The Army, Navy & Air Force Veterans in Canada is Canada’s oldest veterans’ association. Although the precise start-date is obscured by time, it is known that a charter was given in 1840 by Queen Victoria to create a unit in Montreal. It is felt that units existed well before that time, perhaps as early as the Conquest of New France in the seventeen hundreds.

The Association derives its name from those remnants of British and French colonial regiments which were left in Canada when their regiments returned to Britain or France following their tours of duty protecting the colonies. These men banded together to exchange information on service benefits available to them and to fraternize. They called themselves “The Army Veterans in Canada” so that when they were in Britain they could denote their location as opposed to the Army Veterans in Australia or South-Africa. The reference to Canada became an integral part of the Association’s title, as incorporated by the Government of Canada in 1917.

Following the War of 1812 sailors from the British Navy which patrolled the Great Lakes and the eastern seaboard, who remained in Canada, joined the Army Veterans in Canada and the title was changed to “The Army and Navy Veterans in Canada”.

The association was also composed of volunteers who answered the call of the Canadian Government for active service during the Fenian Raids of 1860, 1870 and 1871, the Red River Expedition of 1870, and the North-West Rebellion of 1885.

A cairn was raised in 1902 by the Toronto Army and Navy Veterans Association to commemorate the first Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, John Graves Simcoe, founder of York (now Toronto) and to mark the Military Burying Grounds (now the Victoria Memorial Gardens) situated in a park at the junction of King St. West and Bathurst St. in Toronto.

In April 1909 at Montreal, Mr. W. W. Marsh of the Army and Navy Veterans Association was one of the founding members of the Last Post Fund.

During and following the Second World War, members of the Air Force were welcomed as members and the official title the “The Army, Navy & Air Force Veterans in Canada” was enacted, by an amendment to our Act of Incorporation, by Parliament in 1946. The Association uses the short form ANAVETS to identify itself.




Glen and Randy put finishing touches on Spitfire (2)When ANAF unit # 5 approached the DND in the late 1980’s to obtain an actual Spitfire aircraft, they were discouraged by the $90,000 purchase price (after which the aircraft would revert to the DND).

An original trio of members instigated the construction of a replica and approached Glen Fletcher to apply his knowledge of designing and constructing Malibu boats to their aircraft.

Originally launched in October 1993, the ANAF Spitfire has been a landmark in Vernon until September 2010 when it was discovered to have suffered damage from rock-throwing vandals. Upon examination, the water damage was so extensive that repairs were impossible.

The Spitfire has been completely rebuilt ~ from one end to the other, even the pilot and propellers. The process involved the dismantling of the original plane to duplicate the design, reconstruction and re-assembly of each section.

Glen Fletcher, 74, and his helper Randy Lundman have each spent more than 1,200 volunteer hours apiece on the reconstruction during the past 11 months. Glen was also one of three co-ordinators of the original design and construction 19 years ago which involved 2,840 volunteer hours.

The final stage of reconstruction involved re-attachment of the wings to the body in the ANAF parking lot 2500-26th Avenue. The reconstructed aircraft was lifted to the rooftop by crane on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.


The replica is built to scale of a full-size design of the Spitfire aircraft.

Measurements: Length (nose to tail) – 31 feet 10 inches

Wingspan – 37 feet

Nose to front of cockpit – 9 feet 8 inches

The realistic pilot is named “Jackson Glen” – (Jack’s son Glen) in honour of two original contributions Jack Brash and Glen Fletcher. (Pilot has been completely refurbished so realistically that a Vernon utility worker spoke to him on the back porch of Glen’s home).

The letters and numbers on the ANAF Spitfire were borrowed from the Log Book of the Spitfire piloted by WWII veteran Philip Bodnarchuk, of Vernon, who served in RCAF and Canadian Army under service number J26835. Mr. Bodnarchuk reportedly flew with the Polish squadron and was shot down three times, but survived until the age of 79 when he passed away on January 18, 1996.