Top News

'It's part of me, and always will be,' 103-year-old Violet Roy has never missed Remembrance Day in Glencoe

Violet Thompson Roy, 103, has never missed a Remembrance Day in Glencoe.
Violet Thompson Roy, 103, has never missed a Remembrance Day in Glencoe. - Brendan Ahern
GLENCOE, N.S. —

At 103 years old, Violet Thompson Roy’s history with the Glencoe Community Centre runs deep. Originally a school house, it was built by her father Archie Thompson along with five of her brothers.

The sixth brother, Wallace Thompson had been away at school. That was in 1938. He completed his training at the Old Normal College in Truro and took a job as an educator. Then in October 1940, at the age of 19 and weighing 152 pounds, Violet Roy’s brother enlisted with the Royal Air Force.

Four years later he was killed in action. The airplane in which he was the navigator ran into difficulty over the North Atlantic on a routine flight protecting ship traffic that supplied Russia from England.

Every year the Glencoe Community Hall Association chooses a name on the monument that sits across the street from the 81-year-old hall. There are only five: four Thompsons and a MacDonald. All killed in action in the First and Second World Wars. This year people gathered to remember them and all the men and women who have served in Canada's wars, but it was the story of Violet's brother Wallace that was told to them during the commemoration.

Violet Roy has never once missed a Remembrance Day ceremony in Glencoe, and she certainly wasn’t going to miss this one.

“It’s part of me, and always will be,” said Roy with her niece Susan Thompson McLeod beside her.

“We all came from away to come here for this,” said Thompson. “She’s a bit of a matriarch here.”

Close to 100 people made the journey to Glenoe on Nov. 11. Violet Roy hails from Kentville and spent the night in Halifax with her family there before arriving at 2 p.m. Another niece, Janice Thompson Mitchell drove with her, but she wasn’t the only Haligonian filling up the hall.

“The only reason we have our freedom is the ones who fought for it,” said Tibbie Fraser who also made the drive.

With the East River Fire Department serving as both colour guard and traffic control the gathering was led in procession to the modest monument on the other side of route 348. Pastor Doug Campbell led a prayer before laying of the wreaths.

When all 18 wreaths were set down next to the names of four Thompsons and a MacDonald etched into the stone monument everyone was led back into the hall to hear stories and sing.

Carolyn Thompson, chair of the Glencoe Community Hall Association and one more member of Violet’s big family told everyone gathered about Wallace Thompson, the fifth and last name on the monument.

“I never knew him, he was gone before I was born,” she said after the ceremony, “But I’ve felt like he was still with us.”

Violet will remain in Glencoe one more night. Then it’s back home until next time.

“I always see everyone at this time. They all come together.”

Recent Stories