100-year-old veteran to walk 100km for homeless heroes
A soon-to-be centenarian and veteran of the Second World War is about to walk 100 kilometres to raise funds for homeless veterans.
Tom Hennessy of London, Ont. served in the Royal Air Force (RAF). He flew 200 hours in the famed Super marine Spitfire fighter over the combat theatres of the North Atlantic, England, Mediterranean and Italy.
He says skill, but primary good fortune kept him alive.
“You can’t dodge ack ack [antiaircraft gunfire] that is coming up at you. It’s a lot of luck, the one that doesn’t hit you,” said Hennessy.
While he survived, the war stayed with him. “And then the tears came,” he said.Tom Hennessy during the Second World War. (Source: Submitted)
As he stood near the Cenotaph in London’s Victoria Park, he reflected on those not so fortunate.
“My brother didn’t come back. And I remembered Gill didn’t come back, Bill didn’t come back, Mac and Jake didn’t come back.”
But 76 years later, on the eve of his 100th birthday, Tom is walking 100 kilometres to help those still here. Many of those kilometres will be logged publicly while looping Victoria Park. Each step will be a fundraiser for homeless veterans.
“And, I so glad to able to be healthy enough to do it,” Hennessy expressed.Tom Hennessy is seen while serving with the Royal Air Force in the Second World War. (Source: Submitted)
Randy Warden, a Zone Commander with the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) says Tom’s “selfless act” will aid many young veterans in dire need.
“The homeless veteran problem is perpetual, it’s ongoing. If we had every veteran off the street today, someone is going to run into challenges tomorrow,” Warden said.
Bruce Stock, a Veteran and RCL member, is aiding Tom with the walk.
“I think we all agree the public is ready for some good news. And Tom Hennessy’s Walk of Gratitude is good news in spades,” he explained.
Good news, which Tom reiterates traces back to the gratitude he has for surviving a war that so many didn’t.Bruce Stock (L) and Randy Warden (R) of the Royal Canadian Legion, join Tom Hennessy and his wife Joyce in Victoria Park on May 19, 2022. (Sean Irvine/CTV News)“Here I am talking to you 70 or 80 years later. Talk about Gratitude,” said Hennessy.
The Walk of Gratitude will take place at Victoria Park on three consecutive Tuesdays, starting June 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
He plans to log many of his kilometres at the park and some at his cottage in Huron County.
The final kilometre will be recorded at London’s Canada Day festivities.
During all his walks, Tom will be joined by Air Cadets. Members of the public are also encouraged to join him at Victoria Park.
(Source: Go Fund Me)
London Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Canada pledged $50 million to prevent Ukrainian grain from going to waste on Sunday as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed to work with G7 nations on further measures to halt the famine caused by the Russian invasion of the embattled country.
Canada's chief of defence says Russia's invasion of Ukraine is going to change the course of history.
Cat and dog owners who cuddle their pets when infected with COVID-19 could end up making the animals sick with the virus, according to a Canadian study.
David Cohen has been the United States' Ambassador to Canada since November 2021, and in the time since, both Canada and the United States have experienced a series of shared challenges. In an interview at his official residence in Ottawa, Cohen opens up about the state of the relationship.
Russian President Valdimir Putin was a target of mockery by leaders of the Group of Seven, as they sat around a table Sunday, commencing their three-day summit in Bavarian Alps, Germany.
Russia shattered weeks of relative calm in the Ukrainian capital with long-range missiles fired toward Kyiv early Sunday, an apparent Kremlin show-of-force as Western leaders meet in Europe to strengthen their military and economic support of Ukraine.
The latest on the G7 summit: The Group of Seven leading democratic economies has formally launched at its annual summit a global infastructure and investment partnership aimed at pushing back China's influence in the developing world.
Norway's prime minister and members of the royal family joined mourners at a memorial service Sunday at Oslo Cathedral for the victims of a shooting attack as the capital held its annual LGBTQ Pride festival.
New research looking at the frequency of heavy rainfall across the globe shows that a drastic increase in downpours is expected over the years to come.
The latest developments for encampments in Waterloo Region, field trips being paid for, and a new hospital for the area round out the top stories of the week.
An essential caregiver in Waterloo Region is looking to remind the community that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over and the protections in place for the most vulnerable may not be enough.
Norfolk County OPP are asking for the public's help with an arson case from three years ago.
Amateur organizations are doing to shield players from the effects of inflation
A 24-year-old man from Ottawa is facing impaired charges after failing to remain at the scene of a crash in Chatham.
Thousands of people flocked to Lakeside Park in Kingsville Saturday for the return of the Highland Games.
City staff have notified council that transit won't return to full operation this year, frustrating several residents.
The Midland Public Library has unveiled a new space for teens to reach out to an age group that often loses touch with the local library.
Emergency crews were notified of the collision around 10:40 a.m. Sunday.
OPP Tweet: Highway 17 closed at Sand Bay Road at the Spanish River bridge.
A person was taken to hospital after a shooting on the Sheguiandah First Nation on Manitoulin Island Friday.
The Holistic Healing Fair is back in Sault Ste. Marie following a two-year absence.
Students at Hillcrest High School in Ottawa took part in a walkout after some students say they have been victims of racist treatment. Allegations of racism have been swirling at the school for months and now the Ottawa Carleton District School Board is investigating the incidents.
There were approximately 36,260 reported Criminal Code of Canada offences in Ottawa in 2021, up eight per cent from 2020. Police reported 7,116 violent crimes and 29,146 non-violent crimes in Ottawa last year.
A Good Samaritan jumped into action on Saturday to help four people who were on paddleboards and heading towards rapids in Ottawa’s west end.
Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of downtown Toronto on Sunday as the city's Pride parade returned for the first time in two years.
There are now more than 50 outdoor pools open across Toronto where people can go to beat the heat.
A heat warning remains in place for the remainder of the weekend in Toronto, but temperatures are expected to cool down Sunday evening.
A man in crisis stabbed several people Sunday morning in downtown Montreal, leaving one dead and three injured.
The Montreal fire department (SIM) is advising citizens to avoid the intersection of Sherbrooke St. East near Durocher Ave. as a major building fire is blazing.
McGill University medical students are trying to help treat people who are addicted to opioids. They say many aren't equipped to handle the withdrawal.
As HMCS Kingston and Summerside pulled away from Halifax Harbour and deployed for Operation Reassurance, there was no shortage of emotion from family members who came to see them off.
The inquiry into Nova Scotia’s 2020 mass shooting, says four pages of handwritten notes that sparked a political firestorm in Ottawa this week, weren’t immediately submitted when subpoenaed by its investigators.
'It’s in shambles': RCMP 'architects of own demise,' says criminologist after complaints in N.B. and N.S.
After a week of criticism and anger at the Mass Casualty Commission in Nova Scotia, and outcry in a rural area of New Brunswick, there are questions about the RCMP’s role in community policing.
Residents in Gimli are dealing with overland flooding due to high water levels on Lake Winnipeg and strong winds.
'We can't believe it': Winnipeggers come together to throw surprise baby shower for new Ukrainian couple
A Winnipeg woman is making sure a couple from Ukraine is feeling right at home as they prepare to welcome their first child.
Lori Ann Mancheese's death is now one of five women in the span of about a month being grieved by members of the province's Indigenous community. Winnipeg police say three of those women were murdered.
Organizers of a central Alberta rodeo and its parade committee are calling for calm after a float in this weekend's parade, which possessed a racist theme, was seen in the procession.
Police are looking for suspects after they say a man was injured in a shooting late Saturday.
If you are looking for some more time on the slopes even though it's already summer, you might be pleased by an opportunity at Banff Sunshine Village.
People are getting ready to return to Wakamne, God's Lake, on pilgrimage when the Pope visits Alberta.
The Edmonton Police Service is searching for a 13-year-old girl that was last seen Friday morning.
After nearly five decades, a new ambulance provider will assume emergency medical services in Cold Lake, Alta., this fall.
With a heat warning in effect for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, several cities have opened up dedicated indoor cooling centres and outdoor cooling stations. We've compiled a list of what's available and where.
Firefighters in Port Coquitlam extinguished a large fire in an apartment building on Wilson Avenue overnight.
'Decidedly incorrect': Google Maps keeps showing closures on the Coquihalla when the highway is open
For the fourth time in a month, DriveBC is advising people travelling on the Coquihalla between Hope and Merritt that the highway is open -- despite Google Maps saying it is closed.