TURTLE ISLAND

Veteran’s Staff is transferred at Algonquin First Nation.
Eganville Leader - Page 5 - March 12, 2003.

George Tennescoe is the new Holder of the Veterans Staff for the Algonquin First Nation at Pikwākanagān, an honour that was recently handed over to him by Wendy Jocko. Flanking Mr. Tennescoe and Ms. Jocko when he was recently presented with the eagle’s Staff is Chief Warrant Officer Fern Bailargeon of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group at CFB Petawawa and Master Warrant Officer-Doug Cadeaux.

Wendy Jocko, first person at Golden Lake to be assigned the honour,
transfers her responsibilities to George Tennescoe.

By Gerald Tracey
News Editor

Golden Lake -- Algonquin elder George Tennescoe has been given the honour of being named Holder of the Veteran's Staff for the Algonquins at Pikwākanagān.

Mr. Tennescoe, a veteran of the Royal Canadian Navy, was recently handed the role from Algonquin Band Councillor Wendy Jocko who was the first resident of Pikwākanagān to be assigned the role of Veteran Eagle Staff Carrier. 

Ms. Jocko was largely responsible for establishing a cenotaph at Pikwākanagān in 1998 and also for creating the Eagle Staff.  Ms. Jocko will be leaving Pikwākanagān later this month for Scotland where she will begin studies to become a Funeral Director. She will also be marrying Scottish architect Derek Patience.

The Veteran's Staff represents certain ceremonies within the community, primarily Remembrance Day," Mr. Tennescoe said.

Ms. Jocko, who served in the Canadian Armed Forces for almost 24 years during which time she did two tours of duty in Bosnia, her first in 1993, during some of the fiercest fighting, and again in 1998, was instrumental in establishing a cenotaph on the Golden Lake First Nation where Algonquins who gave their lives or fought for their country in the two world wars and the Korean Conflict could be honored each Remembrance Day.

 Ms. Jocko was posted at CFB Petawawa at the time. Chief Warrant Officer Bruce Prendergast, a native of the Eganville area, was also at Petawawa and he, along with other officers, helped her to develop the cenotaph. The stone that is part of the cenotaph at Golden Lake was taken from a quarry at the base.

 The Eagle that sits atop the staff is the fourth eagle to come to the Golden Lake community. It was found injured on a highway near Fort Frances, Ontario by members of the band council back in 1998 as they were returning to Golden Lake from a conference.

 "With the encouragement of my unit at the time, which was 2 Service Battalion, and I was posted there with maintenance company, they were very instrumental in giving me their support and that's how we got everyone down here for our November 11 ceremony," Ms. Jocko said.  "And they've been coming ever since."

 Chief Warrant Officer Fern Baillargeon explained that under Operation Valley Pride, 2 CMBG (Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group) in Petawawa has taken on an affiliation with several municipalities. 2 Service Battalion is affiliated with three communities: Golden Lake, Killaloe and, Tweed. There are three functioning companies in 2 Service Battalion, one of them being the maintenance company which provides the support for Remembrance Day and other activities in the Golden Lake community.

Ms. Jocko was posted to Edmonton for six years and then to Calgary for the same duration.  She then transferred to Chilliwack and finally to Petawawa where she served for almost seven years.  She retired from the Armed Forces in 2002 with the rank of Sergeant.

 Ms. Jocko has been planning her departure for Scotland for some time now. and with that in mind, she wanted to hand her duties over to another member of the community who has a military background.

She chose Mr. Tennescoe.

She plans to go to school for two years in Scotland.  Her husband-to-be is an architect and the couple plan to keep homes in Edinburgh and Golden Lake. Ms. Jocko has no idea what motivated her, to study undertaking.  She recalled meeting Pembroke funeral director Ron Hamilton in a bank in the city one day and she began talking to him about her interest in the business.  That led her to spending some time at the funeral home and basically observing the procedures.  "I do think that it is for me,” she said.

Ms. Jocko then worked for a brief period with a large funeral home business in Ottawa and also with a body removal company "just to expose myself to that environment to see that's exactly what I want to do and so far it is," she said.

 Ms. Jocko's father, Leo, served with the rank of Corporal in the Canadian Army during World War II. Her mother, Williamina McKay, a war bride from Scotland, served with the Scottish Women's Land Army.  She was one of 44,000 war brides who came home with their Canadian husbands during and following the war. Ms. Jocko's father passed away in Toronto in 1983.  Her mom presently resides with Ms. Jocko’s sister in western Canada.

Ms. Jocko met her husband-to-be two years ago when she accompanied her mother on a trip to Scotland to visit relatives.  Some. family members from Scotland, including her. husband-to-be visited Golden Lake last summer. Ms. Jocko said that during her six years of residency at Golden Lake she has been able to get a greater understanding of her father's culture, and her Algonquin background. "And now I'm going to live my mother's culture in Scotland she said.  "I am very fortunate to get that experience in life."

Mr. Tennescoe said Ms. Jocko has been involved with various social activities at Golden Lake since she took up residence there.

"She is the one who is there, but not as a guest.  She is always doing something, always working.  She has been very active in the community. "She is going to be missed in the community," Mr. Tennescoe said.

Ms. Jocko will be accompanied to Scotland by her two youngest children, Marshall, 11; and Davis, 8. She has an older daughter, Tracy, who is studying to become a massage therapist, and a son James.

 Mr. Tennescoe joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1958. After basic training at HMCS Cornwallis, he was drafted to the HMCS Strathcona in Halifax.  Following a short duration there, he was then drafted to the Tribal Class Destroyer HMCS Iroquois.  Along with crews on two other destroyers and accompanied by a British submarine,, they patrolled waters in the Atlantic between Greenland and Bermuda.

Turtle Island

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