From those who served in the Second World War up to and including those posted around the world today, 96 local veterans were recognized at a recent award ceremony for the service they have made to their country.
Some of the recipients were there among the more than 200 people who crowded the Royal Canadian Legion Calais Branch 162 in Sackville on Sunday, March 17. The Diamond Jubilee Century of Service Honorary Award for Veterans is a division of the Duke of Edinburgh Award of Canada. It was developed to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Fourty of the Nova Scotia Division recipients from the Waverly Legion, Centennial Legion, Gatesbrook Legion and Calais branch 162 Sackville Legion were in attendance at the ceremony.
Many family members were in attendance to receive the award for recipients who are ill, posted away and for those who were awarded the medal posthumously.
The award is a silver medal with an image of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh mounted on a 3.5 by six-inch block of marble.
Sackville legion president Ernie Harrison said the branch was happy and proud to host the event.
"We think about them on Remembrance Day," he said. "We do parades and other events, but I still don't think these vets get enough recognition, and ceremonies like this are very important."
- Sixty-four-years ago Ron Waddleton joined the Sackville legion, making him the longest-serving member of the Royal Canadian Legion Calais Branch 162. He was honoured with a Century of Service award at a ceremony on Sunday, March 17." />
At 88, Second World War navy vet Ron Waddleton is the longest serving member of the Sackville legion. He wore his legion and war medals proudly as he accepted his Century of Service award.
"I was humbled and surprised," he said. "It means a lot to all of us to receive a 'thank you' for what we've done," he said. "The Second World War, Korea, the Gulf and I'd like to make a special mention to those in Afghanistan. In my opinion they are definitely real veterans. When we were fighting we knew the enemies. The Germans were dressed like Germans, the Italians were dressed like Italians. That's not the way it is over there right now — everyone is dressed in civilian clothes, They don't even know who they're fighting. I take my hat off to them."
Century of Service Medals are being handed out to Canadian veterans at ceremonies around the province.