Roy Kawamoto receives commendation from veterans affairs
Roy Kawamoto was among thirteen citizens from British Columbia honoured January 17 for their commitment and dedication to Veterans. The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, presented these individuals with the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation during a ceremony in Richmond.
“These individuals have made a real and lasting difference with their service and dedication to our nation’s truest heroes,” said Minister Blaney. “On behalf of all Canadians, I am proud to acknowledge their extraordinary efforts in helping to provide the care and recognition our Veterans and their families deserve. Today we recognize their hard work and selfless commitment.”
Roy Kawamoto Kelowna, British Columbia
Mr. Kawamoto served in the Canadian Forces from 1951 to 1986. During the 1980s, he travelled from Ottawa to Vancouver where he created a military display at the Seaforth Armoury during Veterans’ Week. He also participated in Remembrance Day ceremonies at Stanley Park. Mr. Kawamoto was instrumental in contacting Japanese Canadians to form the Japanese Canadian War Memorial Committee. Their first task was to raise money to refurbish the cenotaph. This was successful, as well as efforts to affix a new plaque displaying the names of 52 additional First World War Veterans who died during that war. Attendance at the annual Remembrance Day ceremonies has increased from approximately 70 attendees to 300. Mr. Kawamoto has been the Co Chair and Master of Ceremonies at the Stanley Park Remembrance Day ceremony since 1982. Although he now resides in Kelowna, British Columbia, Mr. Kawamoto is well known in the Vancouver area for his volunteerism. Over the years, he has set up a display of photos and military artefacts and has memorialized 222 Japanese soldiers who served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation includes a bar, which can be worn below official decorations on a Veteran’s blazer, as well as a lapel pin for civilian wear and a certificate.
The Commendation is presented to individuals who have contributed to the care and well-being of Veterans and to the remembrance of their contributions, sacrifices and achievements. It is intended primarily for Veterans, but in some circumstances may also be awarded to non-Veterans. Nominations may be submitted at any time and are reviewed annually by an advisory committee.