102 year-old Alward M. Gammell, was awarded an honourary Royal Canadian Legion membership on Tuesday.
The Second World War airforce veteran was presented with his 2019 Membership Card by four representatives of the Royal Canadian Legion, Saanich Peninsula Branch #37 to mark his 50th year as a member.
Branch President Mary Truttman and Membership Chair Frank Hawbolt praised Gammell’s commitment to the organization, saying he had been a member since 1969.
The award was given at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital where Gammell is staying. The senior looked in fine form as he accepted his membership card and looked visibly moved when he received it. By his bed was a colourful collage of photographs depicting important milestones in his life. These included pictures of his children and grandchildren, as well as pictures of the planes he flew and a photo of him as a young airman, looking dashing in his uniform.
Gammell was born Sept. 24, 1916 and served in the RCAF from Aug. 1940 to Jan. 1967, serving largely at Canadian Forces Base Comox in B.C.
The occasion coincidentally fell on an important day of remembrance for the Legion, Vimy Ridge Day, where all legion branches across Canada fly their flags at half mast.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a fiercely contested battle in WW1, fought on French fields in 1917.