We honour those who did not come home from war, lest we forget the atrocities that took them from us. Paul Piche, my grandfather was a ghost to me until some very kind strangers helped me stitch together the story of his brief life.
One of those strangers was Pat Murphy, a dedicated volunteer at the Vancouver Island Military Museum in Nanaimo, BC who has done so much for my family by honouring my grandfather’s memory. Pat was recommended to me by someone on Twitter. When I first met Pat in-person at the museum, he presented me with information that he had researched about my grandfather. His information brought to life this family member who I never knew and put to rest questions that I had about his death.
In addition to research, Pat makes model airplanes for a Spitfire display at the museum. He generously offered to make a model of one of the Spitfires that my grandfather flew which was unveiled at a dedication ceremony this past July.
Pat is a natural storyteller and tells the story of my grandfather’s life to visitors to the museum. He makes sure that they do not forget Flying Officer Louis Paul Emile Piche – a Spitfire pilot with 443 Squadron in WWII and a father of five children. Today, Pat put a poppy on my grandfather’s photo in the museum so that he would no be forgotten. Thank you Pat. Lest we forget.