Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Honourable senators, I was honoured this past weekend to attend the Wall of Honour Ceremony at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, during which New Brunswick’s own Lieutenant-Colonel Norman Bruce “Ike” Buchanan was inducted.
This honour was richly deserved. Lieutenant-Colonel Buchanan was a graduate of the Royal Military College, and thereafter he served with distinction during the Second World War. He served in North Africa, in Italy and in France during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. During his service, he was awarded the Military Cross for acts of extreme gallantry during active operations against the enemy. Later on he received another Military Cross, which is shown as a bar on his first Military Cross, and, believe it or not, honourable senators, he ultimately received a third Military Cross for acts of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy. He was personally presented with the Military Cross with two bars by King George VI. In effect, three Military Crosses for his actions during the Second World War.
The citations for each of these awards are impressive. “His example throughout was a source of inspiration to his men,” reads the first. The citation detailing his actions at Normandy reads, “During these four days, Captain Buchanan’s coolness, drive and utter disrespect for his own safety was an example to all. . .” It is no wonder he was such a valuable officer and so decorated for his service.
I would like to note that only 18 Canadians have ever received the Military Cross with two bars — in other words, three Military Crosses — and he is the only Canadian artillery officer to be awarded this distinction during the Second World War.
After the war, Mr. Buchanan’s sense of duty and responsibility brought him to the New Brunswick legislature, first as a backbencher and later as the Minister of Lands and Mines.
After his stint in provincial politics, he was elected as a councillor in his hometown of St. Stephen, New Brunswick, and then as mayor in 1965.
Sadly, Mr. Buchanan passed away in 2008, but his daughter Gale MacDonald, her children and grandchildren were on hand for the ceremony at the Royal Military College this past weekend. It was a great privilege for me to be there as well to pay homage to a great Canadian and a fellow New Brunswicker.