By Staff/August 12, 2021
Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood and former CBS Mayor Woodrow French are among a select group being accorded the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for their support of Canada’s veterans. The Minister, Lawrence MacAuley, made the announcement last week.
MacAuley said the commendation is the highest honour he can award as minister to people who do works or service on behalf of Canadians in uniform.
“It takes a special kind of person to do this sort of work with no expectation of recognition, so I’m proud that I’m able to show them just how grateful we are for everything they’ve been doing,” he said.
Close to 1,200 individuals from across Canada have been awarded the Commendation over the past two decades.The Commendation consists of a certificate, a lapel pin for civilian wear and a bar for wear with decorations. The design is a gold maple leaf resting on a red poppy — a flower long associated with the sacrifices of war— with the Royal Crown on the top of the pin.
Wood is a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces. He was nominated for his excellence in service with The Royal Canadian Legion and also as a member of the town council in Bay Roberts.
Wood has been a member of The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 32 for over 26 years. He has held numerous executive positions, including secretary, president, and past president and is currently 2nd Vice President of Provincial Command for Newfoundland and Labrador. On top of his duties with the executive, he regularly visits veterans at their homes, and in hospitals, either to assist them with a need or just to say hello.
Wood was part of the original steering committee that planned and developed the Veterans Quay Marina in Bay Roberts and was co-chairperson of the recent refurbishment of the cenotaph, and supported the installation as a Royal Canadian Legion representative of a museum display honouring Veterans at the town’s Cable Building.
As a local public figure, he is often asked to speak at functions at the Legion and elsewhere. He always delivers and “always puts our Veterans first,” said MacAuley.
French is also a veteran, having been a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was nominated for his advocacy on behalf of veterans in both the personal and professional spheres of his life.
As a long-time member of The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 50, Conception Bay South, French has organized several mental health First Aid courses and arranged for the PTSD Buddies group to meet at the Legion Branch. He is a proud participant in Remembrance services, as a member of the Colour Party and attends school services to speak to students about the importance of remembrance.
French is President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Canadian Peacekeepers Veterans Association. He introduced the Junior Peacekeeper Award to communities across Newfoundland, which recognizes youth who support victims of bullying. For over 10 years, he also dedicated his time and voice to fundraising efforts for the Conception Bay South Monument of Honour.
As Mayor of Conception Bay South, French promoted and signed a Veterans and Family Community Covenant, a public pledge to honour, recognize and support local Veterans and their families.