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RCAF veteran passes away

CHARLIE MEEK from Branch 13, the Royal Canadian Legion, who officiated at a service for veteran John Shaw Oct. 26, momentarily kneels at Shaw’s grave located in the city’s main cemetery. - MARGARET SPEIRS
CHARLIE MEEK from Branch 13, the Royal Canadian Legion, who officiated at a service for veteran John Shaw Oct. 26, momentarily kneels at Shaw’s grave located in the city’s main cemetery.
— image credit: MARGARET SPEIRS

A graveside service was held Oct. 26 for John Shaw who passed away Oct. 12 following a lengthy illness.

Shaw, at the age of 92, was one of the older surviving veterans of the Second World War in the area.

The service was attended by two nephews of Shaw’s from Alberta and a friend from Las Vegas, said Charlie Meek who conducted the service as past president of the Branch 13, the Royal Canadian Legion. Also in attendance were members of Branch 13 in accordance with the branch’s philosophy of recognizing those who served their country.

“He was a veteran and we gave him a veteran’s tribute,” said Meek. “He’s one of the last in our area. Sadly, the ranks are getting thinner. He was also a quiet man and very appreciative of the work of the branch.”

Shaw lived on his own until circumstances placed him first at Mills Memorial Hospital and then at Terraceview Lodge.

Born in Calgary, Alberta in 1920, Shaw’s mother was a school teacher and his father was a farmer. He lived with his parents in Pine Lake, Alberta and then Drumheller, also in Alberta, before moving back to Calgary.

Shaw also worked in Banff where he enjoyed the twin pursuits of photography and painting.

He then joined the Royal Canadian Air Force at the age of 18 and trained in Manitoba before being posted to Dartmouth on the east coast.

Shaw served as spotter in long range patrol aircraft, looking for both German submarines and Allied survivors of ships that had been sunk.

Following his discharge in 1945, Shaw worked in the Alberta gas and oil fields in the Turner Valley and for five summers, worked in provincial parks.

When he moved west to Terrace, Shaw worked at the Tillicum Twin Theatre.

In 1974, Shaw worked at Seal Cove in Prince Rupert and with the Canadian Coast Guard. He retired in 1984 and continued to live in Terrace.

Legion members wore poppies during the  tribute as a symbol of respect.

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