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'He is very well decorated': Sask. veteran turns 100, honoured by Legion for lifetime of service

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The Saskatchewan Royal Legion celebrated one of its members reaching a major milestone this weekend.

Cliff MacDonald celebrated his 100 birthday and was also honoured for his 80 years with the Legion.

“He is very well decorated. He received the French Medal of Honour for landing on D-day, and being the first overseas,” former Legion president Keith Andrews told CTV News. “He’s been a veteran member of the Legion for over 80 years. In fact, he was a member of the Legion when he was in France.”

MacDonald enlisted in 1941 with the 67 light anti-aircraft battery out of Rosetown. He returned home in December 1945.

One of the families in his home community of Elrose paid his membership dues to the Legion while he was away.

“It’s about service for veterans and their families,” Andrews said. “Today is a bunch of medals and stuff like that but the whole thing is, when somebody’s got a problem, we help them.”

The event was held at the Sherbrooke Veterans Village in Saskatoon, where four generations of family gathered to mark the occasion.

MacDonald’s grandson, Dane MacDonald, who is a Sergeant At Arms, presented him with his medal for his time with the Legion.

He said it was important to understand the sacrifice of veterans and to continue the mission to serve others.

“It’s definitely something that I’ve learned to understand and take with great pride that we can carry the torch forward,” Dane said.

MacDonald was also presented with the Queens Platinum Jubilee Medal and letters from dignitaries including the premier of Saskatchewan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

He responded to the celebration of his life and service humbly.

“I guess I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Betty. She’s looked after me for 74 years, and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better.”                                                                                                       

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