Charlottetown plans special tribute to veterans

Jim Day
Published on August 23, 2014

Second World War veteran Joyce Paynter always appreciates a tip of the hat.

The 88-year-old English war bride who lives in Charlottetown has received her share of gratitude for her war effort. She served with the Canadian Women’s Army Corps in London, England until the war came to an end May 8, 1945.

The heavily decorated Paynter doesn’t seek recognition. Like most if not all veterans, though, she greatly welcomes a good pat on the back.

She has had her share.

Among her many accolades, she received the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation medal in 2002 in honour of her contributions to the care and well-being of veterans and also for her own sacrifices as a veteran. Still, nothing beats a simple show of gratitude from regular Canadians.

“I know that on Remembrance Day when I go on the bus there’s little children and students with big cards that say “Thank You,’’’ she says with a warm smile creasing her face.

That sentiment conveys to Paynter and her comrades that they are not forgotten.

The City of Charlottetown is now set to extend its heartfelt thanks to veterans like her. She is thankful for the gesture.

The municipality is planning to pay tribute to veterans and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War at a special event in October. The event will consist of an Act of Remembrance, music, dancing, singing, a re-enactment and the launch of the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Campaign.

Mayor Clifford Lee calls the tribute “a very significant event for 2014.’’

Paynter calls it marvelous.

“I think it’s wonderful that they keep the veterans in mind,’’ she says.

“There are not too many of us Second World War veterans (left) and of course we have no First World War veterans.’’

Paynter certainly plans to attend the event that takes place Sunday, Oct. 26 at 1:30 p.m. in Homburg Theatre at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

“It is designed to recognize the contributions that all Canadian veterans have made to our country’s freedoms,’’ says Lee.

“We hope the community will join us at this event to pay tribute to veterans, and help us celebrate those contributions as we head toward Remembrance Day ceremonies in November.’’

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Tickets are available through the Confederation Centre’s box office on a first-come basis. There is a limit of four tickets per person.

For more information on the event, contact Lena Webster at 902-213-6745.