The City of Burlington has lost a very special citizen in yesterday’s passing of D-Day veteran Jim Warford at the age of 97.
Alfred James “Jim” Warford was originally from Hamilton, Ont., and enlisted in October of 1941. He fought at Juno Beach on D-Day, more than 75 years ago, and travelled there last June to commemorate the anniversary with veterans and dignitaries from all over the world.
He and his wife Patricia were married in 1942. Upon his return home, he took a job at Stelco where he worked until his retirement. They raised their family and made Burlington their home, where Jim was active in the community in countless ways. He was an engaged member of the Royal Canadian Legion, attended the planting of the Vimy oaks at City Hall along with annual Remembrance Day ceremonies, always supporting his fellow veterans and their families. He was involved in building the strong relationship we have with our twin city of Apeldoorn, the Netherlands — a place he helped liberate by the end of the Second World War. When the Dutch royal family came to visit Burlington, he was one of 6 veterans who took part of that special event in person.
Jim never said no when the City asked for his time and involvement, no matter the day, time or weather. He showed up with his beaming smile and positive energy, making every occasion better and more meaningful.
On a personal note, I was blessed to have him attend my inauguration in December 2018 and to spend time with him at Juno Beach last summer — he travelled there despite health challenges to represent our city and our country with great pride. We are all indebted to Jim and his fellow veterans for their bravery in fighting for the freedoms and democracy we enjoy here in Canada. I know his legacy will carry on through the stories we tell about Burlington and the people who have made it such a special place to live.
Flags at Burlington City Hall will be lowered to at half-mast today in honour of Jim, and I send my heartfelt condolences to his loving family, friends, fellow veterans and all those who had the pleasure of knowing him.
— Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist.