Honour table about meaning and heart

A retired member of the Canadian Armed Forces has constructed a special conference-sized table containing a design that captures the uniqueness of Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs (VICD).

Comox Valley resident Dale Robillard spent about a year-and-a-half constructing the multi-use ‘honour table.’ He hopes it will serve as a tribute to those involved with the Qualicum-based non-profit that matches rescue dogs with military veterans and others who struggle with ‘invisible injuries’ such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or Post Traumatic Stress Injury.

“It’s an incredible work of art,” VICD’s Barb Ashmead said Monday at a dedication ceremony at Driftwood Mall.

“I wanted the gift to come from the Comox Valley because I wanted the Comox Valley to realize that they have a lot of injured vets here,” said Robillard, a retired master warrant officer with the CAF Search and Rescue team. He and Ashmead held a second ceremony in Qualicum, where the table is being housed.

Along with friend Errol Armella, Robillard designed and constructed the table using wood, rock and steel. Its shape was designed to mimic that of Vancouver Island. It will be used for VICD meetings and activities.

The table’s main beam represents veterans in their prime. The legs and understructure represent the military ethos and teamwork necessary to accomplish challenging missions. A centrepiece made of quartz serves as a reminder that although things may seem strong at first glance, the stone — like our veterans — can break without care and attention.

The centrepiece is adorned with paw prints from Angel, a labrador who belonged to the late Luc Levesque. Together, Luc and Angel helped launch VICD when they became the first of many teams in the last four years to graduate from its program.

“It’s (honour table) all about meaning and heart,” Robillard said. “I put two little time capsules in the ends of the beams. One side holds the tools I collected from different generations of veterans. The other side has a log book with the moral compass theme on it.”

Robillard encourages military veterans to help themselves.

“That’s kind of my motto,” he said. “I’ve been through lots of group therapies. It’s hard to deal with veterans…We keep our stories to ourselves, and then we expect everybody to understand us. I’m saying that’s not the right way. The right way is to open up a little bit. Be as pleasant and as approachable as humanly possible, and tell a bit about your story. Not unlike someone telling the story about their journey through cancer. It’s not boasting, it’s just explaining and informing people…Let’s stop being victims and maybe look at this from a slightly different angle.”

 

Just Posted

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Miniature horses visit Glacier View residents

Glacier View Lodge residents had a couple of special visitors on Wednesday… Continue reading

Annual women’s march in Courtenay Saturday

The Women’s March was a worldwide protest on Jan. 21, 2017, to… Continue reading

Portables arrive for students on Hornby Island

Five portable classrooms have officially arrived on Hornby Island this week in… Continue reading

Cumberland multi-use development given the go-ahead despite parking concerns

Rideout Construction will pay $91,200 in lieu of 24 parking stalls

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Most Read