Linda Burwood’s 25 years of service recognized

Ladysmith Legion Auxiliary president Linda Burwood has received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Ladysmith Legion Auxiliary president Linda Burwood (right) was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Here

Ladysmith Legion Auxiliary president Linda Burwood (right) was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Here

Linda Burwood doesn’t take kindly to junk mail. While rifling through her mail last month, she nearly tossed a notice letter from Jean Crowder’s office in the bin before noticing it was addressed to her personally. She tore it open, read the letter, and discovered to her surprise that she’d been named by Crowder, MP for Nanaimo-Cowichan, as a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Burwood said she felt “honoured” by the award, adding that it wasn’t until she read the letter to fellow Ladysmith Legion Auxiliary (LLA) members that the significance of the award sunk in.

Medals are awarded in recognition of community contributions and public service and 25 years of service with LLA comprises an essential part of Burwood’s service career.

Burwood said she joined the LLA in 1988 as a means of joining her husband, William, in the Ladysmith Legion band. William played snare drum and Linda played the glockenspiel, a percussion instrument similar to a xylophone.

Linda’s involvement with the LLA quickly moved beyond music, however.

“When I first started, I was helping with general stuff,” Linda said. “Catering and that.”

She then took on the responsibilities associated with managing “ways and means,” she said, organizing the LLA’s teas and bazaars.

Next came a four-year term as the LLA’s treasurer, followed by “three or four years” as secretary.

Linda was then asked to serve as president to ensure that all of the officers’ positions — commonly referred to as “the chairs” by LLA members — were filled, allowing the LLA to retain its charter.

Due, in part, to limited recruitment, LLA officers are recycled through “the chairs,” meaning Linda is now serving her third term as LLA president.

In addition to her many roles on the LLA executive, Linda said she’s served as sergeant-at-arms for several years, acting as flag-bearer during ceremonies and parades.

Alongside her involvement with the LLA, Lynn assisted with the Miss Ladysmith pageant. Their daughter, Bonnie Lynn, was crowned Miss Congeniality in 1989, Bill said, adding that he considers their involvement with the pageant a rewarding time for the family.

Linda volunteered as a Brownie leader, or “Brown Owl,” for ten years as well, Bill said, working with girls aged eight  to 12 living in the Cassidy area.

More recently, Linda’s taken to teaching the finer nuances of line dancing to local students on a weekly basis. Linda said she donates half of the drop-in fee she charges for dance lessons to the LLA. Originally, she requested that they direct the funds towards the Lodge at Broadmead, a seniors home in Victoria offering healthcare services to veterans. She still donates half of her proceeds to the LLA, leaving it up to them how the money is spent.

Linda and Bill sold their business, Burwood’s Electric Motor Service, to a long-term employee in 2006. She’s fully retired, and Bill has one year left to serve with the Canadian Forces Reserves before he joins her.

They live on five acres of forested land near the airport, Linda said, and the country life seems to suit them well. Bill, who Linda described as “a real bush man,” loves to hunt, fish and shoot. He cuts and stacks firewood, too. Meanwhile, Linda tends to vegetables and flowers growing in her greenhouse and yard.

“I love to garden,” she said, adding that her favourite flowers — roses and pansies — are often feasted on by hungry deer.

Linda and Bill can their own fruit and vegetables, including Linda’s famous “dilly beans.” They pick their own blackberries, too, transforming the wild fruit into jams and home-made wine.

They travel occasionally, Linda said, visiting their granddaughters in Alberta “two or three times a year.”

Last spring, they visited Europe on a guided tour of First and Second World War battlefields in France and Belgium with Jack Patten, a Legion member and hobby tour guide from Nanaimo. It was a captivating experience for the couple, with sites like Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach leaving a marked impression on Linda.

Bill, meanwhile, thought the Blockhaus — a bunker in northern France built by the Germans during the Second World War as a launch site for V2 rockets — was the highlight of the trip.

“A lot of it was amazing,” Linda said. “You hear about all of these places,” Linda said, “but to actually go and see it, it’s overwhelming.”

According to the Governor General of Canada’s website, the QE II Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 60th anniversary of the beginning of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. The medal “serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.”

Just Posted

More and more graffiti has appeared in Ladysmith’s downtown core during the pandemic. (Cole Schisler photo)
Council creates rebate program to encourage graffiti clean up

Property owners can receive up to $50 to help fund graffiti removal

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Flowers and candles were laid on the driveway of the Weber home, where Kerri Weber was found dead in November 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria man to stand trial for death of his wife last November

Ken Weber is charged with second-degree murder of his wife, Kerri Weber

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts was found dead near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Ocean debris is shown on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. on April, 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

The Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society, which has been operating a treatment centre on land leased from the Nanoose First Nation for 35 years (pictured), has begun a fundraising campaign to open a new centre near Duncan. (Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society photo)
New residential school healing centre to be built near Duncan

$5-million Indigenous treatment centre will help survivors of residential schools heal

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Vancouver Island lottery players win $1 million and $500,000 in Lotto Max draw

$1 million ticket sold in Campbell River, $500,000 ticket sold in Nanaimo

Most Read