A double amputee in Lax Kw’alaams, who had been home-bound, received an electric scooter this month, enabling him to move around his community again.
Through money collected in the Legion’s Poppy Fund, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 27 in Prince Rupert donated the $4,660 scooter to Norman Brooks, who had served in the army reserve as a young man. Pat Lewis, a nurse in Lax Kw’alaams, who worked with Brooks had tried to reach out to many organizations on the North Coast to assist in improving her client’s livelihood, but it was the legion that came through in the end.
“It was very exciting actually. I had gone to a lot of different service groups,” Lewis said. Brooks enlisted in the army reserve, Irish Fusiliers, in 1962.
In January, Brooks, received his second amputation and could no longer drive. “Now that he’s going to have this scooter, I’m sure it’s going to change his life yet again. He can come out of his house and rejoin the community,” she said.
Brooks is a well-respected elder in his community for his contributions. He was a volunteer fire chief in Lax Kw’alaams for nine years and then he received his fireman’s certification and served for a total of 40 years. He was also the founder of the First Nation Emergency Services, which also made a donation toward his scooter.
“I can’t think of a more deserving fellow to have given to his country and his community. It’s just very fitting that he be recognized at his time of need,” Lewis said.
The service officer for the Prince Rupert Legion, Derry Botts, helps organize getting emergency medical and wheelchairs for veterans. “All that money comes from the public when they buy a poppy,” he said. “The generosity of the public is the reason that those things are able to be done.”
The money raised for the scooter also went toward accessories such as a canopy, windshield, tote, four spare tires and tubes. On Oct. 19, the former fire chief received his new scooter with a big grin.