Mrs. Reine Dawe, mother of Captain Matthew Jonathan Dawe, has been chosen as the 2019 National Silver Cross Mother by the Royal Canadian Legion.
After graduating from the Royal Military College in Kingston with a degree in Civil Engineering with first-class honours, Capt. Dawe was posted to 3 Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battalion (3 PPCLI), in which he was given command of 8 Platoon.
Described as a great leader and larger than life, Capt. Matthew Dawe was said to be devastated when he had to identify and recover three platoon members killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
Two weeks later, he was involved in what was described as “an operation to neutralize the local bomb maker believed to be behind that deadly IED.” But while he was returning from that mission, his armoured vehicle was struck by a 500-pound bomb buried in the road.
Capt. Dawe was killed in action in Afghanistan on July 4, 2007, the same day, his son Lucas, turned two years old.
As the National Silver Cross Mother, Mrs Dawe will be responsible for placing a wreath at the National War Memorial on Nov. 11 on behalf of all Canadian mothers who have lost their children in the line of duty.
“The Legion is honoured each year to name the National Silver Cross Mother who embodies so many characteristics that Canadians value: courage, resilience, hope. We know her presence and the example she sets gives many other mothers and families of fallen soldiers much comfort and strength,” says Brad White, national executive director, The Royal Canadian Legion.
Choosing the National Silver Cross Mother for Remembrance Day is a time-honoured tradition of the Royal Canadian Legion and is not just limited to the ceremony on Nov. 11. During her tenure, Mrs Dawe will fulfil other official functions.
Mrs Dawe grew up in the small town of St-Prosper, just south of Quebec City. As a military spouse to a now-retired lieutenant-colonel who served close to 35 years in the military, Mrs Dawe recalls the challenging and exciting times being introduced to new places and new friends during regular postings within Canada and the United States. During this busy time, she and her husband also raised four active boys.
She spent many hours over the years cheering her sons in hockey rinks and other sports while also continuing her professional education. She worked in a series of medical facilities often in military hospitals and clinics, keeping a well-balanced routine between work and family demands.
Mrs Dawe is an active member of her community and volunteers with Canadians for Women in Afghanistan and the Kingston Symphony Association. She is an avid traveller and enjoys golfing, going to concerts, theatre, and the cinema.
Along with her husband, she loves to spend time with her eight grandchildren, and 2019 also marks Reine and Peter’s 50th wedding anniversary.