Shawnigan Lake’s Jim Carey and his staff at Mason’s Store & Patio Ltd. appreciate the war veterans in their community, and they showed their heartwarming commitment recently after thieves left the poppy coffers empty.
On Halloween night, a poppy box from the Malahat’s Royal Legion Branch 134 was stolen from Mason’s Store, which is owned by Carey, and the store stepped up to ensure the loss was more than covered.
Carey personally donated $100 to the legion branch, his manager gave $20, and Carey’s uncle Rick Mason donated $40 when he heard about the theft.
“My grandfather Pat Mason, a veteran of the Second World War, helped build that legion,” Carey said. “He and my grandmother also bought Mason’s Store in 1956, so there’s a strong connection between my store and the Malahat Legion.”
Carey said the store has had poppy boxes from the legion in the days running up to Remembrance Day for years without anything like this happening.
“We were getting the store ready for Halloween and didn’t notice when someone in the store must have taken the poppy box,” he said.
Legion member Virginia Bauder said she can’t recall another theft of a poppy box in her six years as part of the local Legion’s poppy campaign.
The money from the Royal Canadian Legion’s Poppy Fund campaign is used to help local veterans and their families who are in need.
“What Jim and the store did was an act of kindness that we won’t forget,” Bauder said. “There might have been $15 or $20 in the box at most. It wasn’t his fault and he didn’t have to give us the money, but this is Shawnigan Lake and it’s full of good people.”
Bauder said the theft was reported to the RCMP.