Edam’s last Second World War veteran honoured

Edam Notables

The annual Remembrance Day service was held at H. Hardcastle School on Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. in the gymnasium. Kesha Schaefer was the MC for the afternoon. Flag bearers, Jared Greening and Kieran McConnell, escorted the honoured guests from the local Legion branch and, along with residents from the nursing home and the community, honoured our fallen and returned soldiers as well as those still active today.

The service was opened with the national anthem led by Abbey Harty on piano, followed by the Lord’s Prayer led by Kylee and Chelsea Bec.

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Throughout the service the winning entries from last year's Legion poem and essay contest were read. Those with winning entries were Macey Levasseur, Bailey Bec (read by Jessica Curry), Clayton Wolfe, Lacy Pelchat, Bailey Cole and Zachary Gordon (read by Miss Gordon).

Musical selections were performed by the Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 10 classes and Macey Levasseur.

Following a presentation of those who served our country in various military actions over the years, the wreaths were laid: Grade 12 - Chelsea Bec, Grade 11 - Andrew Seipp, Grade 10 - Trayton Poole, Grade 9 - Jacinda McConnell, Grade 8 - Nevin Poole, Grade 7 - Olivia Fudge, Grade 6 - Allison Blanchette, Grade 5 - Aiden Lascelle, Grade 4 - Jaycee Letwinetz, Grade 3 - Kobi Weber, Grade 2 - Cyroe Janke, Grade 1 - Kiptyn Troesch and Kendra Letwinetz, staff - Miss Gordon, school community council -Danielle Troesch and Royal Canadian Legion - Judy Carignan. The Grade 4 and 5 class then recited the poem In Flanders Fields.

The service then came to a close with a tribute to a veteran in our community. Jessica Curry, who had interviewed Tommy Terpstra, presented the following tribute.

Thomas William Terpstra was born in Edam, during a record-breaking snowstorm on Jan. 26, 1922. That makes him 94 years old today.

His parents were Folkert and Emma Terpstra. Tommy had only one sibling, an older sister, Wilma.

Tommy’s mother passed away when he was only 12 years old. This was a very sad time for such a young man. Tommy spent much of his childhood and school years with his friend, Jon Wouters.

In 1940, Tommy and Jon joined the Blue Horizon aircrew. They went to Saskatoon to the recruiting depot. After two days of frantic tests and medicals, the verdict was delivered. Jon passed all the tests and was sent to Manitoba for air crew training school. Because Tommy was colour blind he was not allowed to go.

Tommy travelled to Toronto and spent six months there, learning instrument mechanics. He was then sent to St. Thomas, Ont. to attend trade school.

After passing, he was sent to Brock Harbour, N.B, which, by the way, is where sardines come from. There he attended the Royal Air Force Training School, British Depot. He was taught about Lightning aircraft that were made by the United States. Tommy was then off to Sydney, N.S., where he worked on Hudson Aircraft.

After six months there, he was sent overseas to England. He was shipped to Top Cliffe Canadian Branch of the British Royal Air Force. The men there were put into six service groups. His job was to go all over England and fix planes that had been shot down. After the planes were fixed, they were good to perform raids over Germany. Tommy spent two years there.

After the Second World War ended, Tommy came home to Edam with three medals. He took up motor mechanics. He became a journeyman service mechanic. He soon tired of grease and cars so he took up radio and TV mechanics. He also worked at Kline’s Confectionary Store and at Dick’s Service Station.

In 1954, Tommy married Margaret Forsyth. Together they raised their son, Wayne. Tommy has one grandson, Thomas. Sadly Tommy’s wife passed away three years ago, leaving Tommy alone.

Mr. Terpstra is an honoured war veteran, but he is also a hero in Edam for another reason. Tommy played goal for the Edam Three Stars. He started playing while in high school. He played again after the war when he was back in Edam. In 1952, Tommy got hit in the eye with a flying puck. This resulted in him losing his eye. Being the real trooper that he was, Tommy continued to play for another four years with the use of only one eye!

Mr. Terpstra is a smart man. If you have ever read any of his writings you will know immediately. He is an extremely gifted writer. Tommy is an avid poet, storywriter and storyteller.

We are so proud of you, Mr. Terpstra. You have done great things in your life. You were willing to go to war for us and for our country. You are braver than most of us. Words alone cannot express our gratitude for what you have done, but that is all we have. So to you, Mr. Terpstra, we say thank you. Thank you for all that you have done for us.

So from our hearts to you, Tommy, thank you.

Those in attendance then rose and applauded in a standing ovation for Mr. Terpstra.

The honoured guests then exited the gym to Clayton Wolfe playing Amazing Grace on his accordion.

The Edam branch of the Royal Canadian Legion held their Remembrance Day Service on Nov. 11 commencing at 10:30 a.m. Following the national anthem, led by Darcy de Montarnal on the piano, Pastor Dave Walker gave the statement of remembrance and a prayer. Huguette MacGregor then read In Flanders Fields as she does every year. Following the singing of Onward Christian Soldiers and the reading of the scripture, Pastor Dave delivered his message of More Than A Poppy. Before turning the service over to Judy Carignan, there was a prayer, the benediction and the signing of God Save the Queen.

With the honour guard by Knights of Columbus, Murielle and Guy Corbeil, Taps was played and then a minute of silence, the Act of Remembrance and Reveille. The wreaths were then laid at the cenotaph by Annette Blaquiere, Myrna Head, Louis McCaffrey, Sheila Orchison and Evelyn Cooper. Following the benediction all were invited to stay for lunch.

Winners of the poster, poem and essay contests were announced, with the winners as follows: black and white posters - Grade 1, 2 and 3, Hudson Sayers, Nathan Singer; Grade 4, 5 and 6, Gage McDonald, Zoey Pollard; Grade 7, 8 and 9, Bailey Cole, Jacinda McConnell; Grade 10, 11, and 12, Danika Holloway, Isaiah Morin;

Colour posters - Grade 1, 2 and 3, Kobi Weber, Karis Latendresse; Grade 4, 5, and 6, Mia Weber, Aleesa Sharp; Grade 7, 8, and 9, Adriana Burgess, Nevin Poole; Grade 10, 11 and 12, Candace Greening, Ocean Nash;

Poems - Grade 4, 5, and 6, Carston Day, Zoey Pollard; Grade 7, 8, and 9, Kylee Bec, Tyson Orchison; Grade 10, 11, and 12, Jessica Curry, Macey Levasseur;

Essay: Grade 4, 5, and 6, Ava LaClare, Mia Weber; Grade 7, 8, and 9, Trayton Troesch, Tyne Cole; Grade 10, 11, and 12, Natasha Nedelec, Trinity Froese.

Congratulations to all the winners and a huge thank you to the judges, Larry McDaid, Ilene Foulds and Judy Carignan. 

The Legion also held a fundraiser bingo on the evening of Nov. 11 to help with maintenance costs that have recently arose. Winning the 10 turkey games were Cassie Johnson, Sharen Gansauge, Trudy McMurphy, Lacy Pelchat, Ian McDonald, Brenda Pollard, Diane Mosimann, Annabel Elliott, Evelyn Cooper and Bonnie Letwinetz. The blackout game was played for 50 per cent of the total cards sold. The winner of $148 was Mia Weber.

Another ongoing fundraiser within the community is Chase The Ace “Have A Heart” that is in progress for the Edam Enriched Manor. The first draw was held Aug. 24 and the ace of hearts still hasn't been “caught.” How does this game work? It is similar to a 50/50 draw. Players buy numbered tickets over the course of a week, but it is really 20-30/50 draw because the funds from the total tickets sales for the week are divided three ways, 20 per cent to the winner, 30 per cent to the jackpot and 50 per cent to the manor.

The weekly lottery winner (or designate) then is called to come to the Edam Credit Union to pick a card from a deck of playing cards, and if the card drawn is the ace of hearts, the weekly lottery winner will also win the jackpot. If the card drawn is not the ace of hearts, it is destroyed and the reduced deck is kept for the following week’s draw. The winner of each successive weekly lottery draw will win 20 per cent of that week’s sales and a chance to draw from the reduced deck of cards for the ace of hearts and the increasing jackpot of 30 per cent of sales to date.

The jackpot continues to accumulate from week to week until it is won and the game starts over. The more tickets sold, the larger the jackpot. If you wish, you are able to buy a subscription to be sure that you are entered each week. For more information, and a complete set of rules, you can check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/edamenrichedmanor.

Winners for the past 12 weeks are as follows: Tayla Poole, Robert Thom (week 2 and 6), Treverr Poole, Suzanne Bellanger, Steven Dunlop, Elaine Poole, George Milnthorp, Elaine L'Heureux, Bonnie Letwinetz, David Katerynych and Arnold Poole.

The jackpot is now more than $1,650. Tickets are available at the Edam Enriched Manor, Edam Credit Union Ltd. and Stellar Insurance.

© Copyright Battlefords News Optimist

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