Burnaby Now: Burnaby non-profit recognized by Veterans Ombudsman


Cayley Dobie, Burnaby Now, November 15 (BCNPHA member New Chelsea Society wins award)


Founded in 1952 to provide affordable housing to veterans of the Second World War, today the New Chelsea Society continues to support veterans and active military members.

For its dedication, the non-profit received the 2017 Veterans Ombudsman commendation award.

The Burnaby-based society was one of four groups recognized for its service to veterans. It was formed 65 years ago by five Lower Mainland branches of the Royal Canadian Legion.

“Its mandate was to provide affordable housing to veterans of World War Two and their families,” society executive director Pat Buchannon told the NOW. “Over the years, we’ve grown extensively.”

Today, the society runs 20 housing complexes in five cities in the region, including two independent seniors residences and four family housing complexes in Burnaby.

The group also runs the Winch House in Vancouver, which serves as a home away  rom home for veterans, military, Legion members and first responders and their families while they’re in the area for medical treatment.

Buchannon and society president Don McPhadyen travelled to Ottawa in October to accept the award.

“It’s quite prestigious. They have quite a few nominations across the country, and they selected four people or organizations,” Buchannon said. “There was one from New Brunswick, one from Quebec and one from Ontario, so we’re the only ones from the West that got it. It kind of acknowledges our efforts from a lifetime.”

New Chelsea Society was nominated by the B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association.

When asked why he thought the society won the award, Buchannon said he believed it was for the society’s dedication over the past six decades.

“I think it was really for our longtime service and support for veterans. Housing veterans in need, and we really honour our connection with the Royal Canadian Legion,” he said. “It was veterans that started up this organization, and we’ve really just carried the torch forward.”

For more information on the New Chelsea Society, visit www.newchelsea.ca.


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