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 eagles Staff is Chief Warrant Officer Fern Bailargeon of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group at CFB Petawawa and Master Warrant Officer-Doug Cadeaux.
Jocko, first person at Golden Lake to be assigned the honour,
transfers her responsibilities to George Tennescoe.
By Gerald Tracey
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.
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,
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. Jockos 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.
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Changes last made on: March 13, 2003.