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Allan “Dinger” Bell
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Allan “Dinger” Bell is a 15 year Veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces. He is nominated for his tireless work and dedication on behalf of those involved in the HMCS KOOTENAY disaster.

He was severely injured aboard the KOOTENAY on October 23, 1969. Since then, he has fought tirelessly to ensure the Kootenay story is remembered and that those Veterans and families involved receive the benefits and recognition they deserve.

Over the past 20 years, he has tried to contact all 240 servicemen who were aboard HMCS KOOTENAY or their families, spending “hundreds of hours” on the phone. He has advised and assisted “dozens” of survivors and their family members in dealing with Veterans Affairs Canada and applying for benefits.

As a result of his work, the Royal Canadian Navy now conducts an annual ceremony to commemorate the disaster. He also helped organize a 40th anniversary trip to England to honour the eight crew members who are buried there, as well as various events to commemorate the recent 50th anniversary memorial.

He was instrumental in having every October 23rd proclaimed as KOOTENAY Day in the Halifax Regional Municipality and within the Province of Nova Scotia. He inspired the Royal Canadian Navy to present HMCS KOOTENAY survivors with the Merit Award and the Unit Commendation Award.

Additionally, he has worked to ensure that the BONAVENTURE Anchor Memorial in Halifax is restored.

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