On this past Thanksgiving Day, Last Post Fund member Barry Keeler and his young grandson Jake, who has an avid interest in WWI and WWII history, had the pleasure of visiting Herb Peppard at the Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Building in Halifax, NS. Herb, a youthful 97 year old Nova Scotian (Truro) is a distinguished WWII Veteran who served with the elite United States/Canadian First Special Force, also known as the Devil’s Brigade.
On February 3rd, 2015 Herb was on Capitol Hill in Washington, with 12 Canadian and 28 American First Special Service Force brothers to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honour the US Congress can bestow. In 1944 he was awarded one of America's highest military honors, the Silver Star, for "gallantry in action."
Barry noted it was a great honour spending time on Thanksgiving afternoon visiting this highly-accomplished WWII Veteran and Jake now intends to write up his biography as a Veterans Week project at school.
We are proud to announce that Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, CC CMM, COM, CQ, CD Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada has graciously accepted our request to become patron of the Last Post Fund. Before becoming Governor General, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette was an astronaut, engineer, scientific broadcaster and corporate director. She has received many distinctions and 28 honorary doctorates. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec.
Tara Muia, of the Last Post Fund and Emile Gallant, of Veterans Affairs Canada, attended the Annual Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals (OACFP) Conference & Tradeshow in Hamilton, Ontario on October 2-3, 2018. The OACFP is a non-profit association founded in 1913, initially created to allow Ontario cemetery and funeral professionals to exchange ideas and information in order to maintain professional standards and high levels of customer service. OACFP has an extensive membership base representing all sectors of the bereavement industry, government and death care industry associations across the province. This conference provided an opportunity for Tara and Emile to exchange ideas, build relationships and raise awareness of the Last Post Fund’s mission, as well as promote the Veterans Affairs Canada Funeral and Burial Program.
Representatives from the Last Post Fund National Office and the National Field of Honour had the pleasure of participating in the first gathering of Veterans Services-Quebec Veterans Foundation, held at the St. Hubert Airport, on September 29th, 2018. Last Post Fund team members met a large number of Veterans and their loved ones. They established numerous contacts with kindred organizations that, like us, provide support to the Veterans’ community. Two organizations that were in attendance; Old Brewery Mission and Groupe JP Robin, both provide services to homeless Veterans, which we hope to collaborate with in the future.
Pointe Claire, September 17, 2018. Mr. Andrzej Dera, Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland (seen in the middle of the photo) and Mr. Andrzej Kurnicki, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to Canada visit the NFOH with members of their Montreal consulate and local Polish war veterans to lay a wreath in remembrance of the 400 Polish soldiers buried in the cemetery. The visitors were received by BGen. Gaston Cote and LCol. Michel Crowe of the Quebec branch.
The Alberta Branch is having preliminary discussions with the City of Edmonton regarding the expansion of the Field of Honour at the Northern Lights Cemetery with an initial focus of a new Columbarium and possibly a Scattering Garden.
The Veterans Affairs Canada Funeral and Burial Program ensures that eligible Veterans receive dignified funeral and burial services. The Program is administered by the Last Post Fund, a non-profit organization that has served Veterans since 1909. The Last Post Fund’s operations are based in three cities: Halifax, Montreal and Toronto. The National office is located in Montreal. The Last Post Fund is supported financially by Veterans Affairs Canada and by private donations.
The Last Post Fund has been helping Veterans since 1909. Arthur Douglas Hair was founder of the Last Post Fund in 1909. One of Hair's military brothers, James Daly, died without family or the means to have a proper funeral. Hair was "outraged by the callous disregard for the deceased man's past military service". Hair wrote a letter to The Montreal Gazette and went on a mission to ensure that the military dead "no matter what their lot in life, were worthy of more reverential treatment".