Skip to main content
Twin Butte cenotaph with flags in background

Remembrance to pay homage – Local services

As Canadians across the country take a moment Saturday to honour our fallen heroes, and those who have served our country, several local Remembrance Day services are planned to allow us to remember.

In Pincher Creek, a ceremony will be held at Community Hall beginning at 10:45 a.m., followed by a reception at the Legion.

Three separate commemorations will be held in Crowsnest Pass. A full community service will take place at Crowsnest Consolidated High School, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The Coleman Legion will hold a service at the cenotaph at 12:30 p.m. The Bellevue branch is set to begin at 2 p.m.

Twin Butte Community Hall will also host its own service for residents in the Waterton Lakes area. It begins in the hall at 10:30 a.m., before moving out to the cenotaph at 10:45.

Piikani Nation is holding its Remembrance Day service a day earlier, on Friday morning at 10:30, in the Piikani Nation High School gymnasium.

Organizers ask those attending services to arrive early and be seated at least five minutes before the start time, to accommodate the colour parties entering the building.

 

Ad with details of Pincher Creek Remembrance Day service

 

Chief Mountain Gas Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show

 

Your Dollar Store With More Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show
Soldier Jack Dudley with his mother, Mary, in 1945.

Hillcrest veteran fondly remembered by daughter

For many, this Saturday will be filled with mixed emotions, from pride to sadness, remembering those lost to war and those who returned, now gone.

For Marion Borrows, who has called Hillcrest her home for a lifetime, it will be the latter — her father, Jack Dudley, was only a teenager when he left to fight in the second World War.

“My dad was actually the longest-living veteran here at the Bellevue Legion, until he passed away three years ago. He was 99,” Marion shares. “He fought in Italy, in Sicily and Rome, and in North Africa.”

Jack, as it turns out, was also part of the contingent that helped to liberate Holland (now the Netherlands) from Nazi occupation in late 1944 and early 1945. More than 7,600 Canadian soldiers lost their lives during the campaign.

Her father, however, was one of the fortunate ones to return home.

“He was shot in combat twice. He almost bled out one of the times,” Marion says. “I believe it happened in Italy.”

Like many soldiers, her father kept many of his experiences inside.

“I really don’t know an awful lot because my dad didn’t really talk about the war until his later years,” she says.

 

Ad for Sara Hawthorn, Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass realtor

 

A member of the Seaforth Highlanders out of Calgary, Marion’s dad enlisted in the Canadian military and, after only a few short weeks of training in England, was off to battle.

In 1945, upon his return, Jack began a career in the underground mines, something he did, in one capacity or another, until his retirement.

“He worked in Coleman and McGillivary in a place called B level. He worked in Canmore for a while. And, he was also in Sparwood,” Marion says.

When there wasn’t work in the mines, because of a strike or layoff, he would pick up work on road crews. 

“He was a very friendly person,” Marion says. “Everybody liked Jack Dudley.”

“He loved to fish. He lived to fish,” she adds. “His favourite was in the river when he could fly fish.”

Also an avid ice fisherman, he could be found at Beaver and Beauvais lakes during the winter months, but arthritis from his service in the war, Marion believes, caught up with him and limited the amount of fishing he could do.

It was at a dance in Beaver Mines that he met his bride, Cecelia.

“He said it was her red hair that caught his eye and he knew she was the one for him,” Marion recalls.

The two would be later married in the Coleman United Church.

 

Grassroots Realty Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show

 

“Times were tough, so they took a bus to Marysville [for their honeymoon], staying at a hotel for one night.”

Jack was father to three daughters — Marion, the oldest, Diane and Colleen — the loves of his life.

While he probably had hoped for a boy, Marion says he settled for a dog.

“He loved dogs. He always said that they were the only son he could produce.” 

While war often produces stories of strife and tragedy, Marion says she’d like to remember some of the happier stories her dad shared with the family — of villagers, in Italy, for example, treating soldiers like gold, and another story …

“They would go and collect all the boots of the soldiers that were laid up in the hospital, sell the boots to the locals, because they would get new boots when they returned to combat, buy wine with the money they received for the boots, and have a party.”

“I would imagine, in Italy, there was probably a lot of local vino,” Marion jokes.

Jack passed away peacefully on July 15, 2020.

As Marion’s family remembers, we, too, acknowledge the selfless service of Jack, and of all our heroes, to our country. Lest we forget.

 

Soldier Jack Dudley with his mother, Mary, in 1945.

A photo of a young Jack Dudley with his mom, Mary, just prior to leaving for service in the Second World War. He would return to Hillcrest in 1945 to become a miner, marry his sweetheart, Cecelia, and raise three daughters. | Photo courtesy of Marion Borrows

 

Vision Credit Union Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show

 

Fred White solemnly salutes. He is dressed in Legion uniform with white gloves and a dark red sash, with medals on his chest and a poppy on his lapel.

Fred White: Quietly working behind the scenes

Fred White has been long associated with Pincher Creek’s Royal Canadian Legion and gladly works behind the scenes to keep its rich history alive.

“My parents were both Legion members. When I turned 18, I joined,” Fred explains. 

Growing up, he learned military tradition, holding a number of roles in the community’s cadets program, including commanding officer, following in the footsteps of his older brother.

“I’ve held different positions on the Legion executive,” he says. “I’m now the sergeant-of-arms. Basically, I’m the keeper of the visual paraphernalia and co-ordinator of ceremonies.”

One such ceremony is this Saturday’s Remembrance Day service at Pincher Creek Community Hall, just one of many events he takes pride in being involved with.

Although he won’t admit it, Fred has been instrumental in keeping the organization’s community presence alive, by helping organize not only the Nov. 11 remembrance but the area’s Christmas hamper program too.

 

Pincher Creek Curling Club – – Pincher Creek Trade Show

 

“Fred is a very valuable part of the Legion and has been for many years,” current president Maggie Christians tells Shootin’ the Breeze. “I’ve known him for a long time, going back to when we were kids.”

Besides Remembrance Day, the Pincher Creek-raised volunteer can also be seen around the community leading the Legion’s colour party at events like the rodeo weekend parade.

One of the more recent projects Fred has involved himself in is the Legion’s medical cabinet program. 

“The Red Cross in Lethbridge loans out wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, things like that, but for people in Pincher Creek, it’s sometimes tough to get there,” he says.

Seeing a need, Fred and the Legion stepped up, establishing a similar setup locally. While it started with just a few small items, it’s now grown to include motorized scooters.

It might seem, on the surface, like a small gesture, but it’s in character with Fred, quietly making a difference in people’s lives. 

Asked if he has any plans to slow down, maybe turn the torch over to someone else, he jokes, “I think I still have a couple of good years in me.”

Thank you, Fred, for all you do!

 

Fred White is the current sergeant-at-arms for the Pincher Creek branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. He’s been a member since he was 18 and has helped to keep the organization vibrant in a changing landscape. | Photo by Brenda Shenton

 

Ad for Dragons Heart Quilt Shop in Pincher Creek

 

Veteran Norman Walker speaks from a podium

Books of Remembrance

Canada’s eight Books of Remembrance, recognizing those who have given their lives in military service to their country, are installed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in our nation’s capital, Ottawa.

A page of each book is turned every day in a ceremony at 11 a.m. so that every name sees the light of day at least once a year.

The First World War Book of Remembrance, dedicated in 1942, contains 66,655 names from the Great War, once touted as the war to end all wars.

A total of 44,893 Canadians are commemorated in the Second World War Book of Remembrance, placed in 1957.

The 211-page Newfoundland Book of Remembrance contains the names of 2,363 war dead from 1914 to 1949, before the province joined Confederation.

The South African War/Nile Expedition Book of Remembrance contains 267 names of those who perished in what is known as the 1899-1902 Boer War, as well as a special section dedicated to the 16 killed during the 1884-85 Nile Expedition, the first overseas conflict that Canada participated in.

 

Heritage Acres Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show

 

The 516 names in the Korean War Book of Remembrance are accompanied by a page displaying the shields of 17 countries of the United Nations Forces.

Dedicated in 1993, the Merchant Navy Book of Remembrance memorializes 2,212 mariners lost during both World Wars. Merchant navy veterans did not get their medals and benefits until 1993, and their comrades killed at sea have no grave or marker.

The seventh Book of Remembrance is titled In the Service of Canada. Its first volume memorializes 1,912 Canadian Armed Forces members who have died while serving since 1947. Dedicated in 2005, it contains the names of the dead from the war in Afghanistan, as well as peacekeeping and NATO missions. A second volume now includes the names of 81 killed in action since 2015.

A total of 1,653 soldiers and sailors and Indigenous allies killed in Canada when the country was a colony of Great Britain are commemorated in the War of 1812 Book of Remembrance. As a 200th anniversary project, it was commissioned in 2012 and unveiled in 2019.

An important objective of the Books of Remembrance is to increase public awareness of those Canadians who have served in the cause of peace.

Let us never forget those who never got to enjoy the peace and freedom we enjoy every day.

 

Ad for Aurora Eggert Coaching in Beaver Mines

 

 

Two men in heavy-metal rocker 80s attire – one looking to the left and the other pointing at you straight on during Banger Bingo at the Pincher Creek Legion

Rock of Ages 2.0

It might not have been the musical but it was very close for a packed house Friday at the Pincher Creek Legion. Billed as “not your grandma’s bingo,” Banger Bingo didn’t disappoint with blaring flashback ’80s music from groups like AC/DC and Kiss, to an air guitar competition. That’s lead entertainer Shane-saw, who also doubled up as the bingo caller. Rock on!

Photo by Dave Lueneberg

 

Aerial view of the Cowley Lions Campground on the Castle River in southwestern Alberta

 

 

 

Pincher Creek Legion celebrates first National Legion Week

Pincher Creek’s Legion Branch 43 hosted a private dinner Sept. 17 in recognition of the first National Legion Week, which ran Sept. 17 to 23. The new weeklong acknowledgment is meant to bring attention to the work of Legions across Canada, which serve and support military and RCMP veterans, as well as the community itself.

Photos by William Cockerell

 

Table setting of wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

 

Rear view of sergeant-at-arms Fred White saluting the Canadian and British flags.

Sergeant-at-arms Fred White salutes the Canadian and British flags during the singing of Canada’s national anthem.

Three men and two women do a can-can step wearing brightly-coloured striped socks.

Dave Johnson, left Beth Goff, Rev. Dave Goff, Rachel Welsh and Fred White dance in colourful knitted socks as part of a comedy bit conducted by an area comedian, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Head-table guests look to guest speaker Gary Mills at the podium.

Pincher Creek Legion president Maggie Christians, left, Coleman Legion president Gary Littlewood, Beth Goff and branch padre Rev. Dave Goff listen attentively as guest speaker Gary Mills passionately addresses those in attendance.

Lou Niven, a woman with a coral-coloured sweater, sits next to veteran Norman Walker who is wearing military medals on his chest.

Lou Niven and veteran Norm Walker enjoy the evening’s festivities.