Reflections on the passing of a Canadian and local legend
PHOTO COURTESY VETERANS AFFAIRS CANADA
At the age of 98, Hudsonite Maxine Bredt visited Vimy Ridge on April 10, 2017.
On April 8, 2020 Maxine Llewellyn Bredt peacefully passed away at her home in Hudson, Quebec in her 101st year. She was an icon and legend in Hudson and especially at Legion Branch #115 where she had been a member for close to 50 years.
Born in Highwood, Montana her family moved to British Columbia in the early 1920s and after high school Maxine studied to be a nurse. She graduated just as World War II began and soon after she enrolled in the Canadian Army Medical Corps and was shipped overseas not too long afterwards.
Lieut. Maxine Llewellyn then served in Italy, Northern Europe, and England. She was proud to call herself a ‘D-Day Dodger’ as she was on a ship heading towards the Italian Campaign while D-Day was taking place in Normandy in June of 1944.
After being demobilized in 1945 Maxine joined Trans Canada Airlines as a stewardess in 1946. TCA only hired nurses at that time. While at TCA she met her future husband, Bill Bredt, who had served with the RCAF during the war.
Since TCA did not allow couples to work and be married at the same time she resigned in 1949 and soon afterwards they moved to Hudson, Quebec and settled down to raise their family of four.
In 2019 Maxine Llewellyn Bredt was chosen by Veteran’s Affairs Canada to be on their annual Veteran’s Week poster remembering the 75th Anniversary of the Italian Campaign. A representative of Veteran’s Affairs, Robert Löken, visited Legion Branch #115 in early October last year and presented both Maxine and the Branch with the first two posters. Maxine signed the one for the Branch and it now hangs in a very prominent place inside the hall. On an interesting note Maxine never liked the photo of her on the poster as she was noted for her great big happy smile and not the frown that was shown.
Just few short years ago she was chosen to visit Italy (2014) and Northern France (2017) along with other veterans of WW II honouring the Italian Campaign and the Battles of Vimy Ridge, Dieppe, and D-Day. While in Italy she met with a lady the same age as her in a small village where Maxine had been during the Italian Campaign. At all events pertaining to various anniversaries about either WW I or WW II Maxine always wore her original WW II uniform.
PHOTO COURTESY ROD L. HODGSON
Maxine’s trademark smile is greatly missed in Hudson and at Legion Br. #115 where until February of this year she was a regular attendee at the Friday dinners.
She celebrated her 100th birthday in September, 2019 at Legion Branch #115 where over 100 friends and family came to offer their best wishes. She had already received a special note from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
2019 was the first time she did not march in the annual Remembrance Day parade in Hudson in many, many years. Though in 2018 Maxine and her daughter, Christine marched in the annual Remembrance Day parade in Ottawa on the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I. She was 99 years old at the time!
She always gave the toast to the ladies of the armed forces at the annual Remembrance dinner at Branch #115 in Hudson as well as well as reciting ‘In Flanders Fields’ at Wyman Memorial United Church in Hudson during its annual Remembrance service. Until late 2018 Maxine was a regular visitor at least once a week to the Ste. Annes Veterans’ Hospital in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec where she enjoyed chatting with the patients and playing cribbage with them as well. She was a very good cribbage player. She was the longest-serving volunteer at the hospital and was honoured as such for many years.
Lieut. Maxine Llewellyn Bredt is greatly missed in Hudson and at Legion Branch #115 where, until February of this year, she was a regular attendee at the Friday dinners. She will never be forgotten.
Lest we forget…