Berwick Royal Oak Family Tradition of Service, Courage and Honour

Berwick Royal Oak is always very proud of our residents and their unique achievements. For almost 50 years the Thomas and Brown family have demonstrated a tradition of excellence and selflessness, all in the service of Canada. This is truly a remarkable feat and a true privilege for the Victoria Police Department and those they serve.

IMG_9450

What is unique about this set of circumstances is the fact that a Grandfather and his two grandsons have demonstrated a rare and exceptional level of service to their communities and to Canada. We know of no other situation where two serving police officer as well as their grandfather have all been awarded prestigious honours by the serving Governor Generals of the day.

Chief Warrant Officer Evan “Larry” Thomas served for 30 years as a member of the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy. Working on battleships, several destroyers, and at land bases in Europe and Canada, Chief Thomas served with honour, integrity, and selflessness.

In 1964, Chief Thomas attended an investiture ceremony in Ottawa where he was awarded the Order of St. John of Jerusalem by His Excellency the Right Honourable Major-General Georges- Phileas Vanier, Governor General of Canada. Chief Thomas was bestowed this honour for his charitable work and dedicated service – exemplary service he carried out in the pursuit to improve the health, safety, and quality of life of his fellow Canadians.

Sergeant Colin Brown has served for over 15 years as a member of the Victoria Police Department. Working in numerous sections including Patrol, the Crime Reduction Unit, and the Greater Victoria Emergency Team, Sgt. Colin Brown, like his Grandfather, Larry Thomas, has served with honour, integrity, and selflessness.

In October of this year, Sgt. Colin Brown attended an investiture ceremony in Quebec where he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Police Forces by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. Sgt. Colin Brown was bestowed this honour for his exceptional service and dedication to duty as a member of the Emergency Response Team, and also as a leading expert in police related legal matters, an area he gain extensive experience in after having been called to the bar as a lawyer before becoming a police officer with VicPD.

Sergeant Michael Brown has served for over 18 years as a member of the Victoria Police Department. Working in numerous sections including Patrol, the Strike Force Unit, Professional Standards, and the Greater Victoria Emergency Team, Sgt. Michael Brown, like his Grandfather and older brother has served with honour, integrity, and selflessness.

In February of this year, Sgt. Michael Brown attended an investiture ceremony in Ottawa where he was awarded the Medal of Bravery by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. Sgt. Michael Brown was bestowed this honour where, as a member of the Emergency Response Team, he risked his life to search a drug dealer’s house which was rigged with deadly booby traps. During this high risk operation he was exposed to the risk of being electrocuted or injured by explosions from flammable liquids that were wired to homemade triggers placed randomly throughout the residence.

On behalf of all of us at Berwick retirement Communities, we congratulate and thank these men for their hard work, courage and dedication. This is truly a heroic family and we are so pleased that they are part of the greater Berwick family. Thank you for your service to your communities and to Canada. Your family serves as an inspiration and role model for us all.