The Delta Police Pipe Band's Celtic galas are well known for their display of talent and this year's concert, held May 11 at the South Delta Baptist Church, was no exception.
With the prize-winning Magee Chamber Choir, the Eire Born Irish Dancers and the dynamic Celtic folk group Out of the Green, together with the world renowned Delta Police Pipe Band, the audience was not disappointed.
The melding of the music of the pipe band and the choir made for an exciting effect and the suona, played by piper Zhong Xi Wu, accompanying the Eire Born Irish Dancers in an Irish jig made for a novel sight and sound.
After Amazing Grace was played in the finale, MC David Roberts brought the concert to a halt with a surprise announcement of an award presentation.
Mayor Lois Jackson and Chief Jim Cessford took to the stage and the identity of the recipient was announced. Drum Corporal Ed St. Godard was called up and presented with an engraved plaque recognizing his 36 years of service with the band in this, his 90th birthday year.
St. Godard accepted the award with his customary humility and left the stage to the applause of everyone.
St. Godard, known to his band mates as The Saint, is a fully operational member of the band's drum corps, attending all practices and taking part in the parades and overseas tattoos the band attends.
He is source of inspiration for the younger members and is a much-loved member of the band.
Born in Winnipeg, St. Godard came west with his parents in 1937. The Second World War put an end to his plans to become a mechanic and he served in the army at the age of 16. He saw service in Canada and England before serving in Italy with the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Infantry Regiment.
Working as a driver of a Red Cross vehicle, St. Godard negotiated a temporary cease-fire to remove casualties at the Viglio Canal, rescuing both Allied and German casualties.
He returned to the front five times in direct contravention of the original ceased-fire and was awarded the Military Medal by King George VI for his bravery.
St. Godard joined the Delta Police Pipe Band in 1976 as a tenor drummer. The award signals the recognition given by the Corporation of Delta and the police department to a man that has spent over three decades representing the community and country with the band.