Being part of the community in Comox has always been important to Douglas Walker, co-owner of Walker 24 Menswear.
He first fell in love with Comox in 1961 when his Saskatchewan sea cadet group took part in some training on HMCS Quadra
“I joined up when I was 12 because that was what my brothers did!” Douglas says with a laugh.
Nearly seven decades later he’s still a proud Comox resident. He raised his family here, and ran several businesses too — including Walker 24 Menswear. Douglas has enjoyed working with his son Brett — they had a five-year plan to run a menswear store together which is now in its sixth year — so now it’s time to close up shop and enjoy retirement — sort of.
You see, Douglas is a man who wears many hats, and one of his favourites is airforce blue.
A tight knit community that pulls together
Community is important to Douglas, and his civic-mindedness didn’t go unnoticed by others. In June 2016, he was made an Honorary Colonel of the 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron right here in Comox. The position of Honorary Colonel exists at every squadron and base in Canada to act as a link between the civilian population and the military. They are tasked with raising public awareness of the often-unnoticed work done by the military, acting as a representative of the unit at functions here and around the world, and organizing and participating in the Remembrance Day Services.
READ MORE: 407 Squadron defends Canada for 80 years
Many folks would choose to talk about what they do in their role, but not Douglas — he’d rather speak about the men and women who work daily as part of 407 squadron to protect Canada’s coastline from threat. He’s seen first hand some of the amazing work that’s done out of sight of the general populace, and cannot say enough about the dedication and expertise of the men and women who look after the sovereignty of Canada, patrol the waters of Hawaii, Norway, Scotland and Italy for smugglers, and undertake missions to stop illegal high-seas trading, drug trafficking and illegal fishing.
It’s the people that matter
“It’s amazing watching these men and women do their jobs. They have technology that’s helpful, but it’s the people operating it all —they do such important work for our country and NATO,” Douglas says. “There’s so much the military does that goes unseen. These folks are part of the Comox community — their kids go to school with your kids— they’re just regular folks except for the jobs they do every day.”
Douglas has many tales about his observational role in missions ranging from war games (sub hunting in the Pacific) to patrolling the skies above Baffin Island and Greenland to being part of joint-forces events at Pearl Harbor and other locals.
If you visit Walker 24 Menswear during their retirement sale, he’d be happy to share his tales!