BOWMANVILLE, ON– Today, Laureen Harper, wife of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, attended a luncheon with the Clarington Older Adults Association on Beech Avenue in Bowmanville. MP Erin O’Toole accompanied Mrs. Harper for this luncheon to meet seniors and leaders from the COAA to discuss local issues and to make a special presentation to Mr. Hannu Halminen.

Mrs. Harper joined MP O’Toole for the presentation of a Community Service Medallion to Hannu Halminen in recognition of his contributions to the community and military heritage in Canada. Mr. Halminen, president of Halminen Homes, has a long history of giving back to the community; travelling to build an orphanage in El Salvador and a church in Costa Rica, taking 400 children on their first flights, flying in support of local Remembrance Day events and by generously donating a vintage De Havilland Chipmunk aircraft to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton. Most recently, Mr. Halminen offered a World War II RCAF veteran the opportunity to fulfil a wish to climb into a cockpit one more time in his life. Halminen took 92-year old Ron Peel on a flight at the Oshawa Airport donating both his time and aircraft to this veteran who was visiting family in Clarington from his home in British Columbia. Mr. Peel, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his valiant service during WWII, slipped the surly bonds of earth with Halminen in his vintage Harvard aircraft.

MP O’Toole said of Halminen: “This special flight with a WWII RCAF veteran is just one small example of the hundreds of acts of generosity that Hannu Halminen has shown to our community and to the preservation of our military history in Canada. Hannu has not only built hundreds of homes in our community, but he has helped make Clarington a place people love to call home. I am pleased to be able to thank him on behalf of our community in this small way.”

MP O’Toole created the special Community Service Medallion in 2013 to salute exceptional volunteers and leaders from Durham who make significant contributions to our area, to Canada or the world. Less than ten medallions are presented each year.



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