A Local Organization Making a Difference for Veterans

Ottawa, ON - October 12, 2017

The Veterans Ombudsman Commendation for a Local Organization is meant to recognize local groups that work hard to uplift the Veterans in their area. This year’s recipient – the Vancouver-based New Chelsea Society – is recognized for its outstanding work in providing affordable housing to Veterans.

I want to share the achievements of the Veterans Ombudsman Commendation recipients, but much more than that I want to share their stories to inspire others to reach out, volunteer and help Veterans and their families in their communities. So, I have asked each of them two questions. Below are the responses from Pat Buchannon, Executive Director of the New Chelsea Society for the past 20 years and a 33-year member of the Royal Canadian Legion.

We reached out to Pat Buchannon who has been the Executive Director of the New Chelsea Society for the past 20 years and a member of the Royal Canadian Legion for 33 years. This is what he had to say.

Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent: How did you start your work with Veterans, and what inspired you?

Pat Buchannon, Executive Director of the New Chelsea Society: The New Chelsea Society was founded in 1952 by five Vancouver branches of the Royal Canadian Legion to provide safe affordable housing for World War II Veterans and their families.

I love working for New Chelsea Society and am very proud of all that it does. My father was a Veteran and served overseas for over five years during World War II with the Royal Canadian Air Force. I am a bagpiper and the Pipe Staff Sergeant in the New Westminster Pipe Band, and in addition to my role with New Chelsea Society, I also sit on various boards of directors that serve Veterans.

I am inspired by all that our Veterans stand for and by what they sacrificed to preserve our rights and freedoms. I am proud to work for an organization like New Chelsea Society as it is truly a legacy of all that our Veterans have done.

Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent: What would you tell someone who is hoping to make a difference in the lives of Veterans and their families?

Pat Buchannon, Executive Director of the New Chelsea Society: Get involved in supporting our Veterans! Volunteer in a Veteran’s Care Home. Become a member of the Royal Canadian Legion: support and participate in their great community service. Join the board of directors of a Veterans’ housing organization or care facility. Attend annual Remembrance Day ceremonies with your family and children. Wear your poppy proudly in November. Donate to Veterans’ causes. Do what you can to keep the honour and respect for those who sacrificed so much—so we can live in this wonderful country that we call Canada--alive.

Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent: Thank you, and congratulations Pat Buchannon and New Chelsea Society. The Veterans Ombudsman Commendation presentations are taking place on October 23, 2017.

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