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

 

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

 

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.

 

Pig roast at wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

 

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.

 

Ad for Vape in Pincher Creek

 

“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

 

Ad for Dragons Heart Quilt Shop in Pincher Creek

 

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.

 

Ad for Blinds and More in Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass

 

“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

 

Ace of spades card on ad for Chase the Ace at the Pincher Creek Legion

 

Legion’s poppy campaign supports local veterans

Each year, from the last Friday of October until Nov. 11, people across the country wear a poppy in honour of our nation’s veterans. The poppy serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made to protect the freedoms we enjoy today, ensuring we never forget.

To coincide with the lead-up to Remembrance Day, Legions nationwide conduct local poppy campaigns, a program carried out annually to raise money in support of veterans.

Campaign funds are held in trust at the branch level to support veterans and their families within the community. This support could come in many forms, including food, clothing, shelter, medical assistance and more.

“Any money raised from the poppy campaign goes towards supporting our local veterans, anything from hospital stay expenses, to medical equipment being put in their home, basically anything that they would require,” says Angie Moen, who chairs Pincher Creek’s poppy campaign.

According to Dick Burnham, Pincher Creek’s branch service officer, in the past year, the local Legion has assisted veterans with the installation of medical equipment, medical research programs for veterans and Veterans of the Caribbean in need.

Residents have certainly taken notice of the wonderful services provided by the Legion to local veterans. Pincher Creek businesses have traditional poppy boxes in their establishments, Legion volunteers set up poppy tables for donations and citizens have made individual contributions. It’s evident that this program is one that could not work without community support.

 

Ad for Shadowbar Shepherds Training in Pincher Creek

 

“It’s very important to get this kind of support from the community because the funds are directly used in cases of need for veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP,” says Dick.

“The support has been amazing,” says Angie. “This is my first year doing this and I’m very proud of this community and the support they’ve provided.”

If you wish to donate to the Pincher Creek Legion’s poppy fund, you can send an e-Transfer to Poppy Fund or mail a cheque to Pincher Creek Legion Branch 43, PO Box 131, Pincher Creek, AB, T0K 1W0.

As a registered charity, the fund can issue tax-deductible receipts, upon request, for donations of $25 or more.

“The poppy fund comes to the nation’s attention in November — but you can donate, anytime, locally at your Legion branch to support veterans and remembrance in your community,” says Dick.

Veterans in need of financial assistance are encouraged to contact their local Legion today. You do not need to be a member to seek help. For veterans in Pincher Creek, call the branch at 403-627-4024.

 

Information for the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Fund

 

Ad for Darcys Nature Walk Crowsnest Pass
Image of Jack Price with short, dark hair and moustace wearing suit and tie

Coleman soldier made supreme sacrifice for his country

Pte. Jack Price, a member of the 54th Kootenay Battalion, was the first Coleman man to give up his life in defence of his country. He was killed in action somewhere in France on May 7, 1916, at the age of 39.

Jack was born in the north of Ireland and came to Canada when he was eight years old. His people settled in Nova Scotia, where Jack remained until about 1906, when he came to Coleman. He was employed in the mines until the outbreak of the war.

He enlisted for active service with the 54th Kootenay Battalion in Fernie, B.C., on May 13, 1915, and served with his battalion a few days less than one year.

Jack was one of the first English-speaking married men from Coleman to enlist. That he took this step from a sheer sense of duty was clearly indicated by a conversation he had with a local professional man a few days after he signed on.

“What on earth possessed you, a man with a large family, to enlist, Jack?” was the query put to him by this man.

 

Ad for Creekview Dental Hygiene clinic in Pincher Creek

 

“Well, I’ll tell you. If we married men wait here for some of these unmarried men to go first, we are going to lose this war.”

So, he followed the path of duty as he saw it, and the shock which the news of his death must have brought to his wife and family here may have been softened, to some extent, by the knowledge that if any man was ever entitled to have it said of him, Jack Price would certainly be remembered by all who knew him as a man who did his duty for his country.

He was survived by his wife and a young family of six children.

Jack Price is buried in Chester Farm Cemetery in Belgium along with 87 Canadian soldiers, 306 from the United Kingdom, 21 from Australia and four German prisoners. Another five soldiers from the U.K. and one from Canada are commemorated as buried, or believed to be buried, in the cemetery, although the graves cannot be found.

Pte. Jack Price made the supreme sacrifice — he made it for us all.

 

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

 

 

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.

 

 

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