Korea Vet News
Published by the Korean War Commemoration Council of Canada, Dedicated to the sacrifice and indomitable spirit of Veterans of the Korean War
December 5, 2007
The Queen’s Own loses a proud old soldier
Norm Van Tassel loses bout with cancer after spending long, rewarding life in service to Canada and to his Veteran comrades
We have received word from Winnipeg, Manitoba, that Veterans activist Norm Van Tassel died in the hospital on Monday afternoon, December 3.
Norm was undergoing emergency surgery performed after he was operated on for cancer of the pancreas in the morning.
The proud old soldier wrote to Korea Vet News a few weeks ago regarding the “Turn Toward Busan” November 11 Memorial Day service. He had arranged for a Winnipeg radio station to read verbatim a long message of commendation for all Korean War Veterans all over the world that had been prepared by Kim Jung-bok, Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs of the Republic of Korea.
At the end of his message, Norm confided that he had been diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas and would have to undergo surgery. It was almost as a post script.
Norm kept up his contacts with Veterans in many activities right through until he went into the Winnipeg hospital.
A few weeks before his death Norm and his wife Lynne visited sick and ailing veterans in the Poseidon Care Centre in Winnipeg. Here is what Norm wrote at that time:
"One of the sad things that we have not been doing is ensuring we visit those that are hospitalized and are in care. I have attached a few pictures of a couple of our Korea Veterans who have had serious strokes over the past couple of years and are starving to hear from their old comrades."
The following pictures are of Roy McIvor and Sidney Church. Roy is a former PPCLI and Sidney an RCHA. We have made frequent visits to the care centre to visit Roy and we found out that Sidney was also in care in the same centre. We had a nice visit with them at the Poseidon Care Centre in Winnipeg where they are getting first class treatment and also have gotten support from DVA re pensions, etc., in particular Roy and we thank them. Both Roy and Sidney were happy to see us and we promised them that we would be back very soon.
Here are some highlights from that devoted Rifleman’s life:
Born, Digby, Nova Scotia, December 18, 1934.
Left school at age 16 to become an Atlantic fisherman.
Left Digby in 1952 and joined the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Rifle Regiment in Toronto, Ontario.
Sailed for Korea in 1954 as a wireless operator with the advance party for the battalion which had been rebadged as the 2nd Battalion, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada.
Served in the Canadian Army for 10 years.
Norm worked in corrections following his discharge, including a period devoted to youth corrections.
He subsequently founded and operated three group homes for troubled youths in Winnipeg and a wilderness boys camp.
As a member of the Korea Veterans Association of Canada, the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping, the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans, the Royal Canadian Legion and the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Association he carried the torch for fellow Veterans always.
He served as president of Unit 17 of KVA Canada for three terms and later founded the Sergeant Tommy Prince Memorial Unit 46 of the KVA in Winnipeg. Mister Van Tassel also was founder and president of the LGen R.R. Crabbe Chapter of CAVUNP in Winnipeg. He also helped to found CAVUNP units in Brandon and Regina in Manitoba and in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Among his many notable achievements was his unswerving dedication to honour those who fell in the Korean War and on post armistice duty in Korea. He chaired a committee that successfully lobbied to have lakes and other geographic features in Manitoba named after the 37 Manitobans who lost their lives in Korea and 17 members of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery who were killed enroute to the Fort Lewis debarkation station in November, 1950.
He tirelessly pursued Veterans causes and kept alive the memory of all who served and of Canada’s obligation never to forget them.
His accomplishments could fill pages and still not tell the story.
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Star by the Korea Veterans Association of Canada, that organization’s highest honour. He also was presented with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of his outstanding service to Canadian Veterans organizations and causes. He received the Veterans Affairs Minister’s Commendation Award for the same high service.
Here is how soldier poet, Billy Willbond, MSM chose to remember him:
I write this through tears as he was an old and very good friend! Norm did so much for the Veterans’ Movement in Canada and he was a tower of strength through the long years we fought for the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal and the placing of the names of our fallen in the 7th book of remembrance. In Manitoba he was the mover and shaker to get recognition for Canadian veterans from the Korean War to Missions served in by Canadian Peacekeepers. He will be sorely missed by veterans all across this Great Nation! At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember Norm – He will be sorely missed, indeed.
A Farewell to Norm
By Billy Willbond
I just heard some very un-nerving sad sad news this morn
About the passing of a good friend whom we all know as Norm
Norm was a veterans’ advocate – he lived in the Peg
For veterans’ rights and recognitions from Ottawa he’d beg!
He named peacekeeper lakes, built monuments and more
He advocated for recognition for the forgotten Korean War
Norm stepped on some toes but he did make his mark
He made sure Ottawa’s bureaucrats didn’t keep us in the dark
Norm’s up on that cloud square now he has fought the good battle
Don’t rest easy in Ottawa- don’t think there’ won’t be more hassle
Norm’s friends will continue to shake the bureaucratic rattle
Farewell my old friend, Rifleman Norman Van Tassel
William Willbond Canadian Soldier Poet
Saanichton BC 0900 hrs Tuesday 04 December 2007
We will remember
Norm Van Tassel
LIEUTENANT-GENERAL G. ALLAN MACKENZIE C.M.M., O.St.J., C.D.
December 15, 1931 - September 10, 2012
Honorary Chair of the Air Cadet League of Canada (Manitoba) Inc. Allan passed away peacefully at the Victoria General Hospital on September 10, 2012, surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Kingston, Jamaica on December 15, 1931, the son of George Adam and Annette Louise MacKenzie. He attended Jamaica College from 1944 to 1948. He started his flying career with BOAC which led to him fulfilling his dream of moving to Canada in 1950 to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. After completing officer training and pilot training, he commenced his flying duties in 1952, as a Flying Officer. Allan advanced through the officer ranks to Lieutenant-General serving in a variety of flying and staff appointments. During his career he commanded a squadron, a base and the Maritime Air Group. In 1978, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General and appointed Chief of Staff for the Canadian Air Force. In 1980, Allan elected to resign from the Air Force and subsequently became Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Gendis Inc. situated in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1989, he was promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer. Allan also served a year as President of Sony of Canada. He was on the Board of Directors for Sony of Canada Ltd. and was a member of the Regional Advisory Board for Carleton University. Allan was also a Governor of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires and an advisor to the Association of Canadian Police Chiefs. He was decorated a Commander of the Order of Military Merit, an Officer of the Order of St. John's, and the Canadian Forces Decoration. He was also a Knight of the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem. He recently received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. As well, he was a member of the Manitoba Club and the Royal Military Institute of Manitoba. Allan was appointed the Honorary Chairman of the Manitoba Provincial Committee of the Air Cadet League of Canada in 2010. Allan was predeceased by his first wife, Doris (nee Elliott), his siblings David (Mickey) and Audrey as well as his father and mother. Allan will always remain in the hearts of his loving wife, Valerie Ann and his two children Michael (Pam) and Barbara (Blain) as well as his grandchildren Lyndsey, Robyne, Marc, Kiera, Leanne and Rhys. Allan's legacy will be his strength, his integrity and his determination. There will be a private family service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba or the Air Cadet League of Canada (Manitoba Division) or to a charity of choice.
Chapel Lawn www.chapellawn.ca 885-9715
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on September 15, 2012
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
JOSEPH HENRY HAYWOOD
July 24, 1933 - June 8, 2012
With his family by his side, Joe passed away peacefully on June 8, 2012, in Grande Prairie, Alberta. He was predeceased by his wife Janet, stepson Grant Morsette, parents John and Edith Haywood, brothers Jack and Bobby Haywood. He leaves behind to cherish his memories daughters Susan (Rene), Kathy (Bruce), Cindy (Dennis). Brother Pat (Bunnie) Haywood, sister Edith (William) Kerelluke, grandchildren Michelle, Lisa, Cheryl, Kerri, Michael, Kyle and Evan, great-grandchildren, Megan, Cameron, Jayden, Bella and Zoey. Joe was born July 24, 1933, in St. Boniface, Manitoba. During his younger years he was raised on Consol Avenue in Elmwood. In 1945, the family moved to St. Boniface, where he worked as a teenager in the union stock yards. In 1948, he joined the reserve army signal corps., fought the Winnipeg flood of 1950, and then joined the regular force in May 1951. He went on to serve 18 years with the Royal Canadian Signals Corps as a lineman. He worked overseas in North West Europe (Germany), returning to Canada to go up into the North West Territories and Yukon, where he worked on the radio systems. His postings in Canada were in Winnipeg, Churchill, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Kingston. In 1963 he was sent to Africa (the Belgian Congo) for seven months. He was decorated with a commendation from his commanding officer for his actions while in the Congo. Joe suffered immensely from Post Trauma Stress Syndrome upon his return home from Africa. He fought the government for many years to have P.T.S.D. recognized as there was no such treatment for returning soldiers at that time. He also wrote a book called Mr. God I am Sorry about alcoholism and P.T.S.D. and how one disease leads into another. He lectured at Canadian Army bases as well as bases in the USA. He was well known to speak about the plight of all servicemen everywhere suffering P.T.S.D. caused by serving in war torn conflicts. In 2003, Joe was awarded The Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for all his work in getting P.T.S.D. recognized. Joe worked at the chemical and Alcohol treatment centre at Health Sciences Centre for seven years counseling Alcoholics. He held an able Toastmasters Degree, and was a valued member of Alcoholics Anonymous, speaking in many places in Canada and the USA. He is also a co-founder of Addictions Recovery Incorporated, two halfway houses for Alcoholic and Drug addiction here in Winnipeg. He also held memberships in many rodeo and horse associations and was an accomplished rider and horse trainer. In Manitoba alone he won 24 highpoint championships and many individual awards. Joe also worked in Motion Pictures as a Horse Wrangler and stunt man. He traveled many summers with World Chuckwagon Champion Kelly Sutherland and also worked as an outrider judge for the W.P.C.A. He held memberships in the following: Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43, The Signals Association of Canada, Honorary member of The Korean Veterans Association of Canada, Sgt. Tommy Prince MM Memorial Unit 76 Winnipeg, and The Canadian Association. Veterans, United Nations Peacekeepers. His Military Medals and Decorations were: Special Service Medal North West Europe NATO, Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal, United Nations Medal Congo, Canadian Decoration The Nobel Peace Prize Medal U.N., United Nations 5th Commemorative Medal, The Defense of NATO Medal and Frame The Allied Combat Volunteer Medal. We would like to extend a special thanks to the staff at ICU Queen Elizabeth ll hospital, Grande Prairie, Alberta, as well as to the Sutherland family during this time of grief. Dad will always be lovingly remembered by many and cherished in our hearts forever. In keeping with Joe's wishes a funeral service celebrating his life will be held on Thursday, June 14, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. in the Norwood Legion, 134 Marion Street, interment will follow in the Military Section in Brookside Cemetery.
The Coutu family in care of arrangements: E.J. COUTU CO. FUNERAL DIRECTORS 680 Archibald Street 253-5086 ejcoutu.com
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on June 13, 2012
NORMAN REGINALD VAN TASSEL
December 18, 1934 - December 3, 2007
Suddenly but peacefully, Norman passed away at the Health Sciences Centre on Monday, December 3, 2007. Norman was predeceased by his father Howard Burton and mother Robena Blanche Van Tassel (Rice); his brothers, Howard Jr., Clyde and James; sisters, Florence and Joan of Digby, NS. Norm is survived by his wife Lynne (Lena); son Stephen (Carol) of British Columbia; his daughter Lori Ann (Dugald) Carter; his grandchildren, Amy, Andrew and Vance Carter; brothers, Wayne (Minnie) of Ontario, Neil (Florence) of British Columbia; sisters, Pauline and Sharon of Nova Scotia, Donna (Bob) Kranstz of Ontario; brother-in-law Bill (Hazel) Rudishyn, sister-in-law Anne (Marion) Tylipski; Edna (wife of Clyde) of Manitoba and Lucille (wife of James) of British Columbia; nephews, nieces, family, friends in Canada and the United States.
Norm, born in Digby, NS attended school at Digby Rural High. He may be remembered in Digby as a young man playing hockey with his cousins and the other Van Tassels out on the pond or in the Digby Rink in the early 1950s.
He moved to Toronto in 1952, joined the Canadian Army and served in the regular forces until 1962. He had overseas duty in Korea with the 2 QOR of C and numerous postings in Canada as an instructor and later as Clerk Administrator.
Upon his release from the Canadian Army, he was employed as a Correctional Officer at Headingley Correctional Institute then as a fireman at the Atomic Energy of Canada in Pinawa, MB.
Later he returned to Corrections to work with juveniles at Vaughan St. Detention Home and Manitoba Youth Centre. In 1974, Norm founded and Directed Winchester House (first licensed Group Home for problem children in Manitoba) and Van Tassel Homes of Winnipeg which included a Wilderness Camp at Wallace Lake. He then finished his working career as a Real Estate Agent for NRS Block Bros.
Many summers were spent at his cottage at Wallace Lake where he, his wife and family enjoyed time with their friends. Norm's favourite pastime was fishing with his partner Ginger. In 2002 he sold the cottage and purchased an RV with dreams of traveling. There was never a dull moment in Norm's life.
He was a past member of the Board of Directors for the Last Post Fund, a member of No. 283 ANAVETS Association for 25 years, The RCL BR No. 4 for 21 years, Past President of KVA Unit No. 17, a founding member and Past President of the LGen RR Crabbe Chapter of the CAVUNP, founding member of the Sgt Tommy Prince MM Memorial Unit 76 of KVA and a member of the QOR Association of Canada.
Norm took part in many fund raising activities and memorials and will be remembered by many for his volunteer work. Norm, with the never ending support from Lynne, his devoted wife of 42 years, was granted many certificates and awards for his work: The Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation, Queens Golden Jubilee Medal, service medals from Korea. Norm was the only Manitoban awarded with The Distinguished Silver Star for his work with the Korea Veterans of Canada. Norm will be fondly remembered by all his family and friends that supported him over the years. He will be especially missed by his three grandchildren and by Tara, his early morning walking partner.
Memorial service will be held on Monday, December 10, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. at Assiniboia Christian Centre, 3390 Portage Ave. with interment to follow at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, 4000 Portage Ave. Pallbearers were selected from different organizations with the assistance of The Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 4. The family would like to thank Dr. Lipschitz and Dr. Atwal for all their care, compassion and support. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a charity of your choice. MAY HE REST IN PEACE We will meet again, another time, on another parade square! Arrangements entrusted to: Chapel Lawn Funeral Home 885-9715
August 2, 2008
As some of you know, he has suffered from - and courageously fought against - a series (ie five) of bouts of cancer. Now, he is at Peace.
Don served in the CA (R) and CF for many years. He retired as a very highly regarded MWO in the RCEME, for which he was decorated by the Governor General. His service included tours throughout Canada, Germany and various missions in the Middle East and Namibia. For his outstanding service to his country, in 2003 one of the streets in Garrison Green, near Peacekeepers Park was renamed "Don McLean Ave".
As a CAVUNP member he was a long-serving and Charter member of CAVUNP Calgary Chapter; subsequently a member of the Winnipeg Chapter; and then formed the Brandon Chapter and served as the first Chapter President. A very dedicated Peacekeeper, outstanding soldier, loyal friend and fine gentleman. He shall be sorely missed.
Services for Don McLean will take place on Thursday 07 Aug at 1400 hrs in the Faith Fellowship Baptist Church, 4 Willowdale Cres, Brandon Man.