Lest We Forget

Veterans help us to commemorate the centenary of WWI

Most Canadians have participated in elementary school Remembrance Day assemblies; and what we learned in books and history courses about The First World War have shaped our understanding of war in modern times.

Now, 100 years after the beginning of the First World War (1914–1918), all of its Canadian veterans have died; surviving veterans from the Second World War are becoming fewer. Canadian soldiers who served in Afghanistan and other recent overseas conflicts are our living links to the devastating effects of war on people, countries and societies.

PetroChina Canada thanks those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom and honours our employees who have served in the military on behalf of their country. We invited them to share their thoughts on the centenary of the First World War and how it has shaped them professionally.

Bulent Ilcan, IS Solutions Delivery Lead
Bulent Ilcan was raised in an air force family. He went to the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston and joined the Canadian Air Forces as an aerospace engineer. His last post was as an officer at CFB Cold Lake. Bulent retired from his nine-year military career in 1994.

Thoughts on WWI centenary
“The centenary of the First World War is an extension of Remembrance Day. We’re remembering all of the significant conflicts and the Canadians who lost their lives in them. Remembrance is not a one-time occurrence. We must continue to be thankful for the people who are willing to serve our nation today in arenas like the Middle East where we continue to fight against terrorism.”

Military influence on professional life
“The military instilled in me the importance of loyalty and being a team player. It also fosters the culture of caring for people; I support my colleagues in achieving corporate objectives and attaining balance in their lives. “

Arno Lazda, IS Business Analyst / Project Manager
Arno Lazda studied at the Royal Military College of Canada, graduating in 1990 and serving in the Canadian Air Force for 10 years before retiring to civilian life. His military career as an aerospace engineer took him to CFB Cold Lake and Ottawa.

Thoughts on WWI centenary
“One hundred years have passed since the First World War. That allows us to think that we might avoid repeating the same mistake in the future. I would like to see every Remembrance Day be a national holiday to give Canadians time to reflect on what people sacrificed so we can live in peace and harmony today – especially as the number of our veterans diminishes and because people are still putting their life on line to protect our values.”

Military influence on professional life
“The military instilled in me a certain way of life both in terms of family and professionally. I’m loyal to my family, my employer and my country. I serve with dedication in whatever I undertake; and in all I undertake I make sure it is done to the highest standards, for myself and others.”

Andy Teskey, Project Engineer, Dover North Project
Andy Teskey joined the British Armed Forces as a Royal electrical and mechanical engineer in 1989. For most if his career, he served around the world and was part of the planning team for the UK strategic in load into Afghanistan as part of the UK’s airborne forces on immediate readiness. Later Andy commanded a large air trails unit (JADTEU) and was the Deputy Commander for the British training organization in Suffield, Alberta, finishing his military service in 2012 as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Thoughts on WWI centenary
“People and technologies may be different than the military operations in the First World War, but as part of the UK’s campaign in Afghanistan I know the values, standards and ideals remain unchanged over the century.  At this centenary and almost every day, a veteran can be reminded of fallen friends and memories of conflict.”

Military influence on professional life
“The skills I learned in the military are endless. I was fortunate to have a 23-year leadership education and the inherent qualities gained by almost all serving personnel, of self-sufficiency, mental and physical robustness, decision making, punctuality and integrity.”

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