Funeral service held in Aldergrove for Master Cpl. Colin Bason

Kristen Thompson/For Metro Vancouver


Pallbearers carry the casket of Master Cpl. Colin Bason after his funeral at St. Joachim and St. Ann Catholic Church in Aldergrove yesterday. Bason and five other Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan on July 4.

A national week of mourning hit close to home yesterday as a community in Aldergrove buried the fifth of six young Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan two weeks ago.

Nearly 300 people packed St. Joachim and St. Ann Catholic Church in Aldergrove to say their final goodbyes to Master Cpl. Colin Bason, who was killed in Afghanistan two weeks ago.

The service started with a public procession along Fraser Highway to the church, where friends, family, soldiers, police, firefighters and local mayors came in busloads for the private service.

The service was followed by an internment ceremony at nearby Hazelwood Cemetery and a military reception at Canadian Forces Station Aldergrove.

Bason, a reservist with the Royal New Westminster Regiment, was remembered in eulogies for his kindness, passion for the military, and sense of humour.

Letters of condolence to his family were read aloud, including one from Premier Gordon Campbell, in which he wrote that Bason’s sacrifice would be remembered for generations to come.

The 28-year-old was also remembered as a man born to be a soldier.

One speaker recounted a story Bason’s mother once told of her son’s birth.

“He came into this world with his head up, chin up, eyes open,” he said, adding Colin’s response to this story was, “Mom, I just had to make sure it was safe to come out.”

Ten years later, Bason’s mother walked into his room and found him replicating a South Pacific naval battle with Lego warships, with three of his newly-ironed shirts as islands.

Col. Glen Richmond, Commander of 39 Canadian Brigade Group, said the military was Bason’s calling.

“I was quite impressed with, in particular, his mother,” he said. “The family seems to have a great sense of pride (in their son). They knew it was in his blood ... It was something that he needed to do.”

Richmond likened soldiering to being a police officer or firefighter.

“They feel it’s their duty, not withstanding the danger.”

Bason was one of six Canadian soldiers killed when the armoured vehicle in which they had been travelling hit a roadside bomb just outside of Kandahar on July 4.

Ultimate sacrifice

  • On Saturday, Cpl. Jordan Anderson, 25, was buried in Ottawa, Capt. Matthew Dawe, 27 was buried in Kingston, Ont., and Cpl. Cole Bartsch, 23, in Whitecourt, Alta.

  • Pte. Lane Watkins, 20, was laid to rest in Manitoba on Monday.

  • Capt. Jefferson Francis’ funeral will take place this week.

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