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Daughter of 100-year-old P.E.I. veteran proud to see mother participate in Summerside Remembrance Day ceremony

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. — Though Marge McKenna has attended a number of of Summerside’s Remembrance Day companies, till 2022, she had not sat among the many different veterans for a service.

“That is the primary time she’s ever been acknowledged and sitting right here,” stated Marilyn Matthews, McKenna’s daughter. “We’ve talked about this earlier than. It was all the time my want that Mother might take part as a veteran.”

Matthews stated her mom is humble and reserved. She by no means talked a lot about her service and by no means needed recognition at a public ceremony.

“We’ve all the time been up within the bleachers,” stated Matthews. “Mother’s loved the ceremony at this time.”

In mid-June, although, McKenna celebrated her one centesimal birthday. Her kids see it as an thrilling milestone.

Having her seated subsequent to different native veterans at that 12 months’s Remembrance Day ceremony, quite than among the many tons of within the seats, was the right option to mark the event.

For the primary time, McKenna was positioned prominently on the world flooring, in her wheelchair with a couple of blankets tucked round her and her daughter seated subsequent to her.

Marge McKenna was 19, living in Saskatchewan, when she joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. McKenna turned 100 in June, and for the first time, participated in Summerside's Remembrance Day ceremony as a veteran. - Kristin Gardiner • The Journal Pioneer
Marge McKenna was 19, residing in Saskatchewan, when she joined the Royal Canadian Air Power. McKenna turned 100 in June, and for the primary time, participated in Summerside’s Remembrance Day ceremony as a veteran. – Kristin Gardiner • The Journal Pioneer

McKenna served within the Royal Canadian Air Power from 1942 to 1946, starting when she was 19 and residing on a farm in Saskatchewan.

There was little to do within the province then, stated Matthews, and McKenna was on the lookout for an journey when the recruitment posters caught her consideration.

“She needed very a lot to grow to be part of what the ladies have been doing,” stated Matthews.

McKenna, alongside another ladies from the world, hopped on a bus from Saskatoon to Mont-Joli, Que., for coaching. For 2 years, she was posted there, serving 2,000 folks 3 times a day as a prepare dinner within the mess corridor.

The ultimate two years of her service noticed McKenna posted in Ottawa. After she was launched from the service, McKenna went to Toronto. There, she would meet Martin McKenna, a fellow veteran and her future husband.

Marilyn Matthews looks through a folder containing old photos of her mother, Marge McKenna, from when she was in the Royal Canadian Air Force. – Kristin Gardiner
Marilyn Matthews appears via a folder containing previous images of her mom, Marge McKenna, from when she was within the Royal Canadian Air Power. – Kristin Gardiner

For McKenna, with the ability to participate within the Remembrance Day service as a veteran, quite than an observer “was good.” She loved watching the marching, particularly watching the Lady Guides participate.

For Matthews, because the little one of two veterans, Remembrance Day has all the time been an important day.

“I assume it takes some time. Whenever you’re rising up, you don’t notice immediately,” she stated. “However sooner or later, you do notice what their companies meant and the way sturdy they have been again then.”

In Matthew’s opinion, seeing her mom lastly let herself be acknowledged was the “icing on the cake” and the right option to mark her 100 years.

“I’m so happy with Mother,” stated Matthews. “She’s a really sturdy girl.”

Kristin Gardiner is a reporter with the SaltWire Community in Prince Edward Island. She will be reached by e-mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @KristinGardiner.

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