by Les Smith
For those of the membership who read the September News Letter, we featured the first of several articles, on our Veteran Members; their military careers; and their current personal lives. We hope that you enjoyed it. This month, please meet a comrade, who many of you may know, and if not should get to know, namely James Stearn. He is better known as Jim.
Jim Stearn, lives at #104 in the Normandie Apartments on Cypress Street, here in Chemainus. He was born in Yorkton, Sask., part of a family that included 5 brothers and 3 sisters. Jim is now 94 years of age; he get’s around town with the help of a walker, and no longer drives a car. His beloved wife, Olive Russell, passed away some 15 years ago. You will likely see him any morning, sitting having coffee at Small Tall Treats with his friends. He takes several of his meals each week at the local senior’s residence, or out around town with his senior’s group, at different restaurants, escorted by the staff from the senior’s residence. He also may be seen from time to time in the lounge of our Branch #191, usually at a table just inside the door. Why not introduce yourself, and have a visit with him. He’s a very interesting, outgoing, friendly gentleman, who enjoys company.
As a young adult, Jim made his living driving trucks in his home town, until he joined the armed forces. He and his family members (eight brothers and sisters) all served in the military. He joined the RCAF in Winnipeg, and was also stationed in Belleville and Trenton, Ontario. He never got overseas, but served as a “crash trucker” driving an RCAF fire engine. He tells us that two brothers served in the Royal Canadian Navy; two more in the Canadian Army; and one besides himself in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Isn’t that a remarkable commitment from one family? Also, his son Arthur who also lives in Chemainus, is a veteran former RCAF member. At present Arthur is confined to a wheel chair, & dealing with health issues, unable to walk much. However he gets out for coffee ‘with the boys’ and his Dad.
Again, let’s always remember our veteran’s (female and male) and be thankful for the lifestyle many of us enjoy, partly because of the commitments made by our veteran’s, whether in wartime, or peacetime, and visit with them; hear their stories; offer them a ‘leg up’ and just ‘remember them’.