On their return trip to Canada, the veterans decided rather than take their leftover British currency back home and cash it in for Canadian money, they agreed as a group to donate the money to the Bomber Command Memorial fundraising committee.
On July 30, Colonel Paul Keddy, Canadian Defence Liaison Staff officer in London, visited the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund head office where he met with Jim Dooley, chairman of the Bomber Command Memorial fundraising committee; Air Commodore (Ret’d) Paul Hugheson, director of welfare and policy for the RAF Benevolent Fund; and, Wing Commander (Ret’d) Sophy Gardner, who was the overall organizer of the Bomber Command Memorial unveiling event. WComd (Ret’d) Gardner arranged the cheque presentation.
“It was a privilege to present a cheque for £300 on behalf of those Canadian veterans who donated all their surplus pounds sterling and pocket-change so generously during the return trip to Canada,” said Col Keddy. Three hundred British pounds is equal to approximately $470.00 Cdn.
Since the Air Force Association of Canada organized the trip for the veterans, donations were passed through the RCAF Association of Canada Trust Fund, the national chairman of the trust fund board of trustees Sergeant (Ret’d) Ted Mahood, and national president of AFAC, Colonel (Ret’d) Terry Chester, who topped up the donation from approximately £265 to a level £300.
After the veterans returned to Canada several began to add personal donations through the AFAC Trust Fund. The fund’s treasurer, Wenjun Song, will be consolidating these new donations and seeking the permission of Mr. Mahood to send another cheque in the coming weeks. Col Keddy will be asked to make another presentation in the near future.