Chartwell and Wish of a Lifetime Canada: Granting wishes to Canadian veterans

Since November of 2015, Chartwell Retirement Residences and Wish of a Lifetime Canada have been working together to grant lifelong wishes to seniors all across the country. Of the nearly 40 wishes granted thus far, many have been for veterans who bravely served to protect the rights and freedoms of Canadians. With November upon us, it is a time of reflection and commemoration, which is why we’d like to highlight some of the wishes we’ve been able to help grant to deserving veterans.

Jack’s emotional return to Nassau

Jack Ryall, a 90 year-old Chartwell resident from Calgary, Alberta, served with the British Royal Air Force during the Second World War. As a tailgunner, his role was to alert the pilot of nearby enemy planes and scan the water for German U-boats. Near the end of the war, Jack was stationed in Nassau, Bahamas, where he saw many of his friends make the ultimate sacrifice. Jack hadn’t been back to Nassau since his time at war, and his ultimate wish was to visit the memorial there to honour the memory of his fallen brothers in arms.

GordonGordon travels to Thailand

Gordon Norwood of Chartwell Colonial Belcher in Calgary is a veteran of the Korean War who served in the Canadian Army for nearly 20 years. His one wish was to be reunited with his grandson in Thailand and meet two of his great-grandchildren for the first time ever. Chartwell and Wish of a Lifetime Canada jumped at the chance to make Gordon’s wish a reality, and on April 17th, 2017, he arrived in Bangkok and into the open arms of his family.

David goes back to his roots

Korean War veteran and former RAF cadet David Austin of Chartwell Willow in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, returned to England to visit his old grammar school nearly 58 years after attending. Chartwell and Wish of a Lifetime Canada fulfilled David’s wish back in 2016, allowing him the chance to reminisce with an old school chum. The two toured the grounds, remembering the old days as former classmates, as well as their time together as RAF cadets.

Jim takes flight

Jim Dornan of Chartwell Rouge Valley in Markham, Ontario, has had a passion for aviation since he was a child. During the Second World War, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air force when he was only 18, hoping to contribute to the war effort overseas. Though he underwent extensive training as a flight engineer, the war came to a close before Jim could see any action. For years, his one wish was to have the chance to fly an Avro Lancaster. This year, Chartwell and Wish of a Lifetime Canada made sure Jim got his chance. On June 30th, 2017, Jim finally took flight in the Lancaster that had eluded him for so many years.

NapoleonNapoleon meets Celine

Back in 2016, Chartwell and Wish of a Lifetime Canada granted our first wish ever to Napoleon Montsion, a 92-year-old Navy veteran from Chartwell Domaine des Trembles in Gatineau, Quebec. Napoleon was flown all the way to Las Vegas to meet his all-time favourite Canadian songstress, none other than Celine Dion.

Canadian seniors, including Chartwell residents, are invited to submit their wishes by downloading an official application form at or speaking with a residence’s Lifestyle & Program Manager / Program Support Services Manager.