Comox’s decorated Second World War fighter pilot ace and centenarian Stocky Edwards’ legacy is now permanently on display in nature.
On Feb. 9, a small ceremony was held near the Lazo Marsh, organized by former Hon.-Col. of 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron Dave Mellin, Greg Sawchuck, senior B.C. director for Ducks Unlimited Canada, and others to honour Edwards’ birthday, his service to Canada, and his lifelong contributions to nature, conservation and the organization.
A large cairn was officially unveiled just prior to the boardwalk at the marsh, with Stocky, his wife Toni, 19 Wing Commander Lt.-Col. Rhonda Stevens, and other dignitaries, friends and family in attendance.
Canada’s highest-scoring ace in the Western Desert Campaign, Edwards earned respect for his quick reflexes, flying abilities and shooting instincts while serving with 260 Squadron in the Western Desert Air Force in North Africa in 1943.
By the start of 1943 when he was a flight commander, Edwards had earned a Distinguished Flying Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded for acts of valour or courage. Following retirement, in addition to spending time with Toni and their four children, eight grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren, Edwards is passionate about the environment around him, particularly preserving it for future generations.
For 40 years, he and his family have supported Ducks Unlimited and the restoration work they do in the Comox Valley.