Every year, Bradford's Branch 521 of the Royal Canadian Legion hosts an Honours and Awards afternoon, presenting Years of Service pins, Executive Awards, certificates of appreciation to its community partners, and Medals of Service to legion members who have gone above and beyond.
The Honours and Awards chair also presents an award to the Legionnaire of the Year – an award that this year has a new name. An emotional Mandi Turner, co-chair, announced that it has been renamed the Bert Hogg Legionnaire of the Year Award, in memory of a veteran and legion member who passed away earlier this year.
Hogg’s son John and daughter Susan Hunter were on-hand for the presentation of the award Sept. 16, given this year to Legionnaire Linda Gulston for her continuous contributions to the Bradford branch. She received one of two standing ovations of the day.
Years of Service – Ordinary Members:
Dennis Roughley, D.W. Sanderson – 35 years of service pin; Walter Lawrence – 40-year pin; Vince Brown – 45-year pin.
Donna Turner, Norm Walker both recognized for 35 years of support
Years of Service – Associate Members:
Sharon Summerville – 10-year pin, James Richardson – 20-year pin; Daniel Wyman, Paul Young – 25-year pins, David Stevens – 40-year pins.
Affiliate Voting Members:
Cameron Rooke – Five years.
Executive Awards and Bars:
Linda Gulston – 1st VP Bar, Tammy Paglia – Treasurer Bar, Mandi Turner – Secretary Bar, Dave Hammond – Past Officer executive medal bar, George Nielson – Sergeant-at-Arms, Ruth Brooks – Poppy and Youth Education Bar.
Certificates of Appreciation:
Certificates were presented to Kathleen Kelly, who created a quilt for the late Bert Hogg; Peter Reali – No Frills, for donations; Jon Shreeze – Crabby Joe’s; Bill Skwarchuk of Skwarchuk Funeral Homes – providing limo service for veterans on Remembrance Day; Peter Dykie Jr. – jewellery donations; Bill Roberts – cleanup and support; Zehr’s – food donations for a Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser; Cheryl LeBlond of 3 Scoops – gift cards; and the Town of BWG for its ongoing support.
Poppy Appreciation awards were presented to young singer Marie Conceicao and Bonnie Walker for setting a Remembrance Poem to music, and to Ron Werdon.
Medal of Service:
Bill Copeland, Dennis Casey, Tammy Paglia, Matt Walker.
Matthew Walker was one of several legionnaires to receive the Medal of Service. George Nielson presented the award, describing Walker as a young man who is always willing to serve.
“He’s a very, very good worker for veterans,” Nielson said. “He loves veterans.”
Walker also received a standing ovation.