Surrey’s Tony Moore has received a prestigious honour in tribute to his volunteer service to fellow soldiers.
The president of Whalley Legion Branch 229 was awarded a Minister of Veteran Affairs Commendation – an honour bestowed on individuals who have worked hard toward improving the lives of other vets.
Lawrence MacAulay, minister of Veterans Affairs Canada and associate minister of national defence, presented Moore with the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation as a ceremony on July 16 at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel.
Since 2001 this has been awarded annually, said Ryan Curley of Veterans Affairs, to Canadians “who have contributed in a distinguished manner to improving the well-being of veterans, as well as promoting the commemoration of their sacrifices and achievements.”
The commendation comes with a certificate, a lapel pin for “civilian” wear and a bar to wear on a blazer, along with other decorations. It’s a gold maple leaf on a red poppy, with the Royal Crown at the top.
Moore, 67, has been president of the Whalley legion for past five years and served on the Veterans Village project’s building committee since day one. It’s a project that will house a PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, treatment centre for vets, as well as a centre for robotics – involving exoskeletons and electronic prosthetics – and also secure social housing.
The branch has roughly 700 members today.
During the Cold War, Moore was in the British Army, with the Royal Corps of Transport. He was stationed in Germany, served in Cypress with United Nations forces, and was in Canada when they opened CFB Suffield, which is a British Army training unit, near Medicine Hat in Alberta in 1972.
“I don’t know who put the commendation in for me,” he said. “I was shocked and humbled, I don’t know who put me in for it. They phoned me up the other day and said ‘Be at the Sheraton,’ we can’t tell you anything else. I feel very humbled to be given it.”
“I really think the people of Whalley are really behind the Legion, and behind veterans. Our poppy fund is over $100,000 a year for the last, oh, five or seven years. The city of Whalley come out and look after veterans, it’s great.”
Moore has held several other positions with branches of the Royal Canadian Legion in B.C. and Alberta over the past 24 years, including parade marshall, first and second vice-president and president, poppy chairperson for the Peace Arch zone of the Royal Canadian Legion British Columbia/Yukon Command. He also helps with the Guitars for Vets campaign, which refurbishes old guitars for veterans suffering from PTSD.
Moore was among 11 recipients to receive the honour bestowed in Surrey. Other recipients are Mark Adams, a 13-year vet of the CAF and co-founder of the Vancouver Military Dinner Society; Dr. Timothy Black, an associate professor of counselling psychology at the University of Victoria who specializes in PTSD; and Norman Leslie Briscoe, a veteran army trooper of the British Columbia regiment who has been volunteering to help other vets for 28 years now.
Also honoured were Warren Kerek, a retired captain of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps; Kenneth J. Lieuwen, a founder of Ronin Safety and Rescue Inc.; Kathryn J. Linford, a co-founder of the Wounded Warriors Canada Couples Overcoming PTSD Every Day Program; Scott Martin, co-founder of the Vancouver Military Dinner Society; John (Jack) McLellan, a retired petty officer 2nd class who served in the Merchant Navy in the Second World War and the Royal Canadian Navy during the Korean War; Richard Alan Nicholson, a retired sergeant and 25-year veteran of the CAF; and Mark Pfeifer, a firefighter, CAF vet and president and CEO of Ronin Safety and Rescue.