About Us

The Need for Honour House?

Honour House Society is pleased to have met its goal of opening the first of its kind home for the families of Canadian Forces and emergency services personnel.

Canadian troops have served in Afghanistan since 2002, with more than 35,000 men and women having completed at least one tour of duty. More than 150 Canadians have been killed in this conflict and over 4.500 have been injured.

In October 2006, the Royal United Services Institute of Vancouver sponsored a benefit, concert, in support of the BC Mainland Military Family Resource Center, titled, “Salute To Our Troops In Afghanistan”. This event focused attention on the needs of our troops – both those serving overseas, and those returning home. In particular, it helped to raise awareness about injured or wounded Canadian Forces receiving care or rehabilitation in the Metro-Vancouver area medical facilities; and the difficulty they and their families have in finding temporary housing during such times of need.

A similar situation is faced by families of emergency services personnel; fire, law enforcement and ambulance personnel, who are injured in the line of duty.

Honour House Flag

Honour House Society Flag

Honour House Society Flag

Honor House is proud to have its flag created by one of Canada’s leading flag designers Arthur Hughes. Officially known as a vexillologist, Arthur has created many flags. His most famous design made the final-four list for Canada’s new flag in 1965.

Captain Arthur Hughes

Captain Arthur Hughes

Arthur followed four principles for creating the Honor House flag:

1. I It must be recognizable from a distance.
2. It must look the same on both sides.
3. It must be easy to draw.
4. It must not have any writing on it.

With these principles in mind Arthur took up the challenge. He wanted to incorporate the official colours of Honour House and provide a flag that would tell who we are instantly to viewers.

His design is classic in its simplicity and is heraldically correct.

The white background speaks to the role of medical personnel in times of emergency. The red maple leaf symbolizes Canada and the white letter H superimposed on the maple leaf identifies Honour House.

The dark blue horizontal bar represents the navy, the red in the middle the army and the light blue the air force. The gold lines symbolize all emergency services personnel – fire, ambulance and law enforcement. The dimensions of the flag are one of the standard rectangular proportions, 3:5.

The Honour House flag now flies proudly outside Honour House and a copy is at the Mayor’s Office in New Westminster City Hall.

Client Comments

Comments from Winch House Guests

“This beautiful refuge is a true home away from home.”

”Absolutely amazing and comfortable for kids and adults. Gorgeous decorating. Thank you.”

“Many thanks for the blessing of being able to stay in such a beautiful place.”

“Thanks so much for this wonderful home. It made things so much easier in this tough time.”

Patrons

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    General (Retired) Rick Hillier

    CMM, MSC, CD

    “When a soldier steps on foreign soil in a high-risk environment, every single Canadian should be walking with him or her.”
    Rick Hillier on his appointment as Chief of Defence Staff

    Born and raised in Campbellton, Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland, Rick Hillier graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a Bachelor of Science degree. He was posted to his first regiment, the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s) in Petawawa, Ontario, and subsequently to the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Lahr, Germany. He has also served as a staff officer at Force Mobile Command Headquarters at CFB St. Hubert in Montreal, and at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.

    He commanded 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) in 1997-98, and (in 1998) as Deputy Commanding General of III Armoured Corps of the United States Army, at Fort Hood, Texas.

    In January 1998, as Commander 2 CMBG, he led Operation Recuperation, the Canadian Forces’ intervention in the paralyzing ice storm in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. He was named Chief of the Land Staff, commanding the Canadian Army, on May 30, 2003. He commanded the Multinational Division (Southwest) in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    After serving as Chief of the Land Staff he commanded NATO ISAF in Afghanistan from February 9 to August 12, 2004, bringing to this role his support for what is known as Canada’s 3-D” approach to security – defence, diplomacy, and development.

    On February 4 2005, he became Chief of Defence Staff. His willingness to speak openly and on the record about the Canadian Forces’ financial resources, and about the defence budget in particular, distinguished Hillier from previous Chiefs of the Defence Staff.

    As Chief of Defense Staff, Hillier maintained a very high profile, frequently talking with the media and arguing his case for defence planning. He was been called the most prominent Chief of the Defense Staff in decades. In April 2008, Hillier announced he would step down as CDS on 1 July 2008.

    Following his retirement, Hillier was appointed to the honourary post of Chancellor of Memorial University of Newfoundland. He has joined the law firm Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP in the capacity of Strategic Advisor. General Hillier will assist Gowlings with client initiatives, business development and related strategic matters.

    Honour House Society is proud to have this distinguished Canadian as our Patron.

Honorary Patrons

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    Captain Trevor Greene

    Honour House is privileged to have Trevor Greene as our Honorary Patron.

    In March 2006, Captain Trevor Greene, a member of Vancouver’s Seaforth Highlander’s of Canada, a reserve army unit, was serving in Afghanistan in a military organization known as CIMIC, Civilian-Military Co-operation, when he was ambushed and struck in the head with an axe.

    Beloved by friends and family for his larger-than-life personality, Greene, was attending a routine village meeting or “shura” north of Kandahar when he was attacked.

    News of the horrific event made headlines across Canada, as the Canadian officer who went to the war-torn country to spread peace was instead left fighting for his life.

    Greene was not expected to live. He spent the next year in Vancouver General Hospital, nearly dying several times. Doctors predicted that he would never come out of his coma, let alone speak or have any movement again. Amazingly, he proved them all wrong.

    With the unwavering love and support of his fiancée, Debbie Lepore, and from a deep desire to be an active father to their young daughter Grace, Greene eventually transferred to a brain injury rehabilitation program in Alberta.

    Captain Greene and Ms. Lepore now live in British Columbia where he continues to make remarkable progress.

    In a recent CTV interview, Capt. Greene said, “I will always support the mission. If you look at it in a global sense, the deaths of Canadian troops and our allies have protected thousands of Afghans,” he said, speaking slowly but clearly. “We dug wells, now we’re advising government. That’s progress.”

Legal Counsel

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    Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP

Honour House Poem

  • When New Westminster resident and poet Sue McLeod heard Honour House was being built and realized it was located on St. George Street, she was moved to write this poem and make a connection between todays soldiers and the fable of St. George and the dragon.

    Honour House

    St. George Street, New Westminster, BC

    Defenders will battle 'til weary and wanting
    And often their wounds will be hidden away.
    And even when healing their struggles are daunting,
    Continuing on while the memories stay.
    The horrors that weaken restorative waters,
    The nightmares that menace the calm of the night.
    Distorted deceptions of horrible slaughters,
    The longing and prayers for return of the light.
    A refuge was needed to clear the confusions,
    A harbour of safety to weather the storm.
    Support to relinquish the shadow illusions,
    Restorative peace for returning the norm.
    With patience and courage the aid will be given,
    With comfort, the healing advantage is clear.
    With knowledge and kindness the helpers are driven,
    And pleasures are welcomed when loved ones are near.
    St. George fought the dragon, was pierced but was healed,
    And so can our heroes reclaim what was dear.
    Removing the burdens 'til love is revealed,
    Suppressing return of the things that they fear.
    We value those choosing an arduous vocation,
    Who bravely respond when the dangers are clear.
    We honour their valour and strong dedication,
    And offer a solace in Honour House here.

    May 10, 2010, Susan McLeod