By: Korie Marshall

Family, friends and local residents packed the Valemount Legion on Friday night, September 5th, to celebrate Les McKirdy’s 90th Birthday. Les was sporting a cast on his elbow, the result of a fall from his bike the week before.

“I don’t know why it broke; I didn’t really fall, just sort of slid.” He said there is a chip in his elbow, and the cast around his hand is just to keep the cast on his elbow in place.

Les is one of five children of Fulton McKirdy, the first homesteader and trapper to settle in the area that became Valemount. Born at home to Margaret on September 4th, 1924, his daughter Rene says he claimed he was 18 when he signed up for the armed forces, but he must have been younger than that.

The Valemount Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (266) records Jim’s service with the 1st Canadian Paratroopers, 6th Airborn, from 1943-46. He received the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal.

Les’s eldest brother Jim passed away earlier this summer, just before his 94th birthday.