Rosebridge Manor honours resident’s Remembrance Day tradition

Jim and Mildred Bell participate in Rosebridge Manor's Remembrance Day ceremony.

Jim and Mildred Bell participate in Rosebridge Manor’s Remembrance Day ceremony.

Rosebridge resident recites In Flanders Fields

Mildred Bell becomes choked up as she recites In Flanders Fields, bringing tears to the eyes of those listening to the 85-year-old woman deliver the poem.

Mildred, a resident of Rosebridge Manor, read aloud the famous piece by John McCrae during the Jasper, Ont. long-term care home’s Remembrance Day ceremony Nov. 11.

Sharing the poem with staff, family members and fellow residents, including her husband, Jim, carries on a tradition for Mildred.

“It’s something I have in my system that makes me want to do it,” Mildred tells The OMNIway. “It’s such a beautiful poem it almost makes me cry. I’m always glad to do it.”

Prior to moving into Rosebridge Manor in 2014, Mildred read the poem each Nov. 11 for 25 years at the community of Toledo’s cenotaph. Meanwhile, Jim was bequeathed the honour of laying Toledo’s wreath for Canada.

Jim, 95, a member of the Toledo Royal Canadian Legion Branch 475, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in July 1941 and was discharged in May of 1946.

The decorated veteran served in Canada, the United Kingdom and India during the Second World War.

Jim was a fabric worker and safety inspector for the parachute division of the RCAF.

After the war, he returned home to the family farm in Jasper. Jim and Mildred, now married 65 years, have three children.

The couple is still very much in love, notes Kathy Barr, life enrichment co-ordinator of Rosebridge Manor.

For Jim, Mildred and the long-term care home’s other residents, Nov. 11 is a significant day, Barr says.

Rosebridge Manor’s service honoured its six veterans.

“Every year Remembrance Day is getting more important,” Barr says. “We think it’s important because our veterans are dying. There are not going to be too many more opportunities to tribute them and show our thanks to them. We want to make the most out of the time we have.”

Following Rosebridge’s service, residents and staff gathered to watch Remembrance Day coverage from Ottawa and observe a minute of silence.

Members of the local Legion branch also honoured Rosebridge’s veterans Nov. 3 during another ceremony at the home.

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