43rd Dominion Convention: Leading The Team

August 31, 2010 by Legion Magazine
The new Senior Elected Officers of Dominion Command are (front, from left) Past President Wilf Edmond, Dominion President Pat Varga, First Vice Gordon Moore, (rear, from left) Chairman Thomas Irvine, Vice-President Dave Flannigan, Vice-President Tom Eagles, Vice-President George O’Dair, Grand President Larry Murray, Treasurer Mike Cook. [PHOTO: PATRICK RILEY]

The new Senior Elected Officers of Dominion Command are (front, from left) Past President Wilf Edmond, Dominion President Pat Varga, First Vice Gordon Moore, (rear, from left) Chairman Thomas Irvine, Vice-President Dave Flannigan, Vice-President Tom Eagles, Vice-President George O’Dair, Grand President Larry Murray, Treasurer Mike Cook.
PHOTO: PATRICK RILEY

Dominion president Pat Varga, a Royal Canadian Navy veteran, is a life member at Coleville, Sask., Branch. She has served on Dominion Executive Council since 1997 and on many national committees, including veterans, service and seniors, Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League (RCEL), youth, leadership and development, poppy and remembrance, public relations and was recently the chairman of the dominion sports committee. She is currently chairman of veterans, services and seniors, RCEL, and the dominion convention committees, as well as vice-chairman of finance/budget, and investment committees and sits as a member of the veterans’ consultation group. She is also a surveyor with the Long-term Care Surveyor Program.

Retired from her career as director of administration at Carlton Trail Regional College, she continues to work as a consultant. Her interests include camping, reading, golf and making teddy bears.

Varga is a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal and Palm Leaf. She and Lorne have three daughters, Lee, Melody and Kacie, and four granddaughters.

FIRST VICE Gordon Moore, 57, is a life member who served with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. A member of Elmira, Ont., Branch, he has more than 25 years Legion service. First elected to branch executive in 1986, he rose to become Ontario Command president in 2005. He began national-level service in 1999 as a member of Dominion Executive Council, and has served on many committees, including public relations, The Royal Canadian Legion governance commission, membership, as well as chairman of poppy and remembrance. Moore is currently serving on the RCEL, finance/budget, dominion convention and veterans consultation group committees and is vice-chairman of veterans, services and seniors, and chairman of the public relations committee. He was appointed chairman of the Canvet Publications Board of Directors.

In Elmira, Moore volunteers with the Children’s Wish Foundation and has given his time to minor soccer and softball.

He has spent the past 32 years in sales and marketing and is employed with TriCity Equipment. Moore is a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal and his interests include gardening and golf. He and his wife Kathy have a daughter, Dawn Melinda and two grandsons, Reed and Drew.


VICE-PRESIDENT Tom Eagles
, 53, is a life member of Marble Arch Branch in Plaster Rock, N.B. During his 34 years with the Legion he has held a number of executive positions, including branch president, district commander and provincial command president.

He has served on national committees as a member of constitution and laws and poppy and remembrance and was recently promoted chairman of the latter. As a member of the Senior Elected Officers he will serve on the finance/budget committee.

Eagles is president of Plaster Rock’s Minor Hockey League and has spent five years on the Tobique Valley Manor Board of Directors. When he is not working in the municipality’s Public Works and Recreation Department he is busy with hockey, baseball and golf. He and his wife Cheryl have four children: Ryan, Daniel, Brook and Brett.

VICE-PRESIDENT Dave Flannigan, 54, is a life member at Labrador City Branch with 35 years service. He became district commander in 2001 and Newfoundland and Labrador Command president in 2007. At the national level he has served on Dominion Executive Council and the poppy and remembrance committee. He is currently serving on finance/budget and is chairman of the sports committee. Retired after 29 years as a millwright with the Iron Ore Company of Canada, he was both the owner and operator of Tool Maintenance Plus from 2004 to 2007. Flannigan now works as a sales manager at Hercules SLR Inc. in Labrador City.

He is also a member of the Javelin Boat Dock Association and co-chairman of the Legion hospital telethon committee which has raised more than $2 million for local hospital equipment. He is a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and his interests include poppy and remembrance, and sports.

He and his wife Vera have six children, Mitchell, Tanya, Dale, Dean, Dwayne and Danny.

VICE-PRESIDENT George O’Dair is a life member of John McMartin Memorial Branch in Cornwall, Ont. He spent seven years in the reserves and many years in industrial management positions. Semi-retired, he has operated his own sales agency for the past 11 years.

O’Dair has served extensively at branch level and is a former district commander. He is a former Ontario Command president and has served on Dominion Executive Council for nine years, including chairman of the ritual and awards committee. He is a member of the finance/budget committee and chairman of the membership committee. O’Dair is a life member of the Association of KIN Clubs, and has served the local hospital foundation.

He has earned the Meritorious Service Medal and Palm Leaf and has received the Head of the Public Service Award, the 125th Anniversary Medal and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.

O’Dair enjoys golf and hunting. He and his wife Frances have two sons and six grandchildren.

TREASURER Mike Cook, 68, of Surrey, B.C., joined Cloverdale Branch in 1963 and has served at all levels, including president of Pacific Command. Elected for his sixth consecutive term as dominion treasurer, he has 15 years continuous service on Dominion Executive Council. Cook has served on national committees for over two decades, including the 60th anniversary committee in 1985, constitution and laws, leadership and development, and ways and means. He has been reappointed chairman of finance/budget and investment committees. Cook was chairman of the Canvet Board of Directors from 2000-2010 and is past-president of the Cloverdale Board of Trade. He retired from M.J. Cook Ltd. in 2002, and enjoys golf and travelling to warmer climates.

Involved in the Legion for almost 50 years, he is a life member, recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal and Palm Leaf. He and his wife Judith have two children, Michael and Paralee, and enjoy playing with their two grandchildren.

CHAIRMAN Thomas Irvine, 55, of LaSalle, Que., is a member of Hemmingford, Que., Branch. He is beginning his fourth term as dominion chairman and is in his 22nd year as a Legion member. His 23 years with the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada included active duty in Egypt with the United Nations Emergency Force. He is retired from TD Canada Trust and has served on national committees since 2002, including poppy and remembrance, membership and leadership, development and youth, sports and dominion convention. He is currently appointed to constitution and laws, dominion convention and finance/budget committees. At the branch level Irvine has held many offices, including sergeant-at-arms, second vice and two years as president of Ormstown, Que., Branch, as well as ceremonial officer, vice-chairman, vice-president and three terms as provincial chairman.

A member of the Black Watch Veterans Association in Montreal, he enjoys biking, darts and public speaking. He and his wife Paulette have four children and three grandchildren.


PAST-PRESIDENT Wilf Edmond
, 77, is a life member of Donkin Branch in Cape Breton, N.S. He is the proud son of a First World War veteran. Three of his brothers served in the Second World War, one of whom was lost while serving on His Majesty’s Canadian Ship St. Croix in 1942.

A member of the Legion for 52 years, he served as Nova Scotia Command president from 1993 to 1995 and before that dedicated several terms as branch president and zone commander. In 2000 he was elected to the Legion’s sub-executive as vice-president and has served on most committees, including finance, sports, membership, public relations, veterans, service and seniors, Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League (RCEL), budget, and investment committees. He is vice-chairman of the RCEL and will serve on poppy and remembrance, and finance/budget committees.

He worked for the Cape Breton Development Corp. for 36 years and he is a former member of The Men of the Deeps coal miners’ choir and St. Luke’s United Church Choir, and has coached and assisted minor baseball. A former volunteer firefighter, he holds the Meritorious Service Medal and Palm Leaf. He and his wife Annie have a daughter, Phyllis, and two sons, Wilf and Brian (currently in the air force), as well as six grandchildren, one of whom serves in the army.


GRAND PRESIDENT Larry Murray
, 63, has brought to the Legion executive experience from the military and civilian worlds. After 33 years with the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Forces, Vice-Admiral Murray retired in 1997 as acting chief of the defence staff. Within a few months he was appointed associate deputy minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and in 1999 was named deputy minister of Veterans Affairs. In April 2003, he was appointed deputy minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Four years later he retired from public service.

Murray has served as a member of the Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP and as chairman of the Veterans Ombudsman’s Advisory Committee. He is President of the Nova Scotia Mainland Division of the Navy League of Canada.

His many awards include Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Officer of the Order of St-John of Jerusalem, the Vimy Award and the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation. He has served as honorary colonel commandant of the Canadian Forces Chaplain Branch. An ordinary member of Dominion Ottawa Branch, he is serving at the national level on veterans, services and seniors, as ex-officio of defence and security, and chairman of the veterans’ consultation group. He enjoys sea kayaking, running and jogging. He and his wife Claudia Buckley have six children and five grandchildren.

Email the writer at: writer@legionmagazine.com

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