Five Cape Bre­ton­ers hon­oured

Min­is­ter of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Com­men­da­tion pre­sented at cer­e­mony

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON -

Five Cape Bre­ton­ers were rec­og­nized with the Min­is­ter of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Com­men­da­tion for their ded­i­ca­tion to Canada’s vet­er­ans.

Min­is­ter of Vet­eran Af­fairs Erin O’Toole made the pre­sen­ta­tion at a cer­e­mony Fri­day in Hal­i­fax.

“These in­di­vid­u­als rep­re­sent the very best of what it means to serve your com­mu­nity — to serve one another,” said O’Toole in a news re­lease. “They are an in­spi­ra­tion and they are vi­tal to the well-be­ing of our vet­eran pop­u­la­tion.”

The five Cape Bre­ton­ers rec­og­nized are Jerome Burke of New Water­ford, Clarence Dawe and El­iz­a­beth Simp­son, both of Syd­ney Mines, Frank Martinello of Syd­ney and Ge­orge McPhee of Louisdale.

Oth­ers hon­oured were Nor­man Crewe of Hal­i­fax, Howard Ei­nar­son and Jim Lowther of Dart­mouth, Karen Ewing of Bass River, Maj. Jason Sam­son of Ham­monds Plains, Law­er­ence Tru­elove of Milton, Stephen Wes­sel of Lake Echo and Const. Reid Smith of Monc­ton, N.B.

Jerome Burke

Burke has been a mem­ber of Unit 217 Army, Navy and Air Force in New Water­ford since 2002. He has held the of­fices of vice-pres­i­dent of Unit 217 and vice-pres­i­dent of the Nova Sco­tia Com­mand.

He is cur­rently serv­ing as vi­cepres­i­dent of the Do­min­ion Com­mand and ser­vice of­fi­cer for his unit.

Burke is also a mem­ber of Royal Cana­dian Le­gion branch 15, where he ded­i­cates time to work­ing on the poppy cam­paign. He serves as the master of cer­e­monies for the an­nual Re­mem­brance Day ser­vice and the Vet­er­ans Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Day cel­e­bra­tions for the New Water­ford unit. As a mem­ber of the hon­our guard, Burke at­tends fu­neral ser­vices for all vet­er­ans in his area.

He is also a mem­ber of the Cape Bre­ton Naval Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion.

Clarence Dawe

Dawe is a Cana­dian Armed Forces vet­eran. In 1966, he joined Royal Cana­dian Le­gion branch 008 and has served in all of­fices with the ex­cep­tion of ser­vice of­fi­cer.

He was elected pres­i­dent for three con­sec­u­tive years and has been awarded a life mem­ber­ship, the Mer­i­to­ri­ous Ser­vice Medal and the Palm Leaf from his lo­cal branch.

In 1985, Dawe was elected Zone 1 com­man­der, a po­si­tion he held un­til 1993 when he was elected vice-chair of the Nova Sco­tia Com­mand.

In 1997, he was elected first vice-pres­i­dent, as­sum­ing the role of pres­i­dent of the Nova Sco­tia Com­mand in 1999. He was sub­se­quently elected to rep­re­sent the Nova Sco­tia Com­mand on the Do­min­ion ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil.

In recog­ni­tion of his hard work and ded­i­ca­tion, Dawe re­ceived the Queen’s Golden Ju­bilee Medal in 2002.

He was also in­stru­men­tal in fi­nal­iz­ing the union of the Nu­navut and North­west Ter­ri­to­ries Com­mand with the Nova Sco­tia Com­mand, now known as the Nova Sco­tia and Nu­navut Com­mand.

Dawe vis­its vet­er­ans in vet­er­ans wings at hos­pi­tals through­out Syd­ney Mines and Glace Bay.

El­iz­a­beth Simp­son

Simp­son has been a mem­ber of the ladies aux­il­iary of Royal Cana­dian Le­gion branch 008 since 1979 and a branch mem­ber since 1986.

Through her ex­pe­ri­ence as­sist­ing in branch vis­its to vet­er­ans homes and hos­pi­tals, she be­came in­ter­ested in help­ing vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies in other ar­eas.

For 28 years, Simp­son has held the post of ser­vice of­fi­cer for branch 008 and she has the rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing one of the most ef­fec­tive ser­vice of­fi­cers in the area. She has also held a num­ber of other ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tions, in­clud­ing pres­i­dent, sec­re­tary, trea­surer, dis­trict com­man­der and pro­vin­cial poppy com­mit­tee chair­per­son for Nova Sco­tia.

Dur­ing her ten­ure as branch pres­i­dent, the branch pur­chased land and built a kitchen and pa­tio area for vet­er­ans to en­joy pic­nics dur­ing the sum­mer. In ad­di­tion, she has been a com­mit­tee mem­ber of the poppy, re­mem­brance and so­cial com­mit­tees of branch 008.

She is co-chair of the D-Day pa­rade and was one of the orig­i­na­tors of the Cape Bre­ton Com­fort Fund, which over­sees the well­be­ing of dis­abled and sick vet­er­ans.

Simp­son is a ded­i­cated and tire­less vol­un­teer ad­vo­cat­ing on be­half of Cape Bre­ton vet­er­ans and was a mem­ber of the ad­vi­sory group for the Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Canada Syd­ney dis­trict of­fice.

Frank Martinello

Martinello is a Cana­dian Armed Forces vet­eran with 28 years of ser­vice. He has been an ac­tive mem­ber of the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion for more than 45 years and is cur­rently ser­vice of­fi­cer for branch 128.

For the last 10 years, Martinello has been ac­tively in­volved with vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies through­out the At­lantic prov­inces, as­sist­ing with ben­e­fit and pen­sion forms, war vet­er­ans al­lowance ap­peals and Last Post fund ap­pli­ca­tions.

He or­ga­nizes vet­er­ans fu­ner­als, as­sists fam­i­lies and en­sures RCL com­rades are in­formed. Martinello is also a sup­porter of the sick and vis­it­ing com­mit­tee, de­liv­er­ing cloth­ing, food and toys in the Louis­bourg area, and he vol­un­teers with the red ket­tle pro­gram for the Sal­va­tion Army.

Martinello is the epit­ome of vet­eran ad­vo­cate, act­ing upon all re­quests with com­pas­sion and dili­gence. He was awarded the RCL Mer­i­to­ri­ous Ser­vice Medal by the Do­min­ion Com­mand for his out­stand­ing de­vo­tion.

Ge­orge McPhee

McPhee is a re­tired Cana­dian Armed Forces Vet­eran, hav­ing served in Canada and abroad for 26 years. He joined the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion in 1993 and con­tin­ues to be an ac­tive mem­ber.

He has held the branch po­si­tions of first vice-pres­i­dent, sergeant-at-arms and he is cur­rently a ser­vice of­fi­cer, where he as­sists vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies with pen­sion ap­pli­ca­tions.

He as­sists the lo­cal Lions Club with its meals on wheels pro­gram by de­liv­er­ing meals to vet­er­ans and se­niors. He also of­ten pro­vides trans­porta­tion and ac­com­pa­nies vet­er­ans to med­i­cal ap­point­ments.

McPhee co-or­di­nated with other vol­un­teers and of­fered free labour to his RCL branch in or­der for ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tions to be made. It is es­ti­mated he, along with his team of vol­un­teers, saved the branch $240,000 in labour costs.

He is also re­spon­si­ble for hav­ing a ceno­taph erected in the com­mu­nity of Louisdale, Rich­mond County.

For his con­tri­bu­tions to the vet­eran com­mu­nity, McPhee has been rec­og­nized as Le­gion­naire of the Year, has been awarded the Le­gion Ser­vice Medal and the 2012 Cen­tury of Ser­vice Vet­er­ans Honorary Medal­lion.


Clarence Dawe of Syd­ney Mines.


Frank Martinello of Syd­ney.


El­iz­a­beth Simp­son of Syd­ney Mines.


Ge­orge McPhee of Louisdale.


Jerome Burke of New Water­ford.

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