Esther Annabelle Pond passed away peacefully last week and was one of the last surviving WWII veterans in Inverness County. Thanks to her granddaughter, Beulah Morrison, for sharing this photo with us.
April 27, 2022
-by April MacDonald
Esther was born on October 21st, 1922, in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, to Norman B. MacPhail and Sarah J. Harris. She was the third of five children. Her three brothers also served in the armed forces during WWII.
She enlisted in Halifax on May 19th, 1943, and served until April 30th, 1944.
She was a WREN with the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Services and took her training in Galt, Ontario, and served in Stadacona, Ontario, and Conestoga, Ontario. While stationed in Stadacona she worked the dockyard as a general clerk, messenger, as well as a sail maker. In Conestoga, she was a Steward Class III.
Pond worked several areas, but mostly transcribed papers and military orders; she was sworn to secrecy for many years.
Esther concluded her military service when she was discharged on compassionate leave so that she could marry and start a family. She married John T. Pond on December 1st, 1943, and wore her uniform for the wedding ceremony.
The couple moved to Port Hood on July 1st, 1945, and had seven children: Jackie, Patricia, George, Norma, Harold, Clifford, and Kent.
Esther worked as a waitress for 40 years.
She was a long-standing member of the Royal Canadian Legion and was an avid quilter.
Esther loved horses and actually took her last horseback ride on her 92nd birthday at the Reaching Strides Equestrian Centre in Port Hood.
While serving in the war she had the rare opportunity to meet Sir Winston Churchill. Pond was honoured to meet the Prime Minister and shake his hand.
Last year, Pond was honoured by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs with a plaque for her service. Her two daughters, Norma and Patricia, as well as members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 132 in Inverness honoured the 99-year-old veteran in a small ceremony presenting the honour to her among her family, Manor staff, and special attendees. Pond wore her uniform for the event.
Pond always wore her Legion uniform with immense pride.
She was fierce and funny and incredibly kind.
You were drawn to her and her charming smile.
The county will remember her for her service to this country, for her loving personality, grace, and humour.
She truly was a role model to so many.
Pond set a high standard of what it meant to be a kind and genuine person and was the epitome of a humble war veteran and comrade.
Esther passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 21st.
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 132 said when they learned of her passing, “Rest in Peace, Comrade Esther, the last of Branch 08-132 RCL WWII veterans. Thank you, Esther, for your service and comradeship. May her memory continue to be a blessing to her family and to all who had the honour of knowing her.”
We will miss her, and we thank her family for sharing her with all of us.
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