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

Cumberland May Day Bean Dinner planned

Labour Minister Harry Bains as guest speaker at annual event

Draft plan for Union Bay coal hills remediation to be submitted this spring

West Fraser Mills is paying for the installation of an engineered membrane

Crowdfunding page created for family of Comox Valley man killed in Peru

A GoFundMe page has been created for the family of Sebastian Woodroffe,… Continue reading

Comox Valley’s living wage sees four per cent increase from 2017 – report

Advocacy groups say the Valley’s inflation rate was nearly double the provincial average

Big Read: locked out of the woods

Vancouver Islanders struggle to balance back country public access with private land protection

Canadian musician duets with ancestral Indigenous voices on debut album

Toronto’s Jeremy Dutcher has mixed his operatic tenor with his Wolastoq First Nation roots

LIVE: TSB findings on plane crash that killed former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice

The TSB will announce its findings and the Capital News will follow.

Former child advocate to head UBC centre on residential schools

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond to lead university’s Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre

Man dead after possible attack near Vancouver casino

A 38-year-old man with ‘serious injures’ was rushed to hospital but died in surgery

Toronto sports fans come together in wake of van attack

Police probe Toronto van attack as details emerge

Prince William to be Harry’s best man

Prince William will be Prince Harry’s best man at May wedding

Humboldt arena memorial ring to be removed

Arena ring of tribute to Saskatchewan hockey team to be removed as summer nears

14 galaxies set to collide and form colossal cluster

Astronomers say this could be the largest structures in the universe

Unmarked police SUV with lights and siren on crashes in Nanaimo

Three RCMP unmarked cars involved in accidents in the same day in Nanaimo

Most Read