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Report From The Nation’s Capital: The Senior Officers



The new Senior Officers of Dominion Command are (front, from left) First Vice Pat Varga, Dominion President Wilf Edmond, Past President Jack Frost; (rear, from left) Treasurer Mike Cook, Vice-President Paulette Cook, Vice-President Gordon Moore, Vice-President Erl Kish, Chairman Tom Irvine.

DOMINION PRESIDENT Wilf Edmond, 75, the son of a First World War veteran, has been active in all levels of the Legion for 50 years. He is a life member of Donkin, N.S., Branch in Cape Breton, and served as Nova Scotia Command president from 1993 to 1995. Prior to his years of service on provincial command, he served several terms as branch president and zone commander. More recently he has been active on most major dominion-level committees. He is chairman of the veterans, service and seniors committee, the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League committee and Pay committee. He is vice-chairman of the budget, investment, and staff pension committees.

He worked 36 years with the Cape Breton Development Corporation, retiring in 1991. Edmond also served 33 years as a volunteer firefighter in Donkin. He loves singing and has added his voice to the St. Luke’s United Church Choir, and is a former member of The Men of the Deeps coal miners’ choir. In his younger days he enjoyed coaching minor baseball and was president of the Eastern Suburban Little League Baseball of Cape Breton County. He holds the Meritorious Service Medal and Palm Leaf. He and his wife Annie have a daughter Phyllis, and two sons Wilfred and Brian, as well as six grandchildren.

FIRST VICE Pat Varga, a life member of Coleville, Sask., Branch, joined the Legion in 1979 at Marshall, Sask., Branch. She has been a Dominion Executive Council member since 1997, and has served on numerous committees. She is chairman of the Dominion sports committee, vice-chairman of the Pay committee, and a member of veterans, service and seniors and Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League committees. She has also served on the poppy and remembrance, and public relations committees. She is also a surveyor with the Long-Term Care Surveyor Program.She was with the Royal Canadian Navy for almost 12 years and retired last year from her position as director of administration at Carlton Trail Regional College. She continues to work as a consultant and is on the board of Kindersley Food Bank, and serves as a municipal councillor for the Village of Coleville. Her interests include camping, reading, golfing and making teddy bears.Varga is a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal and Palm Leaf. She and her husband Lorne have three daughters, Lee, Melody and Kacie, and three granddaughters.

VICE-PRESIDENT Erl Kish, 73, has over 40 years service with the Legion. After progressing through the ranks, he became Ontario Command president in 2003 and has served on many national committees, including sports, membership, and liaison. He is currently chairman of the public relations committee. He spent 30 years with the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps and the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Prior to retiring from military service in 1983 he served in Tanzania, Egypt, Cyprus, Germany and Norway.Kish is a member of the Legion Villa committee, a zone project for seniors housing in Kingston, Ont. He has also served on the veterans advisory board at Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto. Kish is a life member of Limestone City Branch in Kingston.He is a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal and Palm Leaf. Between he and his partner Sheila, he has helped raise 10 children. His interests include golfing and fishing.

VICE-PRESIDENT Paulette Cook, 55, is an active member of the Legion. She joined Philipsburg, Que. Branch as an associate in 1972 and has risen through the ranks. In 2005, she became the first woman president of Quebec Command. She is currently serving at the national level as chairman of the membership committee. Previously, she has served on both membership and liaison committees.Cook was involved in her community with the Boy Scouts of Canada and works at Verint Video Solutions. Her interests include reading, travel, scuba diving and gardening. She has four children, Jennifer, Wanda, Tom and Tim, and shares her life with husband Tom, the dominion chairman.

VICE-PRESIDENT Gordon Moore, 55, is an ordinary member with over 23 years Legion service. He spent most of his military service with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. He was elected to the executive at Elmira, Ont., Branch in 1986 and became Ontario Command president in 2005. He first participated as a member of the Dominion Executive Council in 1999 and has served on a number of national committees, including public relations, The Royal Canadian Legion Commission on Governance, Representation and Command Structure, poppy and remembrance, and membership. This year he has been appointed chairman of the poppy and remembrance committee. He resides in his hometown of Elmira, where he volunteers with the Children’s Wish Foundation and has given his time to minor soccer and softball leagues.Moore has spent the past 30 years in sales and marketing and is currently employed with TriCity Equipment. His interests include gardening and golf. He and his wife Kathy have a daughter, Dawn Melinda.

TREASURER Mike Cook, 66, is a life member of Cloverdale Branch in Surrey, B.C., and the son of a Second World War veteran. He has risen through the ranks of the Legion serving as branch president, zone commander and provincial president of British Columbia/Yukon Command. At the national level he has 13 years of continuous service on the Dominion Executive Council and is in his fifth term as dominion treasurer. He is chairman of budget, investment and staff pension committees. He is also a member of the Pay committee. He has served on finance, investment, staff pension, leadership and development, constitution and laws, and ways and means.Cook has been chairman of the Canvet Publications Board of Directors since 2000. He has been involved with the Legion for approximately 45 years, and is a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal and Palm Leaf. He is president of the Cloverdale Board of Trade and chairman of Surrey parks and recreation. He retired in 2002 after 30 years heading up his own business distributing Shell Canada products. He and his wife Judy have two children, Michael and Paralee, and he enjoys time with his two grandchildren, and golfing.

CHAIRMAN Thomas Irvine, 53 is beginning his third term as dominion chairman and his 20th year as a member of the Legion. He served 23 years with the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada and saw active duty in the Middle East. He has held many branch offices, including sergeant-at-arms, second vice and president, as well as ceremonial officer, vice-chairman, vice-president and chairman at the provincial level. He has served on national committees since 2002, including poppy and remembrance, dominion convention, membership and leadership, development and youth and is currently appointed to the sports, and the dominion convention committees.Irvine enjoys biking, darts and public speaking and is involved with the Free Masons. He is also a member of the Black Watch Veterans Association in Montreal. He and his wife Paulette have four children, and three grandchildren.

PAST PRESIDENT Jack Frost, 60, is a life member with 34 years Legion service. After joining Port Elgin, Ont., Branch, he has risen through the ranks from branch president, deputy zone commander, district commander to provincial command where he served as president from 1999 to 2000. At the national level he has served on veterans, service and seniors, finance, Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League, investment, staff pension, dominion convention, RCL governance, poppy and remembrance, and sports committees. His current committee responsibilities include vice-chairman of veterans, service and seniors, Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League, and Pay.Frost retired in 2002 from Ontario Hydro after 29 years. His hobbies include hiking, photography, gardening, golfing, hunting and fishing. He is a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal. He and his wife Lynn have raised two daughters, Sarah Lynn and Estelle Yvonne.

HONORARY GRAND PRESIDENT Charles Belzile, 75, is a highly decorated retired lieutenant-general. He left his hometown of Trois-Pistoles, Que., to study with the University of Montreal and joined the military in 1951. He retired in 1986, after spending five years as commander of the army. Overall, his many years of military service included postings to Korea, Germany, Cyprus and in Canada. In his eighth year as grand president he dedicates his time to projects that foster remembrance and improve national security. He has served as chairman of the Conference of Defence Associations and president of the Canadian Battlefields Foundation. He is honorary governor of the Ottawa division of the Commissionaires, a member of the advisory committee for the Veterans Affairs Canada Ombudsman, and a member of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute.His many decorations and medals include Member of the Order of Canada, Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Officer of the Order of St-John of Jerusalem, the Canadian Forces Decoration (three bars) and Commandeur Légion d’honneur awarded to him from the government of France. He and his wife Janet are the parents of two daughters, Denise and Suzanne.


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