by Sub-Lieutenant Simon Bullock, HMCS Donnacona
Two days before Remembrance Day, I received the most remarkable call.
“What the heck is going on for Remembrance Day this year?” said the woman on the line.
“Well, ma’am, due to the pandemic and public health measures, there will be no grand ceremonies, and citizens are encouraged to participate in the act of remembrance online,” I said.
“Well, that’s a shame!”
“I completely agree and understand.”
We talked for a bit longer and it became clear I wasn’t speaking to just anybody, but a woman of distinct character and passion. I later found out her name was Vicky Lockwood-Drummond, a Second World War veteran of the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS).
“You must not talk to a lot of 97-year-old ladies, do you?” she continued.
“Well, I’m old and you’re going to need to speak up and clearly for me.”
I collected her personal details, phone number and home address.
Immediately after the call, I burst into my colleague’s office at Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Donnacona, the Naval Reserve Division in Montreal, to tell them about the remarkable lady I had just spoken with.
“We have to do something for this lady, a card, a coin, something!”
I set to work coordinating with the Naval Association of Canada (NAC) to validate her credentials, and reached out to Lieutenant (Navy) Anne-Marie Belisle for public affairs oversight and consultation, Non-Public Funds to procure a ship’s coin, and my…