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Burlington Veteran Douglas Ross Rickard passes at 104
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 60 Burlington is deeply saddened by the passing of one of its valued members, Douglas Ross Rickard, who died peacefully at home the morning of February 22, 2023 in his 105th year. His wife, Jean, was at his side. The Rickards celebrated their 78th wedding anniversary last June, just days before Jean turned 100.
Mr. Rickard was among the last Canadian survivors of the Dieppe Raid during the Second World War. It was one of the darkest chapter’s in Canada’s military history but it was also marked by great courage and helped lead to important lessons to prepare for the D-Day invasion of 1944.
Douglas Ross Rickard was a member of the Royal Canadian Corp of Signals. He arrived at Dieppe in the early morning of August 19th, 1942 aboard a tank landing craft (TLC) containing three tanks. He was knocked unconscious by a shell blast but was revived by an officer and continued to receive and transmit messages until further damage to the vessel disabled an engine and forced the crew to retreat. With only one propeller working, they slowly tried to return to Britain. They were set upon by enemy fighters off the coast of England, and to avoid injury Corporal Rickard jumped overboard. He was able to remove his heavy boots and swam over a kilometer back to an English beach and safety.
Corporal Rickard continued to serve the remainder of the war in a variety of roles, returning to Canada in early 1946 with his British war bride, Jean. Already an accomplished artist, he continued his painting and held art director positions with several major publications including Maclean’s magazine. Before retirement, he established several Canadian companies which exported Canadian photographic equipment and art supplies around the world.
In recognition of his service, Corporal Rickard was awarded the 1939 to 1945 Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45 with Dieppe Bar and, in 2021, received the French Legion of Honour Medal.
Corporal Douglas Ross Rickard proudly displays the French Legion of Honour Medal presented to him in 2021 by Col. Roger Vandomme, Deputy Defence Attache with the French Embassy in Canada.
The almost 5,000 Canadians who fought in the Dieppe Raid were among the more than one million men and women from our country who served in uniform during the Second World War. The efforts of all of these brave Canadians helped the Allies eventually achieve victory.
A video of the celebration of Corporal Rickard’s 104th birthday last June 25, 2022 is available HERE. A video of Corporal Rickard recalling his experience at Dieppe is available HERE. Plus, a video of Corporal Rickard being presented with the French Legion of Honour Medal is available HERE.
Membership Committee resumes weekly meeting
The Membership Committee has resumed its weekly Tuesday availability in the Boardroom from Noon to 2 p.m. Please call the Branch in the event of inclement weather to ensure folks will be there. This is an opportunity to meet with Membership Chair Helen Horoky to update your membership and address any questions you may have.
Congratulations to Helen Horoky on being selected Branch 60's Legionnaire of the Year ! The announcement was made at the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on Dec. 19th by President Murray Sutherland . Helen has taken the reins of Membership Chair for the past couple of years and along with partner Gary Cox has been invaluable in assisting with most of our social events and keeping members informed through various posters.
Certificates of Merit were also presented to four members in recognition of their various volunteer efforts to keep the Branch alive and thriving. Thank You and Congratulations to Dorothy Lundy, Melanie Pepper, Dave Smith and Gerry Bardy all pictured below.!
Branch 60 was proud to host the 2022 Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph at Veteran Square on Nov. 11th. If you were unable to attend in person or watch the live stream, we invite you to watch it HERE .
Also, there are some fantastic photos on BurlingtonToday.com .
The Honourable Karina Gould, Member of Parliament for Burlington, cut the ribbon on Oct. 14 as the Branch gratefully acknowledged the various government grants for capital projects to assist with recovery from mandated closures and to improve accessibility within the building. Among other things, the federal government's grant to improve accessibility allowed the Branch to replace its old bar with a new wheelchair-accessible structure. You can watch the ribbon cutting ceremony HERE.
Branch 60 was proud to host members of the 2022 Ruck to Remember campaign on July 31. The 900km ruck march along the Bruce Trail from Tobermory to Niagara-on-the-Lake is in support of a Legion program called "Operation Leave the Streets Behind" which aims to get and keep veterans off the streets. We served them dinner and breakfast and provided overnight accomodation. Plus, we presented them with a cheque for $10,000. Pictured are Ruck team members along with President Murray Sutherland (far right) and Vice Presidents John Mattocks (far left) and Dan Lauzon (lower left). More information on the Ruck is available HERE.