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Odds and sods.

Although things are quiet on the U.S. deserter front, I was still able to find a topic on which to vent my spleen. A number of idiots--vandals, hooligans, call them what you will--have seen fit to vandalize more of our war memorials. In Ingleside, Ont., a cenotaph was spray-painted on all sides. A 19-year-old "man" (I use the term loosely) has been charged. Also, a Cornwall, Ont., memorial has been defaced by a series of red markings. However, perhaps the most serious case was in Fredericton, NB, where a two-metre cross was knocked down; sadly, the cenotaph could not be repaired in time for Remembrance Day.

Warning! Veterans Affairs is considering transferring control of Canada's last veterans hospital, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, to the Quebec government. In view of experience where other veterans' facilities have been handed over to the provinces, Brian Forbes (representing NCVAC) is concerned that veterans should receive priority treatment and the same high level of car they are now getting. I share his concern.

A total of $85,425 has recently been distributed through Veterans Affairs Community Engagement Partnership. Recipients include Glace Bay Bethel Family Church, Halifax Regional Municipality, NS; First Special Service Force Association, Boudalerie NS; Veterans Memorial Committee, Heritage Lower St. Lawrence Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, Montreal; Jean-Paul I High School, St Leonard, Que.; McGill University; Musee du 12e Regiment Blinde, Trois-Rivieres, Que.; Mahone Bay, NS; Teeswater, Ont.; London's Western fair; and the Windsor Historical Society. For more information (and how to apply for funds for your event) visit www.vac-acc.gc.ca or call 1-866-522-2133.

An old friend, Pat Lanteigne, suddenly surfaced with a letter disputing my report that a private's monthly pay was $90, and enclosed a copy of his pay records which showed only $79. My informant (Mike Czuboka) is usually reliable, so I must surmise that (a) the $79 was the recruit rate and a trained soldier received a raise, or (b) Mike served in the Special Force (Korea) under a different pay scale. As Pat is a Postal Corps veteran it is only fitting that I remind you of the Veterans Memorial postage stamp--they are going quickly.

Your views! Once again moves are afoot to legislate a mandatory "Two Minutes of Silence" on November 11th. I feel that, while showing respect for our fallen and indeed all veterans is something that should be observed, respect is something that is earned, not legislated.

Apart from that, enforcing a two-minute pause amid the bustle of city life would be almost impossible. On the same subject, in Ottawa, stores are not allowed to open until 12:30 p.m., after the Remembrance ceremony. One major supermarket had just opened and store managers were unaware of the bylaw. A fine of $610 was imposed, and the T & T Supermarket voluntarily turned over their morning's profits to the poppy fund. That's class!
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Title Annotation:THE OLD GUARD: Veterans' news & views; vandalism of memorials, control transfer of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, pay for privates
Author:Peate, Les
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Dec 1, 2009
Words:473
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