William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

A QUIET GRAVESIDE MOMENT
Commonwealth Cemetery: Nairobi, Kenya

The Jews are buried on the left, the Moslems to the right
The Brits are buried in between, yes most of them were white
Canadians scattered here and there, their names on lonely stones
The rich deep sail of Africa now covers up their bones

These Canadians came to Africa to keep the Congo Peace
Now they rest in silent rows here under these stones they sleep
Global peace is what they sought, death o’er seas is what they got
The Marquis family they still weep, in their hearts fond memories keep

In Calgary they have a street, named after Staff Marquis
And on the wall of honour, etched his name for all to see
We who lay these wreaths today, bow our heads and quietly pray:
“Watch o’er our soldiers in harm’s way, our brothers of the blue beret”

Author’s Note: This is factual not racial! The three groups lie in peace together, joined as brothers-in-arms during life, they now sleep together, under these Stones, in peace. Ghurkhas, Sikhs, and Jamaicans all formed part of the British Army but it is a fact that most soldiers were white. Regardless of race, colour or creed, they are all buried together. And outside the cemetery, (these grave stones) are surrounded by the teeming masses of Africans who fought and won Independence from imperialism.

Ms Lyssa Lapointe
(Grand-daughter of Staff Sergeant Paul (Joseph) Marquis)

Dear Lyssa

General MacKenzie invited the Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya, (His Excellency Jim Wall) who is the grey-haired Gentleman to the right in the first photo).

Jim Wall brought his military staff to the small graveside wreath laying ceremony to honour your Grandfather. Carrying the wreath are Sergeant Patrick Couture (in Canadian Forces Green Uniform) and Billy Willbond CAVUNP (wearing the Blue Beret).

CTV-W5 (Mr. Tom Clark) will air a documentary about CAVUNP AND ICROSS in November and this ceremony, at your granddad’s grave, may well be a part of that documentary.

Blessings,
Billy Willbond
Canadian Soldier Poet

September 15, 2004

Commonwealth Cemetery: Nairobi, Kenya
Sergeant Patrick Couture with CAVUNP Wreath, William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD, and His Excellency Jim Wall, Canadian High Commissioner to East Africa, Nairobi, August 4, 2004

Commonwealth Cemetery: Nairobi, Kenya
Paul Freer (CTV Cameraman), William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD (CAVUNP) and His Excellency Jim Wall, Canadian High Commissioner for East Africa): Commonwealth Cemetery, Nairobi, August 4, 2004

Commonwealth Cemetery: Nairobi, Kenya
Mrs P. Couture, Mrs S. Levesque, Sergeant Pat Couture, Warrant Officer Serge Levesque, William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD, His Excellency Jim Wall, Colonel Mark Tremblay, Major General Lewis McKenzie at the Wreath Laying Ceremony, Nairobi, August 4, 2004


His Excellency Jim Wall, Canadian High Commissioner to East Africa, and General Lew MacKenzie chat after the wreath laying ceremony.

Photographs ©Copyright August 2004
by William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD (used with permission)

On behalf of our New CAVUNP National President, Gaetan Martel, our immediate Past President, Colonel Don Ethell, and the Peacekeeping Veterans of Canada, I would like to thank all who supported and participated in the very moving wreath laying ceremony to our fallen peacekeeping comrades who lie buried at the Commonwealth Cemetery near Nairobi Kenya.

Thanks too to our Vice President Doug Townend and Secretary/Treasurer Paul Greensides who funded the purchase of the wreaths.

Support for the ceremony was carried with military logistical smoothness and the ceremony took place at 1000 hrs 4 August 2004. It was taped by CTV W-5. The documentary on ICROSS Canada and the support received from Canadian Peacekeeping veterans will air in November.

I extend a special thanks to His Excellency Jim Wall, Canadian High Commissioner to East Africa and his staff who arranged for the beautiful wreaths and who attended the ceremony. Thank you all for your prayers and for your assistance and support.

The pedestal and engraving on the Wall of Honour, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
SSGT JOSEPH MARQUIS, RCOC

Staff Sergeant Joe Marquis was the first Canadian to die while serving on an armed UN mission. He was killed on January 20th 1962 while working with the UN to bring law and order to the new African nation of Congo. In September 2001, Staff Sergeant Marquis’ family was presented with the Canadian Memorial Cross, symbolic of those soldiers who died while on duty for Canada.

SSGT Joseph Marquis, RCOC

SSGT Joseph Marquis, RCOC

SSGT Joseph Marquis, RCOC

Photographs ©Copyright August 2004
by Donald S. Ethell (used with permission)