Veterans’ luncheon keeps their memory alive

News Oct 02, 2009 Ancaster News

For Fred Passmore and Len Stewart, the recognition and lunch was much appreciated.

The two former Lancaster crew members were among 50 or so veterans who were on hand at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum for the Veterans Appreciation Day event last Friday organized by the Historica-Dominion Institute and the Province of Ontario.

“The respect that’s being shown to our veterans is tremendous,” said Mr. Passmore, 85, who was a Royal Canadian Air Force Lancaster pilot in the Second World War serving with Bomber Command as part of the 420 and 428 squadrons.

“I think it’s great, you should keep it as a regular occasion and publicize it as much as you can,” said Mr. Leslie, an 88-year-old Mississauga resident and Distinguished Flying Cross recipient who was a navigator on Lancasters with Royal Air Force pathfinder squadrons 101 and 582.

Both men have been visiting schools in their communities each November prior to Remembrance Day to talk to students about their experiences.

Mr. Passmore said he didn’t talk about the war much until he was invited into a school in the downtown area bout 22 years ago.

He noted he began his talk to the children with a question.

“(Is there) anyone here in the group who knows who (Nazi dictator) Adolf Hitler was?” Mr. Passmore recalled asking the students.

No hands went up.

“I repeated it and I repeated it a second time,” Mr. Passmore said.

“Finally a little hand went up and I said ‘great tell us who Adolf Hitler was’ and the student said ‘he won the Nobel Prize’. I looked at the teacher, she shrugged her shoulders, I went right over to her and said ‘what do these kids know about the War’ and she said ‘absolutely nothing’ and I said ‘my work has only begun’”.

Mr. Stewart agreed it’s important school children know about the sacrifices of the veterans.

“I say (to the students) this country of Canada is the best country in the world and you’re very lucky to be here and you’re the future of our country so remember that,” Mr. Stewart said.

Kailee Novikoff, program coordinator for the Historica-Dominion Institute’s Memory Project, said the Hamilton event was one of several Veterans Appreciation Day gatherings being held across the country.

“We really want to ensure that veterans are thought of through out the year and not just after November 11th,” she said.

Ms. Novikoff said Memory Project officials will be travelling the country over the next couple of years to record the stories of surviving veterans of the Second World War.

For more information, see www.thememoryproject.com

Veterans’ luncheon keeps their memory alive

News Oct 02, 2009 Ancaster News

For Fred Passmore and Len Stewart, the recognition and lunch was much appreciated.

The two former Lancaster crew members were among 50 or so veterans who were on hand at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum for the Veterans Appreciation Day event last Friday organized by the Historica-Dominion Institute and the Province of Ontario.

“The respect that’s being shown to our veterans is tremendous,” said Mr. Passmore, 85, who was a Royal Canadian Air Force Lancaster pilot in the Second World War serving with Bomber Command as part of the 420 and 428 squadrons.

“I think it’s great, you should keep it as a regular occasion and publicize it as much as you can,” said Mr. Leslie, an 88-year-old Mississauga resident and Distinguished Flying Cross recipient who was a navigator on Lancasters with Royal Air Force pathfinder squadrons 101 and 582.

Both men have been visiting schools in their communities each November prior to Remembrance Day to talk to students about their experiences.

Mr. Passmore said he didn’t talk about the war much until he was invited into a school in the downtown area bout 22 years ago.

He noted he began his talk to the children with a question.

“(Is there) anyone here in the group who knows who (Nazi dictator) Adolf Hitler was?” Mr. Passmore recalled asking the students.

No hands went up.

“I repeated it and I repeated it a second time,” Mr. Passmore said.

“Finally a little hand went up and I said ‘great tell us who Adolf Hitler was’ and the student said ‘he won the Nobel Prize’. I looked at the teacher, she shrugged her shoulders, I went right over to her and said ‘what do these kids know about the War’ and she said ‘absolutely nothing’ and I said ‘my work has only begun’”.

Mr. Stewart agreed it’s important school children know about the sacrifices of the veterans.

“I say (to the students) this country of Canada is the best country in the world and you’re very lucky to be here and you’re the future of our country so remember that,” Mr. Stewart said.

Kailee Novikoff, program coordinator for the Historica-Dominion Institute’s Memory Project, said the Hamilton event was one of several Veterans Appreciation Day gatherings being held across the country.

“We really want to ensure that veterans are thought of through out the year and not just after November 11th,” she said.

Ms. Novikoff said Memory Project officials will be travelling the country over the next couple of years to record the stories of surviving veterans of the Second World War.

For more information, see www.thememoryproject.com

Veterans’ luncheon keeps their memory alive

News Oct 02, 2009 Ancaster News

For Fred Passmore and Len Stewart, the recognition and lunch was much appreciated.

The two former Lancaster crew members were among 50 or so veterans who were on hand at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum for the Veterans Appreciation Day event last Friday organized by the Historica-Dominion Institute and the Province of Ontario.

“The respect that’s being shown to our veterans is tremendous,” said Mr. Passmore, 85, who was a Royal Canadian Air Force Lancaster pilot in the Second World War serving with Bomber Command as part of the 420 and 428 squadrons.

“I think it’s great, you should keep it as a regular occasion and publicize it as much as you can,” said Mr. Leslie, an 88-year-old Mississauga resident and Distinguished Flying Cross recipient who was a navigator on Lancasters with Royal Air Force pathfinder squadrons 101 and 582.

Both men have been visiting schools in their communities each November prior to Remembrance Day to talk to students about their experiences.

Mr. Passmore said he didn’t talk about the war much until he was invited into a school in the downtown area bout 22 years ago.

He noted he began his talk to the children with a question.

“(Is there) anyone here in the group who knows who (Nazi dictator) Adolf Hitler was?” Mr. Passmore recalled asking the students.

No hands went up.

“I repeated it and I repeated it a second time,” Mr. Passmore said.

“Finally a little hand went up and I said ‘great tell us who Adolf Hitler was’ and the student said ‘he won the Nobel Prize’. I looked at the teacher, she shrugged her shoulders, I went right over to her and said ‘what do these kids know about the War’ and she said ‘absolutely nothing’ and I said ‘my work has only begun’”.

Mr. Stewart agreed it’s important school children know about the sacrifices of the veterans.

“I say (to the students) this country of Canada is the best country in the world and you’re very lucky to be here and you’re the future of our country so remember that,” Mr. Stewart said.

Kailee Novikoff, program coordinator for the Historica-Dominion Institute’s Memory Project, said the Hamilton event was one of several Veterans Appreciation Day gatherings being held across the country.

“We really want to ensure that veterans are thought of through out the year and not just after November 11th,” she said.

Ms. Novikoff said Memory Project officials will be travelling the country over the next couple of years to record the stories of surviving veterans of the Second World War.

For more information, see www.thememoryproject.com