David Pickles

“We have incredible and active seniors in Pickering. They may be seniors but after seeing they at the Pickering Recreation Centre, dances and banquets and other venues it is more appropriate to call them the young at heart.

The South Pickering Seniors Club, the Lawn Bowling Club, the Pickering Ajax Italian Social Club, both Royal Canadian Legions in Pickering, and many other organizations do a great job and partner with the City to provide many facilities and programs tailored to seniors in Pickering. It is a pleasure to continue to work with them to pursue new opportunities.

Veterans are a special group to me as you may recall from my 2005 Newsletter.  They have provided us with special privileges - freedom and democracy - and made special sacrifices. It is my honour to attend the annual Remembrance Day and D-Day Services in Pickering as well as many other events at the Royal Canadian Legions in both Claremont and South Pickering.”   - David Pickles

Go directly to Veterans section.


V!VA Pickering's Grand Opening
October 23, 2012
Ribbon Cutting at V!VA Pickering Grand Opening
Councillor Pickles with two V!VA Pickering residents
Pickering senior Dave Simpson honoured for community contributions
Moya Dillon
June 11, 2012
Dave Simpson
Pickering senior Dave Simpson honoured for community contributions.  PICKERING -- Dave Simpson, president of South Pickering Seniors Association, will be receiving municipal and provincial Senior of the Year awards this weekend.  June 5, 2012 Sabrina Byrnes / Metroland

PICKERING -- The growing and thriving South Pickering Seniors Club can thank the city's Senior of the Year for its success.

Dave Simpson, who has been president of the club since 2007, is being honoured with the Senior of the Year award from the City for his work to ensure area seniors have access to social programs and activities.

“It's so important because so many seniors here are on their own and if they didn't have somewhere to gather and socialize they would just fade away,” Mr. Simpson said of the importance of the club.

“Every summer we close down for two months and people almost go crazy because they can't come.  It really is their second home.  Having a place to go, programs available and social interaction is very important.”

And it's not just his members who rely on the club.  At the age of 84, Mr. Simpson credits it with keeping him young.

“I like the social contact, it keeps me busy and keeps my mind active,” he explains.

The club, located at the East Shore Community Centre, offers activities including pool, cards, bingo, lawn bowling, shuffleboard, pickle ball, table tennis and events such as monthly dances.  It currently has more than 800 members and is fast outgrowing its current facility.

In November Mr. Simpson approached council about space constraints at East Shore.  In response, council voted to set aside $150,000 annually in a reserve account to fund a future facility.

“That felt good,” Mr. Simpson said of the commitment from council, noting it's one of the legacies he'll be most proud to leave behind when he steps down as president at the end of this term, along with working with the City to expand that centre's parking area.

“Nothing was done until this year so that made me feel good that I was able to do it,” he said.

Other things Mr. Simpson has added to the senior centre include teaming with a local pharmacy to have monthly blood pressure clinics and bringing in an RN twice monthly for foot care clinics.  Despite all his hard work, Mr. Simpson was surprised to learn he had been chosen as Senior of the Year.

“It was kind of a shock, I don't know why they picked me,” he said.

“I don't know that I deserve it any more than any of my board members, some of them have been on the board for 10 or 15 years.  And nothing would get done around here without our dedicated volunteers, they are absolutely essential.”

Senior's Month Big Band
June 10th, 2012
Senior Month Big Band
Mayor Ryan, Councillor Pickles, Marg, Senior of the Year Dave & Councillor Dickerson.

Local seniors aged 55 and up took part in an enjoyable afternoon at the Pickering Recreation Center, featuring the George Lake Big Band for their listening and dancing pleasure.

Seniors deserve tax relief now: Pickles, Editorial
Friday May 2nd, 2008
(Pickering News Advertiser)

PICKERING - Ward 3 City Councillor David Pickles is urging the provincial government to implement a new property tax rebate for seniors this year.

Coun. Pickles and Ward 2 City Councillor Doug Dickerson have been advocating for a reduction on the education portion of property taxes for seniors for years.  Coun. Pickles said many seniors in Pickering have been paying education taxes for more than 40 years.

He was pleased to see the 2008 provincial budget indicates seniors on low incomes will be eligible for provincial tax rebates to partially offset their porperty taxes.  Individual seniors who own their own homes will quilify for the credit if their income is less than $50,000 a year, and those earning less than $35,000 a year will receive the maximum amount.  Couples who are sniors and own homes will qualify if their joint income is less than $60,000, and those who earn less than $45,000 qualify for the full credit.

“It's what we've been looking for,” he said in an interview.

But, he want it impelmented sooner.  Rebates of up to $250 will begin in 2009 and will be increated to $500 in 2010.

“If this is the case, I would urge you to bring these measures in place for 2008 to provide assistance to residents who are in need of assistance this year, as well,” he wrote in a letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty and Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan.

South Pickering Seniors Christmas Dinner & Dance
Saturday December 15th, 2007
Seniors Christmas Dinner Photo 1
Councillor Pickles at the South Pickering Seniors Christmas Dinner

Dorothy & David

Councillor Pickles presents poinsettias to Dorothy Duggan (top) and May Borland (bottom) at the 2002 Poinsettia Tea.

May & David


Kenny Allen passed away July 23, 2012
Kenny Allen
Kenny Allen

KENNETH ALLEN Born October 12, 1924, after a long and gallant battle against cancer, passed away at 87 years of age on July 23,2012.  A proud WWII vet and dearly loved husband of Elizabeth, adored father of Gary, Bruce and Kim, grandfather to Jessica (Gord), Kayla (Steven) and Stephanie, great-grandfather to Tyler and Owen.  He will always be remembered in our minds and hearts with everlasting love for his humour, affection and constant support. He was our dear love and we always knew that we were his love.  For celebration of life info please contact Gary Allen at 416-294-9623.  God bless him and keep him.

Kenny Allen
Royal Air Force
FLT/SGT Air Gunner
MA 1737191
Kenny Allen
Kenny Allen

I joined up at 17½ in 1942 and was sent to the Royal Airforce in Padgate Lancashire England and went into square bashing (training).  When training was completed I went in front of a Selection Board and their job was to find out what I wanted to be in the service.  I said “Air Gunner” so they sent me to the R.A.F. Regiment as an Anti Aircraft Gunner at the Isle of Man.  A short period later they said they wanted maintenance assistants to help mechanics and we sailed as a convoy of troupe ships, destroyers, aircraft etc., protecting us on our 10 day trip or more to North Africa.

As our convoy approached Algiers, a troupe ship full of nurses blew up just ahead of ours - it took a British destroyer with it.  We were lucky.  One night they called for someone to play the bugle I offered to do so and got some privileges to eat with the crew because I was first up in the morning and last one to bed.  One night I heard someone yell “shoot the bugler” and it was my best friend from my small home town called “Leek, Staffordshire”.  We went to a dessert airfield called Oujda where we serviced Spitfires.  One day hundreds of Gliders - C47's took over our airfield.  General McCavin's 101st airborne ready for the invasion of Sicily.  I used to go up in a C47 to watch the troopers jump.  One day I did not go up and the C47 blew up on take off killing all “Phew” - lucky me!!!

My papers then came up for air crew - I was sent to Rhodesia where I got my Wing Air Gunner badge and I was sent to Bhopal India to train on B24's.  I flew these B24's in training missions as a rear gunner, ball gunner.  During our time off there was three of us that liked to go into the bush and do some hunting.  We always took a searchlight so we could see the eyes of the animals.  We could shoot any “game” except tigers.  One night we shone our light into the bush and saw four Germans coming towards us with their hands in the air.  They had escaped from an Indian Prison and had been in the bush for six days.  They were weak, bitten by the bugs and very disillusioned.  We fed them and helped them get stronger but we had to take them back to the prison.  We knew they would be beaten, the poor devils.  We told our story to our Wing Commander and how bad we felt for them and he said “you were lucky they didn't turn on you!” there was four of them and three of you guys.  They could have stole your truck, uniforms etc., and then I thought, maybe we were lucky!!!

I then boarded a ship for Canada to pick up a B24.  The ship was loaded with war brides.  I got a job protecting them - guarding the doors to the showers.  On reaching Canada I was sent to the Horse Palace in the Canadian National Exhibition grounds which was a holding unit for the airforce.  The B24 order was cancelled because the war ended and I was then sent to New York to return to England.  I traveled on the Queen Mary and she was full of nurses and WACS - what a trip!!!  It was too short!!!

On reaching England I trained as motor transport driver and was sent to Germany where I searched for graves of airmen who had been shot down.  From there I went on to a Radar Chain.

After that I went home and married a great girl - came to Canada where I drove the old T.T.C Whitt Street Cars - the veterans from W.W.II drove for the T.T.C (Toronto Transit Commission) - great guys. I worked for the T.T.C. for 36 years -


Tribute to our Troops Dinner
Past, Present and Future
Tribute to our Troops Dinner
Councillor Pickles with Pickering veterns as guests, was please to attend the Support the Troops to regonize the past and ongoing contribution of our veterans and military.

D-Day Parade & Ceremony June 3rd, 2012
D-Day Parade 1
D-Day Parade 2

Pickering Easter Parade 2012
April 7, 2012
Pickles and Scotty Ramage
Councillor Pickles with Veteran Scotty Ramage at the Easter Parade in Pickering

Canadian Armed Forces
Mr. Corneliu Chisu (Pickering-Scarborough East, CPC)
March 5, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize that the City of Pickering in the great riding of Pickering-Scarborough East has unanimously passed a motion thanking and honouring the service of the men and women of the Canadian armed forces and the many civilians in supporting roles who served in the combat mission in Afghanistan that ended in July 2011.  Many of those who served were from Durham region. I thank City Councillor David Pickles and Deputy Mayor Doug Dickerson who brought this motion to city council.

Canada's armed forces have made a significant contribution to the stability and rebuilding of Afghanistan over the last decade.  One hundred and fifty-eight Canadian soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan. Pickering residents and Royal Canadian Legion Branch 606 members crowded bridges and honoured these men and women as they passed through the city of Pickering on the Highway of Heroes.

Lest we forget, lest we forget.

Remembrance Day Services in Pickering
November 11, 2011
Remembrance Day 1
Remembrance Day 2
Remembrance Day 3
Remembrance Day 4
Remembrance Day 5
Naming of Pedestrian Bridge
October 17, 2011

At the October 17th, 2011 Council meeting, a Notice of Motion was put forward to name the new pedestrian bridge Veteran's Walkway.  City procedure requires that prior written notice be provided a week in advance of a Council meeting so that Councillors, City staff and the public can be made aware, and have an opportunity to consider the matter and provide their views.  I understand that it could be considered by Council on November 14th.  This allows an opportunity to speak to the two Royal Canadian Legions in the City, the federal and provincial governments who paid for the bridge, and GO Transit who owns the bridge.  I have been using the last couple of weeks to speak with veteran organizations and others about the naming of the bridge.

The matter of naming the bridge in honour of the veterans has not been dismissed.  Some Members of Council had previously been discussing some potential names such as the Bicentennial Veteran's Memorial Bridge or the Highway of Heroes Bicentennial Bridge.  No Member of Council has said anything disrespectful about veterans.  In fact, if you talk to any veterans in the City, I think you will hear that they are very pleased with the respect and support from Council.

I also note that on October 17th, Council considered and approved a motion, for which notice had been provided in advance, recognizing and thanking the Canadian Armed Forces for their ten-year combat mission in Afghanistan.

As for Remembrance Day observations, I will be respectfully and proudly attending the several Remembrance Day services in the City, as I do every year.  This year is particularly special to me as my grandfather, who served in the Second World War in the Royal Canadian Navy in the North Atlantic on the HMCS Saguenay and the HMCS Huron, passed away last Christmas Day.  I encourage residents to attend the Remembrance Day Parade on Sunday, November 6th and the Remembrance Day Service on Friday, November 11th at the Cenotaph at the Pickering Civic Complex and at the Royal Canadian Legion in Claremont, at 4937 Old Brock Road on Sunday, November 6th at 2:00 pm.

David Pickles
City Councillor
Ward 3
City of Pickering

Pickering Peace Garden to honour local veterans
July 12, 2011
Moya Dillon
Planting Poppies
Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland
PICKERING -- City Councillor David Pickles, left, and first vice-president and poppy chairman of Legion 606 Gil Barrett were among a group of volunteers planting poppies in a Peace Garden around the cenotaph in Esplanade Park as part of Pickering's Bicentennial celebrations July 10.
July 10, 2011.

PICKERING -- Pickering now has one more feature with which to honour its veterans thanks to one charitable resident.

On Sunday, July 11, residents, councillors and City staff gathered to plant a Peace Garden of poppies at the Pickering cenotaph in Esplanade Park as part of a project proposed by a resident who wishes to remain anonymous.

“A local resident came to the City about a year ago with the idea of doing something great for the community,” said Krystal Ferguson, acting co-ordinator, marketing and revenue for the City of Pickering, noting that the resident provided funding for the garden.

“That turned into the idea of planting poppies around the cenotaph and the City loved the idea.  The poppies are being planted today and with the proper maintenance they should be ready to bloom for the Legion's D-Day ceremony next year, and every year after that.”

Ms. Ferguson said there are plans to install an obelisk at the site identifying the planting as a Peace Garden, although at this point it's not known when that part of the project will be completed.

Gil Barrett, first vice-president and poppy chairman for Pickering Legion 606, was on hand to help with the planting.

“I think it's wonderful,” he said of the project.

“It's another simple reminder to everyone that freedom isn't free.  I think the City and the citizens of Pickering need to be commended for what they've done and for all the support they've provided to veterans in the past and ongoing.”

Councillor David Pickles noted that the garden was a nice addition and would complement further planned improvements to the cenotaph area.

“I think this is a really nice addition with the work we've previously done in improving the cenotaph area and the work we're about to do,” he said, explaining that council is currently reviewing tenders to have interlocking brick around the cenotaph replaced.

“It's kind of a little wobbly and uneven right now, which makes it difficult for people putting out wreaths, so it's all going to be taken out and redone.  I think the park is really coming along nicely; there's a real theme to honouring our veterans and the Peace Garden just adds to that.”

Pickering Drumhead Service
Sunday September 26, 2010
Royal Legion Branch 606 put on a very moving service at the Drumhead Ceremony.  Councillor Pickles attends most Legion sponsored events and is always pleased and proud to hour our veterns.  I remind and encourage residents to attend the Rememberance Day services at Pickering Civic Complex and at the Claremont Legion.

Pipe & Drum Parade

Pickering supports Legion HST exemption
May 19, 2010

PICKERING -- The Royal Canadian Legion shouldn't have to pay the harmonized sales tax when it purchases poppies for Remembrance Day, Pickering council unanimously agreed Monday.

Council supported the City of St.  Catharines' support of MP Malcolm Allen's private member's bill asking that the Legion be exempt from the new HST on purchases of red lapel poppies.

“By charging five per cent GST on the purchase of poppies, a tax that cannot be recouped through the donation box, the federal government is inadvertently having a negative impact on the services offered to veterans,” said St. Catharines Mayor Brian McMullan in a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Ward 2 City Councillor Doug Dickerson said asking the Legion to pay the HST on poppies “just doesn't make good sense”.

Pickering council unanimously supported the letter

Pickering Veterans Association!

Visit the Pickering Veterans Association Website
Email the Pickering Veterans Association at pickvets@rogers.com
The Royal Canadian Legion - Ontario Command - Certificate of Appreciation
Certificate of Appreciation

Councillor Pickles is awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the Royal Canadian Legion in recognition of services rendered to or on behalf of the Legion

The Royal Canadian Legion
“Honours & Awards” celebration
Sunday April 6 2008

legion apprectiation

Rememberance Day 2006

Rememberance Day 2006 Photo 1

Rememberance Day 2006 Photo 2

Rememberance Day 2006 Photo 3

Rememberance Day 2005

Mark and Dave Remember 1
Mark Holland, MP Ajax-Pickering and Councillor Pickles.

On November 11th of each year we gather to remember, thank and honour those who fought for peace and freedom on land, in the air and at sea.  In remembering those who gave their lives for our country, we commit ourselves to lasting peace at home and around the world, and resolve that we learn from the lessons of the past.  I was pleased to join our Veterans and residents at the Pickering Civic Complex Cenotaph with the Royal Canadian Legion Bay Ridges Branch #606 and at Royal Canadian Legion Claremont Branch #483 as I do every year.  It was particularly special in this the 'Year of the Veteran' to honour and remember all those from Pickering who served.  I reflect upon my grandfather, Chief Petty Officer James Pickles, and his brothers, who served in the Canadian Navy and Army, during the Battle of the Atlantic on Tribal Class destroyers including HMSC Huron, and on D-Day.

In addition to Remembrance Day Services the City celebrated the 'Year of the Veteran' in many ways including: a Branch #606 Awards Dinner, a 60th Anniversary D-Day Tribute in Council Chambers, a partnering with the South Pickering Seniors Club and the Veterans, remembrance services with local schools (see back cover), and the Inaugural Mayor's Gala on November 19th with the theme of 'The Year of the Veteran'.  Many Veterans and their families were special Gala guests of Mayor Dave Ryan.  All of the proceeds of the event will go towards charity, including a special rehabilitation room at the Rouge Valley Ajax-Pickering hospital which will be dedicated in the honour of Veterans.

A special thanks to all Veterans and members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branches Bay Ridges #606 and Claremont #483.

Mark and Dave Remember 2
Mark Holland, MP Ajax-Pickering and Councillor Pickles.

Remembering With Our Youth

Councillor Pickles with students
Councillor Pickles reads "In Flanders Fields" with the Altona Public School Grade 6 class.

Councillor Pickles with students
Councillor Pickles with our youth.

Year of the Veteran Honours and Awards (2005)


I was pleased and honoured to assist the Women's Auxillary and other volunteers in hosting the Year of the Veteran Honours and Awards on April 9th 2005 to once again recognize the efforts and sacrifices of our veterans.

David Pickles & Patrick Tranquada
David Pickles presents award to Veteran and Pickering resident & Patrick Tranquada.

Gerry Debois, David Pickles, Muriel Callum
Gerry Debois, David Pickles & Muriel Callum setting tables.

Members of Council
Members of Council at the Veteran Honours & Awards Ceremony.

Serving Salad
Members of Council and helpers serving up some salad.

Thanks to our Legions and residents for the work they do for veterans, veteran's families and our community.  I also thank our Legions for the excellent and well attended Rememberance Day services they organize in Claremont and City Hall every year, both of which I always make a point of attending.

The Annual Poppy Campaign is an important means for the community to remember and support our veterans and their families.  I am proud to have been steadfast and unwavering in my support of continuing the Poppy Campaign in our public facilities including our libraries.

Please contact the Royal Canadian Legion Bay Ridges Branch #606 (905-839-2990) or Claremont Branch #483 (905-649-3166) directly for further information on joining and upcoming events.

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