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Honour To Carry Torch

Heroes Remember

Honour To Carry Torch

I had the occasion to go back last January for the 2018 commemoration which took place in a little town, well I shouldn’t say little town. A town called Paju who had built an ice rink to do for this commemoration and from this ice rink we could see where we played hockey on the Njimgen River. We had a Team Canada formed with four players of the Vandoos, four players of the Pat’s and locals, Canadian locals in Korea to form Team Canada. And against Team Canada it was Team Corea, not Korea as we spelled it but Corea, C-o-r-e-a, which is different in the spelling in English with a “k” and so on. Of two universities, two of the highest branded universities in South Korea and that’s when I learned that hockey started officially, officially registered in 1928 between those two universities. It came up to me like that, I said oh we were not the first ones. But we can always claim that our missionaries brought hockey in Korea before that. This particular commemoration, the embassy and the Olympic committee, local committee, had arranged for the Olympic torch to go through Paju where we were playing on the 19th of January on its way to the Olympic site. And I was greatly honoured and privileged to carry, to be a torch bearer for a hundred metres along the rink. It is something I will never forget. By the way I have turned over the torch which I brought back to Canada to my regiment museum in the Citadel Quebec City.

Mr. Charland shares his story of the privilege and honour he had to carry the Olympic torch in respect to 2018 Commemoration in Korea representing our national sport of hockey for all Canadians.

Claude Charland

Mr. Claude Charland was born February 27, 1929 in Montreal, Quebec. As an only child and born during the Great Depression, Mr. Charland was placed in a boarding school in hopes of experiencing a better life. After obtaining a high level of education, he made the choice to join the military. In 1948, he took part in the Canadian Officer Training Corp and underwent infantry training in Camp Borden followed by additional training in Val Cartier. In 1950 the Korean War started and Mr. Charland became an instructor for francophone officer recruits. In 1951, joining as a callout, Mr. Charland chose to be part of the Korean War. He joined with the 3rd Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment and upon retirement held rank of Lieutenant. Mr. Charland holds great pride for his service during Korean War. In 2018 during the Korean Olympics, Mr. Charland had the great honour and privilege to be the torch bearer as part of Team Canada and carried the torch 100 metres through the rink grounds where he had served and played hockey many years before. Mr. Charland retired from the military in 1982 and remains very active in his community.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
May 23, 2018
Person Interviewed:
Claude Charland
War, Conflict or Mission:
Korean War
Royal 22e Régiment
Infantry Officer

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