OTTAWA: A local man was part of a national ceremony over the weekend.
Port Hawkesbury native Sergeant Stewart MacDonald, 91, was in Ottawa last weekend as part of an official Government of Canada delegation participating in events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
MacDonald moved out of Port Hawkesbury at 17 when he joined the military. He served in England, Holland and Germany during World War II. He returned home and re-enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1951, where he served until retiring in 1977. He currently lives in St. George’s Channel.
MacDonald was in Ottawa representing his uncle, Dan Archie McDonald (who dropped the “a” from his last name in his enlistment application), who was also born in Port Hawkesbury. Dan Archie McDonald enlisted in World War I in 1916 and took part in the Battle of Vimy Ridge, where he was killed. Dan Archie McDonald’s remains rest at the Vimy Memorial Cemetery and his name is inscribed on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. Kenneth and Margaret MacDonald, Dan Archie’s parents, were awarded the Memorial Cross in honour of their son.
“I had three uncles in the first World War,” said John MacDonald.
“[Dan Archie] went overseas. He was a steel worker before he went over.”
When asked what it meant to be a part of the ceremony and have his uncle’s life honored, MacDonald said he was pleased the nation still remembers.
“It’s terrific,” he said, adding he feels it is important to represent his family and his community in the commemoration.
Part of John MacDonald’s visit included trips to Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall, and various museums around the nation’s capital.
“I’m enjoying my stay in Ottawa,” the veteran added.