Snuggly stuffed mascots

While many real animals have been mascots and special friends for Canadians who served in the military over the years, these days it is more common for stuffed animals to play this role.

I heard a neat story about a Canadian navy ship that had a cuddly plush penguin mascot named Quincy. Years ago, one of the officers of HMCS Terra Nova brought Quincy to meet the students of Sidney Elementary School, in British Columbia, and described the many adventures that his little friend had experienced around the world. The kids were inspired to get a cool school mascot of their own, so Percy the penguin soon arrived on the scene.

In a neat stuffed animal connection, the students and sailors began to exchange letters, sharing stories about what their penguin buddies had been doing. It was great! The men and women at sea had a chance to take their minds off more serious matters during their duties in places like the Middle East in the Gulf War of 1990-1991. In turn, the children made many new friends and were able to show these brave Canadians serving so far from home that they were remembered and appreciated. Hearing this story makes my pigeon feathers fluff up in joy. I think we should all write letters to Canadian Armed Forces members to show that we care, too!

Did you know?

A large Newfoundland dog named Sable Chief was the mascot of the Newfoundland Regiment during the First World War. He would march with the regimental band and visit wounded troops. Sable Chief could even respectfully stand still at the playing of the Newfoundland anthem. The furry friend really boosted the spirit of the regiment.

Squeaker the pigeon
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