Norm Anderson will be honoured at Sunday’s Sidney Concert Band performance at the Mary Winspear Centre Sunday Nov. 4. (Provided by Yvonne Kupsch)

Sidney Concert Band salutes veterans on Nov. 4

Mary Winspear Centre concert honours 96-year old veteran

The Sidney Concert Band is pleased to continue its annual tradition of honouring Canadian veterans with a concert at 2:30 pm on Sunday, November 4 at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney. The “Salute to Our Veterans” concert will include the playing of the Last Post and a traditional wreath-laying service, with members of the local Kittyhawk Air Cadets forming the Colour Party. A variety of band music will be presented, along with musical selections performed by members of the Saanich Peninsula Pipe Band, the Parkland Secondary School Choir and the Killer Wails Quartet. Conductor Bruce Ham will once again take up the SCB baton.

This year, the band pays special tribute to the sacrifices made by medical personnel and by veterans of the Korean War. One such guest in attendance will be local Peninsula resident, retired Lieutenant Commander Norm Anderson.

Born on November 7, 1922 in the District of Clayoquot, BC, Norm spent his formative years in Victoria. As a youngster, Norm was head chorister of the Boys Choir at Christ Church Cathedral, a member of the Boy Scouts and later the Rainbow Sea Cadet Corps, where he attained some distinction as a marksman, even competing at the national level in 1938. In September 1939, war was declared against Germany and in October, Norm left to go to sea as a “Mess-boy”. He was just shy of 17.

Norm officially joined the Royal Canadian Navy in January, 1940. His time with the Navy was vast and impressive and impossible to fully chronicle here. Serving on several Destroyers, Norm took part in D-Day operations, Channel sweeps against German warships, as well as convoy escort duties including the rescue of 500 survivors from two sinking troop transports.

Anderson’s part in the Korean War began in August 1952, when he was drafted to the Canadian naval destroyer, HMCS Athabaskan as the Gunnery Instructor. He sailed for the Korean Theatre in October 1952. While there, Anderson was employed on interdiction duties which included shore bombardment of North Korean troops, trains and supply stations, as well as escorting US aircraft carriers.

In a reprieve from the grief of war, Norm recalls a light-hearted custom that occurred during his time in Korea. When a pilot from an aircraft carrier was rescued by another ship, that carrier rewarded the rescuer with enough ice cream to feed the entire ship’s company. On one occasion, a US airman did not land on his carrier properly; his plane hit hard, went over the side and he went with it. The crew of the Athabaskan came to the airman’s assistance and returned him safely to the carrier. The pilot weighed about 180 pounds, which is important to the story because as Norm tells it, in exchange for rescuing the US airman, the Commanding Officer of the Athabaskan is said to have demanded a “ransom” of 180 pounds of ice cream for his crew!

All are welcome to this entertaining and important musical tribute dedicated to all our veterans. Veterans are encouraged to attend in uniform. Tickets are available online or by contacting the Mary Winspear Box Office at (250) 656-0275.

—Submitted by Yvonne Kupsch

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A crowd gathers at Mount Newton Cross Road and Highway 17 on Oct. 23. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Highway reopens after rally supporting Mi’kmaq fishing rights in Nova Scotia

Central Saanich demonstration interrupts Friday afternoon traffic

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is looking for this man, who they say stole a charity box. (Facebook/Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Crime Stoppers looking for man who stole charity box from Saanich grocery store

Anyone with information asked to call Crime Stoppers

Sooke man Rik Downer spent two weeks in the Royal Jubilee Hospital after contracting flesh-eating bacteria. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Sooke man’s bumped knee leads to fight for life

Man unknowingly contracts case of rare flesh-eating disease

Victoria police Chief Const. Del Manak appreciates the efforts of residents and business owners who took part in the VicPD community survey. The questionnaire saw a combined nearly 1,000 respondents from Victoria and Esquimalt. (Black Press Media file photo)
VicPD survey says: overall satisfaction positive, accountability needs work

Respondents feel safe during day, not so much at night; more police presence would help

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

Most Read