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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Lakeshore pays tribute to veteran, long-time resident

by Adam Gault

One of Lakeshore’s oldest residents, and a WWII veteran, Tarcisio “Ted” Brotto, was honoured at Lakeshore’s Leffler Peace Park on Thursday, October 8, as Lakeshore Council members paid tribute to the long-time area resident with a plaque dedication at the base of a newly planted tree.

  The 105-year-old Brotto did not attend the ceremony, due to health concerns surrounding the ongoing pandemic; however, his daughter, Monica Brotto, and grandson, Julian Brotto, accepted the plaque on his behalf.

  Born in the Kingdom of Italy in December 1914, Brotto was conscripted into the Italian Army during WWII, serving as an artilleryman before Italy surrendered to the Allies on September 3, 1943.

  After the fall of Mussolini’s Italy, Brotto, who spoke English, served as a courier in the British Army for the remainder of the War, before moving to Essex County for the first time.

  After arriving in Canada, he worked as a chemist for PPG, before briefly returning to Italy where he married.

  Mr. and Mrs. Brotto then returned to Essex County for good, where they raised a family and Ted made a career with the Burstyn brothers as a successful commercial developer.

  Brotto now resides near Leffler Park in Lakeshore.

  “He’s a Veteran, he contributed a lot to our municipality, we want to recognize those people,” Lakeshore Councillor Kirk Walstedt said, who first brought the idea of recognizing Brotto forward to his Council. “That’s why we’re what we are today, because of people like Ted and what he contributed to the municipality, but also his service as a Veteran.”

  Lakeshore Mayor Tom Bain also spoke at the ceremony, noting he has presented a few plaques for residents who have reached 100-years-of-age, but never for a resident closing in on 106. He noted Brotto could have remember the famed racehorse Man o’ War’s final race, which took place in Windsor 100 years ago.

  “I got a call a couple of days ago about if I could get anyone who could give us information on the race between Man o’ War and Sir Barton,” Bain said. “I said, that was 1920, you’d have to be 106-years old to remember that, and I thought of Ted.”

  While not in attendance at the ceremony, Brotto was said to have been humbled upon hearing of his recognition, with his daughter explaining that he was very thankful to be acknowledged by the Town of Lakeshore in this manner.

“I don’t think any of us expected it, he especially,” Brotto’s daughter Monica, said, upon being presented with the plaque, “He especially would never expect recognition, he never looked for any. He’s a very humble man, but at the same time, very appreciative.”


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