Minister of Veterans Affairs meets Perth-Wellington veterans

Perth-Wellington MP Gary Schellen­berger hosted a breakfast meeting on May 17 at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 8 in Stratford for veterans to meet with Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs. 

Veterans came from across Perth and Wellington Counties for the historic visit.

“Even our longest serving members couldn’t recall a Min­ister of Veterans Affairs ever coming to this area,” said Jim Millar, President of the Stratford Legion.

“We’re very pleased and honoured to have Minister Thompson join us.”

Schellenberger said, “I want­ed a chance for veterans in my riding to be able to share their experiences directly with the minister, and get their infor­mation straight from the source regarding the many improve­ments to benefits and services they are entitled to through Veterans Affairs.”

Chief Warrant Officer Ar­thur H. Boon, a highly decorat­ed WWII veteran, was pleased with the visit. 

“This is a natural place to meet with veterans,” said Boon. “Perth-Wellington and Stratford in particular, is home to veterans who have served with units right across Canada in World War II, Korea, and every major mission since then, including Afghanistan.” 

Thompson said, “This has been a great opportunity to meet the vet­erans and their families and to hear about the things that matter most to them.”

The riding of Perth-Wellington has a proud military tradition that dates back to the 1860s when Stratford was home to the 28th Regiment (Perth Infantry), and is currently home to Tango Com­pany, 4th Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment.

As well, the Village of Arthur is known as “Canada’s Most Patriotic Village” since it was revealed in a 1942 News article that 1 out of 7 Arthur residents fought in WWII – the highest ratio in comparison to villages of similar size in Can­ada.

In all, 338 Arthur residents served in WWII and 25 were killed in action.

Veterans organizations, too, have been active and strong, with the Mount Forest Legion celebrating its 80th anniversary this fall, and the Harriston Legion recently opening its Veteran’s Way.