Lorne Stoutenburg walks 13 kilometers a day.
“It’s keeps me in shape for Nov. 11,” he says with a laugh.
Between walking his dog and walking around with his grandkids, the Fleetwood resident, and Canadian military veteran, logs more than a dozen K’s every day.
Stoutenburg is also a member of the Cloverdale Legion and he’s been busy helping prep for Remembrance Day in Veterans’ Square this year. The first “back to normal” service since 2019.
Stoutenburg looks forward to Nov. 11 to show respect for all those who served for Canada in different capacities over the years, but also to remember and commemorate his father and grandfather. Both men served in World War II.
“It means quite a bit,” he says. “Both of them have passed now, so I think of them, their service in the Second World War, and what it means now, looking back.”
Stoutenburg joined the military in 1969. He signed up with 1st PPCLI (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry), a mechanized infantry battalion based in Edmonton, Alta.
He wound up serving as a peacekeeper in Cyprus in 1971. He even shared in winning the Nobel Peace Prize. He has a certificate attesting to the fact too. In 1988, when the Peace Prize was awarded to “United Nations Peacekeeping Forces,” anyone who served was eligible receive a certificate with their name on it. Stoutenburg’s certificate is No. 3,264.
For Stoutenburg, joining the army was part of the “family business” in a way. He says having two family members in the military definitely helped steer him down that track.
“I was young,” he explains. “I wanted to join and I wanted to see the world.”
His grandfather, Edmond Joseph Patenaude, served in the war from 1939 to 1943 until he was in an accident. He was in the 41 Signal Regiment, based out of Calgary.
“He got injured in England—he was motorcycle dispatch—and after he was injured, he got sent home.”
Stoutenburg’s dad, Lorne Russell Stoutenburg was a tank driver. He was overseas from January of ‘42 until February of ‘46. He was in the 10th Canadian Armoured Regiment, the Fort Garry Horse, based out of Winnipeg. Stoutenburg Sr. received two WWII campaign stars, the France and Germany Star, and the 1939-1945 Star.
Stoutenberg himself was awarded the UN Cyprus Medal, the Nobel Peacekeepers Service UN, and the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal. He recalls his experience in Cypress being very different than many other peacekeepers’ experiences. Just before he arrived, a soldier was killed and the men were confined to base for a lengthy period.
He still follows events in Cypress from time to time and keeps tabs on what Canadian peacekeeping troops are up to.
Stoutenburg spent four years with PPCLI. He was even stationed in Fort Churchill, Manitoba one time on polar bear watch.
“The troops would do their first stage of Arctic training in Fort Churchill,” he explains. “I would go out in a carrier and if a polar bear came around, I’d have to chase it off.”
He remembers chasing off a polar bear once and everytime Stoutenburg would stop in his APC, the bear would stop. If Stoutenburg turned around the bear would come back.
“This went on for about 30 minutes,” he remembers. “I had to use flares in the end, and that finally chased him off.”
The polar bears were only around for a short time in the late fall. As soon as the ice froze, the bears were gone.
He recalls almost being in shock when he first got to Fort Churchill, as he came straight from Cypress.
“It was big change and felt colder than it probably was,” he laughs.
Stoutenburg enjoyed his time in the military and says he learned a lot. He called himself a “young punk off the farm” when he went in. He took basic training at CFB Cornwallis in Deep Brook, Nova Scotia. He then went to Fredericton, New Brunswick and was first stationed in Calgary.
He’s been a Legion member for more than 40 years now and will join their colour party for the first time this year. He and others will march from the Legion to the Cloverdale Cenotaph Nov. 11 bearing the Canadian Flag, the Red Ensign (1922 – 1957), the Royal Union Flag, the flag of B.C., the Legion Banner, the Ladies Auxiliary Banner, and others.
Stoutenburg explains he’s finally “in” this year, as there was a need for new colour bearers.
“I always help out when I can,” he notes. “There’s a lot of older people that can’t march anymore, so that’s where I come in.”
Stoutenburg is looking forward to Remembrance Day this year.
“It’s a big deal for me,” he explains. “To show respect for those who’ve served and those who’ve fallen, not just in Canada, but in every country. We need to respect all who served.”