Remembrance Day a celebration and tribute for Nanaimo veteran

By NanaimoNewsNOW Staff
November 11, 2017 - 2:14pm

Nanaimo's 2017 Remembrance Day ceremony packed downtown, despite poor weather.Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — Each year, Remembrance Day is a ceremony of duality for veteran Victor Osbourne.

Born on Nov. 11, 1918, Osbourne's 99th birthday was honoured during the downtown Nanaimo ceremony this year by a crowd of thousands singing Happy Birthday.

Osbourne told NanaimoNewsNOW he's always conflicted on Remembrance Day.

“It's a big day, a big loss of the sailors I knew and the people who never came home. But I guess in some ways a happy day, for me anyway. I'm still here.”

Osbourne first served on a submarine in the Spanish Civil War shortly before World War Two broke out. For the entirety of the war he was confined to a submarine.

Despite the cramped conditions and nerve-shredding tension of patrolling Atlantic waters, Osbourne managed a cheeky grin when he described his service as “Very damp, very cold, very wet.”

Once the war ended he worked in Fisheries Protection. “I wanted out of the Navy desperately.”

Looking out at the amassed crowd leaving downtown after the ceremony, a grin was never far from Osbourne's face, even when talking about the horrors of war.

“I got lucky I guess,” he said.

 

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