ANAVETS Shoulder to Shoulder

March 2017

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Dominion President's MESSAGE I hope that all of you had a happy and blessed Christmas and I wish you all the best in the New Year of 2017. On the 7th November 2016 I was invited to attend "No Stone Left Alone" ceremony at Field of Honour, Beechmount Cemetery, in Edmonton. It was the Late Past President Al Bianchini of Dominion Command (1982 - 1984) His granddaughters made the remark whenever their Mother and Father went to Beechmount Cemetery where he and his wife are buried, to place Poppies on their headstones, they said "what about the other headstones", that was 7years ago. Now it has grown all across Canada, from Victoria, B. C. to Halifax, Nova Scotia. On Remembrance Day I have to thank Honorary Dominion President Gerry Wharton and Dominion Secretary/Treasurer Deanna Fimrite to represent me at Ottawa Remembrance Day Services. I participated in Service at Peace Plaza, Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton, assisted by Unit President Lloyd Wright, and Comrade Bill Davies where I laid a Wreath on behalf of Dominion Command. On 13 November 2016 members of ANAVETS took part in both the Eastern and Western Semi-Final Games of the CFL. In the East, Ontario Vice President Gord MacEachern took part in the coin toss ceremony while Comrades Mike Guitard, Gerry McGovern and Joseph and Yvonne Burke represented us on the field in the colour party. In the West, Dominion Past President Gord Marsh took part in the coin toss while Comrades Mike MacDonald, Alfred Woo, William Costain and Randy Williams represented us on the field. On 24th November 2016, I would like to thank Ontario Provincial President and Past Dominion President Bob Cassels and Ontario Vice President Gord MacEachern represented us at Grey Cup Players Awards in the presentation of the Jack Gaudaur Veterans Trophy and to Honorary Dominion President Gerry Wharton for his involvement with the selection committee. My sincere appreciation goes out to these Veterans for their service to our country as well as our Association in representing us so well with the CFL this year. As we begin this New Year of 2017, let us remember our pledge whenever we joined this great Association, "I hereby pledge to uphold the aims, objects and principals of the Association. I will abide by the Constitution, Rules and Regulations of the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada and By-Laws and Regulations of this Unit. I do solemnly swear that I will bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors according to law, so help me God." Always promote the ANAVETS, and what we do to help those veterans and their families in need of assistance, youth programs, remembrance and community support. God Bless you all. Rev'd Canon Thomas McKnight, Dominion President SHOULDER TO SHOULDER 5 I hope everyone had a safe and rewarding 2016 and now onto 2017. This is Canada's 150th birthday as a nation which was long preceded by our indigenous peoples of both the plains and our far north who arrived here a few thousand years ago. Recently I viewed an excellent documentary on our Northern Rangers who patrol our far north in order to maintain our sovereignty and security from other nations that might see an opportunity to lay claim to some of these northern reaches. The Rangers are obviously the best choice to travel safely and maintain our Canadian presence in the vast open spaces of our arctic lands and islands. Not only do they know the land, the safe routes but they are self reliant by hunting and fishing while on the move. This particular documentary showed a small team of Rangers check out a remote radar site and documented the condition of an old DEW line radar site that has long been abandoned. Shamefully, this site was strewn with old fuel barrels, scrap metal and steel structures left when the site was considered redundant. The Ranger team leader noted how such abandoned waste is not only an eyesore in the North but can be a health hazard to roaming wildlife and the old fuel barrels can pollute the ice and tundra. According to a voiceover, the Military are cleaning up these sites one at a time but the cost of doing such is extremely high. It was interesting to note that regular military personnel work closely with the Rangers but allow our indigenous partners to maintain their ways of choosing who partakes on specific missions. The regular Force would offer no such choice; you would just be assigned. The indigenous people are well versed on what can happen on long trips from their home base. It seems that snowmobiles are the choice today but they have their own set of problems. Dog teams are more reliable but unfortunately slower than the manmade machines. The Rangers carry a multitude of spare parts and are incredibly handy in fixing a broken machine which has blown a cylinder or some other essential part that has busted. It was obvious that the Indigenous Rangers are very proud to be responsible for this important duty and carry out these operations effectively and are very much respected by our regular Military personnel. Seeing a line of snowmobiles with long wooden sleighs in tow, all flying a large Canadian flag, travelling across the barren frozen North is a comforting sight. FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK By Derek Walter, Editor

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