MARYSTOWN, N.L. — Marystown Mayor Sam Synard left something special behind during a recent trip to France.
Synard explained that during the trip to Le Havre, Normandy, France in May, he and his wife rented a car and made the four-hour journey to the Juno Centre and Park.
While there the Marystown mayor buried a funeral card belonging to the late George Brushett, a veteran of the Second World War who passed away in January at the age of 98.
Brushett served as a gunner with the Royal Artillery 59th (Newfoundland) Heavy Regiment.
“When he died I went to his funeral as mayor to represent the town, and (after) the family sent me a mass card, a traditional laminate mass card that people often do up after funerals,” he said.
Synard added that having received the mass card and knowing that he had already planned to go to Juno Beach, he sought permission from the family to leave the leave the card at Juno.
“They were more than okay with it,” he said. “They appreciated the fact that I thought about (doing) it and appreciated the fact that we were going to leave a small bit of Mr. Brushett back in Europe.”
Synard added that like a lot of veterans, Brushett had wanted an opportunity to return to Europe, “but very few veterans had the opportunity to go to Europe, so this is my way of doing something for him, so I buried a picture of him in the sand.”
In an e-mail to The Southern Gazette, Jeff Brushett, son of the late George Brushett, said the family would like to thank Synard for his keen sense of ingenuity, in the thoughtful and respectful gesture he did in his father’s memory.
“We are very honoured as a family by this,” Jess said. “It gives us great warmth and comfort to see how much Dad was loved and respected by the Mayor and the entire community — it’s nice to know that he will not be forgotten. Dad was a gentleman in every sense of the word and a ‘true war hero.’
“We were utterly blessed to have him as a father and a friend, and to share in the journey of life with him. Please continue to remember him and all veterans who have brought peace around the world and forged this great nation into what it is today. Lest we forget.”