Book Feature: HONOUR
Inspired by the 2010 death of Canada’s last WWI Veteran in January, and in tribute to the 65th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, Chartwell Seniors Housing is proud to publish HONOUR, a moving portrait of 35 WWII Veterans and those who supported the war effort.
Featuring photos by renowned Canadian photographer Yuri Dojc, and accompanied by interviews with the Veterans, the book offers a reflective telling of their war experiences from a deeply personal perspective.
“We realize an incredible amount of history resides with us,” said Brent Binions, President and CEO of Chartwell, Seniors Housing REIT. ” HONOUR captures the unique and compelling stories of these quiet heroes living in Chartwell homes across Canada.”
The book features more than 35 stunning black and white and colour photographs accompanied by the intimate stories of these unassuming but courageous individuals.
Sharon Henderson, Director of Communications for Chartwell, interviewed the participants and transcribed their words to print. Says Henderson of the project, “These interviews were extraordinary. To hear, firsthand, the stories of these individuals, and to know that our access to their unique history is diminishing every year, made this a very profound experience.”
Dojc adds, “It was evident early in the project that we were not just photographing people, we were capturing history.”
For example, 93-year-old William Lockwood of Renfrew, Ontario is one of the individuals included. Taken as a prisoner of war by the Japanese he endured more than three years of starvation, disease and brutality at the hands of his captors. He still has a diary with the handwritten names of over 300 fellow soldiers who did not survive the ordeal. “They deserved to be remembered if they could not be helped,” he adds.
91-year-old John Kerfoot of Smiths Falls, Ontario was an engine mechanic in the Air Force and saw his share of planes shot down during the war. A year after returning to Smith Falls, Ontario after the war, Kerfoot observed three Germans moving to the small town seeking work. After befriending one of the men who had served in the German army, Kerfoot recalls, “It was obvious that they had faced the same losses as we had, and that they had been following the same orders that we were following.”
HONOUR is available through www.chartwellreit.ca as well as at Chartwell homes across Canada. Net proceeds of this book are being donated to Canadian organizations committed to the remembrance of Canada’s veterans including The War Amps Operation Legacy.
Chartwell operates over 150 retirement homes and long-term care homes across North America.
Yuri Dojc’s photography has also been featured in ZOOMER Magazine and zoomermag.com.