mentioned in parliament the WPC officially no longer exists.”

“In the past two years, the COVID-19 virus has caused public lockdowns and Canada-wide restrictions, which made life very difficult for all of us to carry out our association business by continuing our School Warriors Peace Pole Program to serve Indigenous people, stamp out racism and better respect each culture by our students and veterans’ interacting within the school system, beside retired and serving injured veterans and others in need, as best we are able,” the agreement continues.

“We are now in stage four of this pandemic in the Sudbury area, and meeting as a group is near impossible, thus should the COVID restrictions still exist by September 2022, it will be decided by those present here today as to whether we will extend the existence of the War Pensioners of Canada, as an Association of Veterans, until such time as it is declared the pandemic is over and it is safe to continue normal operations,” said Mr. Pick. “Then, we can carry out our intentions to surrender our colours to the CWM with dignity and respect.”

The agreement document was signed by Colin Pick, who will remain president and CEO of the WPC, immediate past president Ray Constantineau, first vice-president Norm Duffy, second vice-president Richard W. Golder, and treasurer Sylvia Prevost.  Gary Trimmer will serve as third vice-president, Bruce Eyre will be the branch secretary. Directors will include Roger Bujold, Jenny Bingham, Dave Healey and Paul Abbott.