William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

A Canadian Hero Who Jumped From European Skies!

Congratulations to our own Mr. Jan De Vries!
You are one of the original fine old AIRBORNE guys!
Congratulations Jumper, your honours finally came through!
And with this honour we applaud a Great Canadians like you!

Sending letters down to our own Rideau Hall
To show support from the AIRBORNE from us one and all
General Herb Pitts he is in the one in the know
About those wheels of honour that often turn slow!

Once again from the troops and the Jumpers en masse
It was nice to see an old jumper down in Ottawa at last!
You fought for our King and you served our young Queen
I hope Canada makes a movie about the things you have seen!


Jan de Vries CMJan de Vries, C.M.
Pickering, Ontario
Member of the Order of Canada

A veteran of the Second World War, Jan de Vries is committed to teaching our youth about the importance of remembrance. As a founding member of the Living History Speakers Bureau and as a member of the Memory Project, he has kept alive the stories of Canadian veterans by visiting schools, youth groups, and cadet units. Highly respected for his ability to bridge generations, he has connected with young people through his honest, candid, and thoughtful presentations. The 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion Association, the Juno Beach Centre Association, and the Corporal Fred Topham VC Fundraising Campaign have all benefited from his determination and leadership.


Good Evening All,

I have just learned that on February 20, 2007, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, announced 89 new appointments to the Order of Canada.

Mr. Jan de Vries, President of the 1 Can Para Assn will be awarded the Order of Canada as a Member.

I’m sure you will all wish to join with me, in extending on behalf of Bornewest DZ VI, our congratulations to Jan for this well deserved appointment. His accomplishments with the Battalion, the association and the hard work and outstanding effort of both he and Joanne, over the years, are, at long last, being recognized.

On behalf of all paratroopers, young and old residing on Vancouver Island, [I extend my] congratulations and thank you for your outstanding contributions to this country.

B.J. Phillips
February 28, 2007