Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

January 04, 2005 18:19 ET

Canada Mourns the Passing of First World War Veterans



JANUARY 4, 2005 - 18:19 ET

Canada Mourns the Passing of First World War Veterans

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 4, 2004) - The Honourable Albina
Guarnieri, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today joined Canadians in
expressing their condolences and support to the families of two of
Canada's First World War veterans, Paul Metivier, 104, and Alice Strike,
108, who passed away recently.

A Funeral Mass will be held on January 5th for Mr. Metivier at the
Canadian Martyrs Church in Ottawa. A private family burial was held for
Mrs. Strike on December 28 in Dartmouth Memorial Gardens in Nova Scotia.

"My condolences go out to the families, friends and the people whose
lives were touched by Mr. Metivier and Mrs. Strike," said Minister
Guarnieri. "Their passing reminds us of how important it is to honour
those who have served our nation. We will not forget their courage and

Born on July 6, 1900 in Montreal, Mr. Metivier was 16-years-old when he
lied about his age and enlisted in March of 1917. He served in Belgium
and France between July 12, 1917 and May 18, 1918. Once Mr. Metivier's
age was discovered, he was sent back to England to serve in the Young
Soldiers' Unit, and returned home in October of 1918. He re-entered
civilian life after the war and, in 1920, he joined the Public Service
of Canada.

Over the years, Mr. Metivier was actively involved in the celebration of
veterans' accomplishments and in the commemoration of their sacrifice.
In 1998, on the occasion of the 80th Anniversary of the Armistice, Mr.
Metivier was presented with France's highest decoration, the Legion of
Honour. He was also presented with a Certificate of Appreciation signed
by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, for his service. In May 2000, Mr.
Metivier was an honoured guest at the ceremony of the repatriation of
the remains of The Unknown Soldier from French soil. He was presented
the Minister of Veterans Affairs' Commendation in April 2002 and the
Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in March 2003. Mr. Metivier was
consistently sought out in the community for his integrity, humility,
intelligence and sense of humour. He died on December 22 in Ottawa.

Mauril Belanger, Associate Deputy Minister of National Defence will
attend the Funeral Mass for Mr. Metivier, representing the Minister of
Veterans Affairs.

Mrs. Strike was born and raised in Surrey, England and was 17 years old
when she took an office job with the British Army. During the war she
met her future husband, Jim Stobie of Winnipeg. In 1986, Mrs. Strike
moved to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and most recently resided in Camp Hill
Veterans' Memorial Building. Mrs. Strike was a life member of The Royal
Canadian Legion, active in the Poppy Campaign and an avid volunteer with
veterans. She was the recipient of the Queen's Certificate and the John
McRae Medal on the 80th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Mrs. Strike also received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal and was the
last surviving female veteran and the oldest surviving Canadian veteran
of the First World War. She died on December 22 at Camp Hill.

With the passing of Mr. Metivier and Mrs. Strike, Canada has only six
known surviving veterans of the First World War:

Lloyd Clemett, Toronto, ON
Clare Laking, Toronto, ON
P. Dwight Wilson, Oshawa, ON
Lazare Gionet, Caraquet, NB
William (Duke) Procter, Vernon, BC
John F. Babcock, Spokane, WA

Canada entered the First World War in 1914. Almost 620,000 Canadian men
and women served in the First World War and more than 66,000 were killed.


Contact Information

    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Mike Scandiffio
    Director of Communications
    (613) 996-4649
    Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    (613) 992-7468