The Yorkton Legion’s ‘Honour Our Veterans’ banner program is ready to finish off its second year of applications for the banner program.
They have had 54 veterans to date and hope to receive many more before the June 15 deadline.
As with last year, every veteran’s story is fascinating which makes a person want to dig deeper into their personal history and the history of the times.
The banner committee has heard the story of one young navy lad, newly married, who travelled to Halifax in order to sail for England, only to find he was too late to get on his designated ship. He managed to make berth on another that was leaving shortly after, but didn’t have a chance to notify his new bride. His original ship was torpedoed and all hands lost at sea. His wife spent the next few years grieving, thinking her husband had been on board, until he miraculously appeared at home after his discharge.
Ken Gordon, Legion president, mentions they have a unique situation this year in that there are several sets of brothers.
“The six Stearn brothers from Yorkton, and the four Skene brothers from Dubuc, all enlisted for duty in WWII, and all of them returned safely. The odds against that happening must have been astronomical,” he said.
There were also several sets of two brothers, such as the Propp boys, and the Walsh brothers, joining up to serve their country.
Two sets of married couples will also be featured on banners this fall.
One of the couples, Lieutenant Colonel Mansel Powell and Bernice D. Powell, Canadian Women’s Army Corps, were serving at the same time, and in fact, probably crossed paths at Camp Borden at some point, but didn’t meet until after the war, when Mansel came to Ebenezer to visit family.
The second couple, John and Non Milne, met during the war when John, an RAF pilot, was shot down south of London. When taken to Dorking Hospital, he met a young Welsh RN named Non Jones. Smitten, the two were soon married. John was later shot down again, this time in North Africa, and though he was badly wounded this time, his luck held, and the two eventually returned to Yorkton after the war.
Featuring multiple veterans on the same banner has made it interesting for volunteer, Chad McDowell.
McDowell is responsible for editing pictures and transferring all info on to the actual banner. When you receive a digital photo which is a picture of six different pictures put side by side, it is a challenge to make everything fit and blend in order to create one composite graphic clear enough to see from the street.
If you’ve been thinking of having a veteran featured on a banner this coming fall, it’s not too late to get your application in to the Legion.
The deadline is June 15. Application forms can be received from the Yorkton Legion website, by calling the Legion - 306-783-9789 (Mon., Wed. & Fri. mornings), or by emailing email@example.com. The banners will be displayed on Broadway and Darlington for the six weeks prior to Remembrance Day.