Silver Cross Mother honours nephew at PAGC Remembrance Day

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Florence Clarke, the Silver Cross Mother was presented with a picture of her nephew Lester Cook and a Star Blanket during the Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) Women's Commission Remembrance Day celebration on Wednesday at Parkland Hall.

Florence Clarke, the Silver Cross Mother for the Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) Women’s Commission Remembrance Day celebration, was humbled to be at the event to honour her nephew Lester Cook.

Cook was a veteran of both Bosnia and Afghanistan. Four years after returning home to Canada, he took his own life.

“I tried to help him as much as I could,” Clarke said while pointing to his photo. “It was too much (for him).”

Lester was her brother’s son, but Cook treated him like her own. She said it was very special to be asked to attend on behalf of her nephew.

“I am really honoured to be here, to hold his picture, and also to get a blanket. I am really honoured to be here.”

Clarke arrived two days before the service, travelling from the far north community of Southend to take part. She received a photo of Cook and a handmade Star Blanket from the Women’s Commission.

Veteran Emile Highway originally asked Clarke to attend last year, but COVID prevented the event from happening. He said they deliberately chose Clarke because they wanted someone from the Southend/Reindeer Lake area represented.

Clarke said she appreciated the gesture.

“I would like to thank Emile Highway for inviting me here. It’s an honour to be here, and thank you for everything,” she said.

Clarke said it was very important to be in attendence this year.

“I would like to thank everyone that was here,” she said. “I am very honoured to be here for my nephew.”

Clarke added that being able to hold Lester’s picture in front of the crowd was a nice tribute to him.