Mounties celebrate Kelowna veteran’s 100th birthday

RCMP officers from the Kelowna, B.C., detachment gather to congratulate Sydney Bennett Pratt on his 100th birthday. Kelowna RCMP

Members of the Kelowna RCMP detachment crowded around an Okanagan retirement home on Wednesday to celebrate one of their own becoming a centenarian.

In a photograph posted to the Kelowna RCMP’s Twitter account, police cruisers can be seen parked in a roundabout as approximately 30 Mounties, some dressed in red serge, clapped for the RCMP veteran.

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Sydney Bennett Pratt is pictured in a wheelchair facing the crowd of officers as one member strummed a guitar and sang to him. Another is holding a sign with Canadian flags.

Kelowna RCMP say Pratt joined the Mounties in 1940 and served in Ontario. Police say that since Pratt joined, another 52,000 Mounties have since joined the RCMP.

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According to Veteran Affairs Canada, Pratt is a formidable fundraiser for the Royal Canadian Legion’s annual business poppy campaign.

A few years ago, he single-handedly collected $30,000 for the campaign. The amount fundraised by Pratt represented one-fifth of all funds collected yearly in Kelowna’s poppy fund campaign.

In 2011, Pratt was awarded the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for his efforts.

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Jennifer Strachan, the RCMP’s deputy commissioner and commanding officer for British Columbia, also joined in on wishing Pratt a happy 100th birthday.

READ MORE: Royal Canadian Legion branches adapt to support veterans during coronavirus pandemic

“Our veterans have played such an important role in our history and continue to help guide us moving forward,” she said in a tweet.

“Thank you for your service to the Force and for all that you have done for our country.’

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