MP Erin O’Toole Honours Local Constituents With Community Service Medallions For Their Advocacy and Support of Canadian Troops and Veterans
Bowmanville, ON – Today, Member of Parliament for Durham, Erin O’Toole recognized several Durham residents who have exemplified extraordinary contributions in advocacy and support of Canadian troops and veterans. The presentations took place at the Durham constituency office in the historic Balmoral Building in Bowmanville in front of the recipients’ family and friends. Community Service Medallions were presented to Marg Maskell, Mary Taylor and Doug Finney.
“It is very special for me as Minister of Veterans Affairs to honour these exceptional members of our community who have played a role in recognizing and commemorating military service, who have worked to strengthen the connection between those at home with deployed forces members, and supporting veterans and their families,” said MP O’Toole. “As a former member of the Canadian Forces, I want them to know how much members of the Forces and veterans appreciate their work and volunteer efforts.”
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.
- Maskell, of Newcastle, was instrumental in creating and popularizing the “Support Our Troops” banners which are now displayed prominently along highways and in communities. These banners have galvanized individuals, communities, and business to collaborate and ensure that the sacrifices of service members and veterans are publicly commemorated.
- Maskell’s uncle, Edward Morin, was a member of the elite First Special Service Force known as the “Devil’s Brigade,” a joint US-Canadian military effort which was the precursor to the modern special forces. Maskell returned from a 2013 reunion of the Devil’s Brigade determined that the members of this force, many of whose contributions had remained undisclosed and uncelebrated for years, should be commemorated.
- Since 2006, Bowmanville’s Mary Taylor has spearheaded an initiative to send Tim Horton’s gift cards to service members deployed overseas. Taylor’s “Coffee for Kandahar” campaign was started in conjunction with Rose volunteers. That campaign sent about $40,000 worth of gift cards to forces in Afghanistan, and after the conclusion of that mission continued to send gift certificates to forces members deployed around the world. This project communicated to men and women deployed overseas that they remained in the thoughts of those at home. For her efforts, Taylor was awarded the Canadian Forces Medal for Distinguished Service, the highest honour presented by the Forces to a non-military person.
- Douglas Finney is a decorated veteran of the Korean War where he served as a signalman in the Signal Corps with the 81st Field Regiment of Artillery for the Canadian Forces.
- A Legion Member since 1954, Finney is currently the President of the Korea Veterans Association of Canada. Finney has played an active role in commemorations, especially of the under-recognized Korean War in which more than 26,000 Canadians served and 516 perished.
- Aside from his national role, Finney has been instrumental in projects in our community, including the construction of a 38-unit apartment complex for seniors on land owned by the Legion: Branch 43 Senior Manor.
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For More Information
Office of Hon. Erin O’Toole
Member of Parliament for Durham
905-697-1699 or 1-866-436-1141