Riverdale Personal Care Home (PCH) resident Phyllis Eastcott, a World War II Metis Veteran, received prestigious honours at a special recognition ceremony that took place in Rivers February 28. 2020. The 98-year old PCH resident became the 19th Metis Veteran of World War II to receive national recognition for her contributions and wartime service.
With family and friends looking on, Metis Nation Minister of Veterans Affairs David Chartrand presented Eastcott with a $20,000 cheque —under the terms of the $30-million dollar Metis Veterans Recognition Payment Contribution Agreement —which was signed with the federal government in June 2019. Minister Chartrand also presented Phyllis with a Metis sash and a handmade beaded poppy.
In September 2019, federal Minister of Veterans Affairs Lawrence MacAuley made a public apology to our Métis Veterans. The allocated funds recognize Métis veterans of the Second World War for their pre-war experiences and supports initiatives that promote and commemorate Métis Veterans’ sacrifices and contributions. Chartrand has been visiting surviving Métis Veterans of the Second World War to thank them in person and present them with their compensation cheques.
Phyllis Eastcott (nee Hyde) was born in 1922 in Fisherton (now Fisher Branch), Manitoba, the middle child of a family of 13 children. Out of 13 children, Phyllis was one of five to serve in the 2nd World War. Her four brothers, Gerald, Bill, Henry and Charlie all served, with her brothers serving overseas.
Phyllis often fondly recalled that during her training in Shilo, when the Commanding Officer would call her, by her last name "Hyde" as was the protocol, all of her fellow Army Corps members would duck as a joke about her last name. During her service, Phyllis was a stenographer, bookkeeper, canteen operator and office employee with the Canadian Women’s Army Corps in Winnipeg, Fort Osborne, as well as various places across Canada.
She later served as a doctor’s assistant in Portage la Prairie handling intake of returning soldiers. While there, she met her future husband, Wilton ("Slim") Eastcott. The couple settled in Rivers and raised three children: Wilton (George), Leslie and Richard. Mr. Eastcott passed away in 2013.
Wanda Lennox, Activities Coordinator for Riverdale PCH, indicated how happy and proud everyone was for this special recognition day to honour Phyllis for all of her achievements.
“Phyllis has been a resident at Riverdale PCH since December 24, 2013 and at 98 years young —is still going as strong as ever,” Lennox stated.
“Phyllis likes to read books, magazines and the paper. She enjoys Bingo, music, jigsaw puzzles, and of course, babies! On behalf of all Riverdale PCH residents, resident families and staff, our sincere thank you and utmost respect Phyllis for your service and contributions to our great country,” Lennox added.
Metis Veteran recognition ceremonies for Phyllis Eastcott are held at a packed Riverdale PCH activities area in Rivers on Feb. 28, 2020.
Metis National Council Leader David Chartrand presents Phyllis with a $20,000 cheque with her son Wilton by her side.