On Canada Day the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #139 in Williams Lake welcomed a new member of the equine variety.
Jock, an 18-year-old registered quarter horse, arrived with his owner Doug White during the lunch hour to receive his membership from branch president Joyce Norberg.
“We decided as Branch 139 we were going to make Jock an honorary life member of this legion,” Norberg said, as she held up a certificate and a pin for the horse. “It’s the equine division of the legion. Crazy? You bet. Fun? Super fun.”
White rode Jock inside the branch from the outside as a few members came close up to offer their congratulations and take photos.
“Just hang his certificate on his bridle,” White told Norberg, then asked Jock if he was happy.
“Nod your head,” White said chuckling.
As Jock is technically under the legal drinking age in human years, he couldn’t stay for a beer, however, he was going to be riding in the Stampede Parade the next day — as a legion member.
The decision to make Jock an honorary member was prompted after he entered the legion building last year, said legion member Vivian MacNeil.
At the time the legion was hosting a reception for Paul Nichols of Quesnel, who had embarked on his Communities for Veterans Ride Across Canada.
Nichols is a former Calgary Highlander who served with 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in the Medak Pocket operation in Croatia in 1993.
“I have been active with British Columbia Company of the Canadian Rangers for the past three years,” Nichols wrote in a statement before the ride. “As a veteran who has operated under fire and struggled to make the transition to civilian life, I know how lonely it can be at home.”