The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
The Waverley and Rosewood, Wilkes Avenue
Thursday, April 19, 2018 – 2:00 p.m.
Fellow Manitobans, friends of the French Republic, admirers and family members of a great Canadian – it’s an honour to be with you today to celebrate James Magill and his service to Canada and to freedom.
We are gathered on Treaty One land, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Metis people.
Today, we’ve come together not far from the CN rail line that 75 years ago carried tens of thousands of young Canadians on the first leg of their journey to war.
One of those young men is the man we celebrate today – a man who, like thousands of others, voluntarily set aside his career and put his life at risk to defend his country and its values.
Seventy four years ago this summer, young James Magill went from his apprenticeship with the CNR to the skies above France during the liberation of Europe.
The missions he flew during the summer of 1944 helped to end one of the darkest periods in the history of France and defeat a great evil.
His contribution to the liberation of France has now been recognized by the Legion of Honour, France’s highest national order.
Today, Mr. Magill’s fellow Manitobans join in recognizing his bravery and dedication.
In coming together to honour Mr. Magill, we also commit ourselves to keep fresh the memory of his comrades who served in the air, on the land and at sea. I am pleased to say that in Mr. Magill’s name a Regal Celebration Maple tree has been planted in Vimy Ridge Memorial Park.
As this beautiful, Manitoba-bred tree comes to life each spring, it will for many decades to come represent the ever-renewing respect and gratitude we feel for James Magill.
Thank you for your service and your contribution to Canada. Merci. Meegwich.