Tragedies in the military; but let’s have some joy at Christmas

Westgrove school kids make and sell cookies for murdered Cpl. Cirillo’s son; the city’s Jason Timmerman at age 105 nailed two world swimming records.

Steven Fletcher
Steven Fletcher Taking Note

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo standing as honour guard at the National War Memorial being shot dead was a despicable act. Days before, another military member in uniform, warrant officer Patrice Vincent, was run down by a car and killed in Quebec. The country has expressed its grief for the losses as well as pride for our men and women of the Armed Forces.

A touching tribute to the Cirillo family was made by the kids at Winnipeg’s Westgrove School. The students decided to raise funds by creating homemade poppies and selling them. The revenue raised will go to support Cpl. Cirillo’s son, with a portion going to the Charleswood Legion. It is heartwarming to hear stories of children acting to make their world and future better and honouring our veterans.

Seeking WWII vets
I would like to ask for your help to track down and recognize living Second World War veterans that you may know. Living veterans of that war who served at least one day with Canadian or any other Allied forces are eligible to receive the tribute lapel pin and certificate. An application form and service or regimental number is required to apply for this honour. I would like to see as many eligible veterans in our community recognized as possible. You can contact my office for more information.

Jaring will be missed
Our community has also suffered a great loss recently. Born five years before the start of the First World War, Jaring Timmerman recently passed away at the age of 105. Mr. Timmerman spent his life in our community and earlier this year earned world records in the 50-metre backstroke and 50-metre freestyle swimming events in his age category. He had already won numerous awards in swimming events in his lifetime. Jaring Timmerman will be missed by all who knew him.

Find joy this season
It may be difficult this year to focus on happiness, but I hope you and your family are able to take time to find joy this coming holiday season. This is the time of year when we can take note of the tremendous talent our community has in the arts. There will be many Christmas concerts and plays at the schools and churches and I urge you to go out and support them.

The Canadian Mennonite University will be hosting “Christmas at CMU” on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. Christmas at CMU is always a good thing. Information can be found on their website. Admission is free.

I wish every one of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Steven Fletcher is MP for Charleswood–St.James-Assiniboia-Headingley.

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