The Royal Canadian Legion Branch #108 hosted on Saturday, May 2nd a member recognition event at the Legion Hall. The event began at 1:30 with the singing of O’Canada. Normally this event is held twice a year but because of unforeseen circumstances the event has been postponed since 2012.
It began with the induction of several new members into the Legion and continued with medals being presented to past and current members of the Branch’s executive.
District 8 Commander Wayne Willis along with Branch 108 President Sean Cuppens presented the medals and then awarded service pins to members whose service ranged from five years all the way up to fifty years.
Battista (Bob) Dompe, a World War II veteran, received his 45-year service pin. During the war Bob served as a spare mid-upper gunner of a Lancaster heavy bomber. Mr. Dompe smiled when he said, “the life expectancy of a Lancaster crew was 15 minutes and he beat the odds!” Sgt. Dompe was originally a member of the 431 Squadron and flew under Wing Commander Ralph Davenport. Just prior to the raid on Essen Dompe was transferred to a Lancaster piloted by Flight Leader Henry as a tail gunner. It was during this raid that the Davenport’s 15 minutes expired when the plane was hit by flak and the entire crew perished. Bob would finish his service flying in the 424th Squadron known as the Tiger Squadron.
Receiving his 50-year service pin was 82-year-old Allan Gorrie. He served in the British forces came to Canada in 1957 and joined the Canadian Legion in the 1960’s. Allan was raised in the town of Paisley, Scotland, which was known for its weaving industry until 1983 when the last factory closed.
There was a large turn out for the awards and President Cuppens indicated the Legion was working on returning the Member Recognition Event to a bi-annual activity.