MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard Paid Tribute Frank Burden in the Legislature

Today, MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard spoke about Frank Burden in the Legislature. You can watch the video here, or read the transcript below.

Frank Burden is someone who steps up to help without question. I wasn’t surprised to learn that I’m not the only one in this House that knows he’s always looked for ways to be of service to others. It began small, with his children, coordinating activities for local Cub and Scout leaders. As a secondary teacher-librarian and union activist, he served as union rep at his school, then as union president and bargaining chair in his school district.

He facilitated countless workshops and advocacy and curriculum change through the B.C. Teacher’s Federation and was elected to the board of the B.C. College of Teachers. After retiring, he didn’t stop. He supervised the work of UVic student teachers and was a founding counsellor for the Community Justice Centre in the Comox Valley.

Along the way, Frank joined his local legion wherever he lived, from Alberta in the 1960s to Vanderhoof, Nelson and, finally, to the Comox Valley. With Courtenay’s Branch 17, he’s been poppy chair and president and served on the board of central Vancouver Island zone command before taking on the role of service officer.

As service officer, Frank conducted poppy services and other forms of remembrance ceremonies for veterans and legion members. His advocacy and support for veterans, their spouses and dependents and other members of the community, went above and beyond, with deep gratitude in return. Digging up military records, helping apply for pensions, filling out forms and appeals — these were his regular fare. Through the poppy fund, he’s helped families leave abusive relationships. He’s helped two veterans settle after a house fire.

There are countless other stories. His legion has honoured him with a life membership. Frank Burden has enriched the fabric of our whole community with his selfless service on behalf of others.

We love you, big Frank, and thank you.