The City of Charlottetown honoured five people for their military service during the 2020 Veterans Recognition Awards ceremony recently at City Hall.
The Veterans Recognition Awards were initiated in 2005 to mark the Year of the Veteran. Since then, the city has continued to honour veterans each year with the private recognition ceremony.
The 2020 recipients are Master Warrant Officer Chris Batchilder, Master Sailor Jeremy Gallant, Maj. Allan Manley, Cpl. Ian Morison and Chief Petty Officer Second Class Mark Nicolle.
Poppies, pins and monuments provide people with tangible reminders of the gratitude they owe members of the military for the sacrifices they make, said Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown.
“These private and personal acts of remembrance can only be enhanced and deepened through public expressions of gratitude. As such, the significance of recognizing our veterans in ceremonies like this one cannot be overstated ....” he said. It is because of the bravery, leadership and tenacity exhibited by our veterans that we have the privilege of living in the best country in the world.”
Following are brief biographies:
For Batchilder, who grew up in Georgetown his 30 years his military service took him across Canada and around the world on multiple deployments, including Canada, Bosnia, Afghanistan, the United States, Kuwait and Iraq. In May 2017, he retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and began work at Veterans Affairs Canada, where he presently serves as team leader for My VAC Account Operations. He is married to Chantal and their son’s name is Oliver. Looking back on three decades of military service, Batchilder has fond memories of teamwork and refers to his intelligence work during multiple deployments and his time in uniform as a “great adventure”.
Gallant, who grew up in P.E.I., joined 721 Communications Regiment, Charlottetown, when he was 16. In 1990 he joined the Royal Canadian Navy, and throughout the 1990s served on CFB Esquimalt and CFB Halifax, as well as in Haiti. In addition to Operation Apollo in the Persian Gulf, he was posted to HMCS Queen Charlotte in Charlottetown and was deployed on tours to Libya, the Middle East and Bahrain. He has often mentored students as an instructor at the Canadian Forces’ School of Military Intelligence (CFSMI) in Kingston, Ont. Reflecting on three decades in uniform, Gallant fondly remembers the friendships and relationships on ship, the seriousness of their tasks and the unexpected fun that often occurred.
Manley grew up in Charlottetown and joined the P.E.I. Regiment as an armoured officer in 2005 and has gone on to serve as troop leader, operations officer, officer commanding headquarters squadron and battle captain and is presently officer commanding reconnaissance (Recce) squadron. This past spring and summer he was deployed on Operation LASER. Manley is married to Christine, and they have two daughters, Kaitlyn and Danielle. Reflecting on 15 years of military service Manley believes that wearing the uniform is part of his personal identity. Working to develop soldiers is what drives him onward, and at the core of his moral compass is respect for others and respect for oneself.
Morison grew up in Summerside’s Métis community. In November 2007 he enrolled in the regular force as a military police (MP) candidate and was posted to the Military Police Unit (MPU) in Halifax. In 2010, he served as annexed policing/security for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and in 2012 was deployed to a Regional Training Center (RTC) in Afghanistan. In 2010, a serious car accident resulted in migraine headaches, and despite his resolve to push through the pain, four years later he was medically released. Since then, he has worked on behalf of veterans advocating and supporting those with PTSD. Morison and his wife, Rachelle, are parents to three-and-half-year-old Willow Pearl Carolyn Morison. In reflecting on his career, he believes it was a privilege to serve and feels a comradeship with and pride for all veterans.
Nicolle grew up in St. John’s, N.L., and enrolled in the Royal Canadian Navy in June 1982, attending the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). His career includes teaching, senior cook, unit recruitor, planning officer and national outreach co-ordinator at Naval Reserve Headquarters. In July 2017 he was made regional outreach and attractions manager for the Atlantic Region. This permitted Nicolle to return to HMCS Queen Charlotte in Charlottetown, where he continues to serve as chief cook and is the culinary gourmet of the unit’s New Year’s Day chowder. Nicolle resides in Charlottetown and is active in the community. Looking back on military service, he is grateful for the naval members who mentored him and for those he mentored. He takes pride in the students he has instructed, as well as the friendships.