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Calgary family hopes to bring ‘a bit of sunshine’ to WWII veteran facing tough new battle

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WATCH: A Calgary family is inviting people across Canada to help a World War Two veteran celebrate a landmark birthday. As Gil Tucker shows us, they’re hoping the support will give him a boost as he faces another tough battle. – Feb 1, 2022

A Calgary family is inviting people across the country to help a Second World War veteran celebrate a landmark birthday.

They’re hoping the support will give him a boost as he faces another tough battle.

Stan MacPhail served with the Merchant Navy during the Second World War, shipping much-needed supplies across the Atlantic Ocean to help the Allies’ war effort.

Read more: Calgary veteran, former SAIT teacher celebrates 104th birthday: ‘I’m lucky to be here’

“Supplied the countries that needed help,” MacPhail said.

MacPhail and his daughters toured the Naval Museum of Alberta on Tuesday, part of the Military Museums complex in southwest Calgary.

Curator Brad Froggatt guided the family through the exhibits related to the Merchant Navy.

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“It was a dangerous job,” Froggatt said, “keeping the Allies, and especially England, supplied so they could fight that war.”

Read more: Calgary veteran who survived Dunkirk causes a stir at movie premiere

MacPhail now finds himself fighting another battle, facing serious health problems.

“Cancer of the blood,” MacPhail said.

MacPhail’s family says his doctors are giving him the best medical care possible.

“They are treating him well,” daughter Lynda MacLellan said, “and he accepts each day as a new challenge, and he carries on.”

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MacPhail’s family has come up with something to help him carry on.

He’s turning 95 in May, and they’re inviting people who’ve known him over the years to send him birthday greetings, hoping he’ll be able to celebrate the occasion with 95 cards.

“Just show him there’s a lot of people who’d still love to be in touch, wish him well for everything that he’s done,” daughter Deborah Andoney-Clark said. “Send a bit of sunshine to our father. That would be wonderful.”

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It’s an effort welcomed by MacPhail.

“Very nice,” MacPhail said. “It’s good to keep in touch.”

Read more: Calgary veteran cycles to military monuments to raise awareness about effects of PTSD

The family is hoping that people across Canada who’ve had some connection with MacPhail will send greetings.

“Yeah, that would be quite an honour,” MacLellan said. “Just something to cheer him up.”

MacPhail has lived most of his life in Nova Scotia, moving to Calgary two years ago to be close to family.

Family members are asking well-wishers to send birthday messages to him care of the Military Museums.

“He’s doing well,” MacLellan said. “We’re really proud of him.”

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