By: Jan Dean (Mississauga Business Times – June 2009)
When old soldiers die, the Last Post Fund helps to make sure they are honoured in death for their contributions in life, with a dignified funeral.
For 15 years, retired Lieutenant Colonel Ray Mikkola, now a partner with Mississauga law firm Pallett Valo, has worked steadfastly to help the Last Post Fund continue the vision of its founder, Arthur Hair, who said 100 years ago, “to honour and protect in death seems but a small return to those who have protected their country in life.”
“The Last Post Fund still abides by this vision, working to honour our veterans whose service to Canada and commitment to the values of freedom and democracy played a vital role in shaping our country,” said LCol. Mikkola.
LCol. Mikkola was presented last month with the Last Post Fund Long Service Medal by Ontario Lieutenant Governor David Onley. He is a life long resident of Mississauga.
The Last Post Fund, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2009, is a non-profit organization that to-date has assisted thousands of families of Canadian war veterans with funeral expenses. LCol. Mikkola is vice-president of the Ontario Branch of the Last Post Fund.
“Every November 11, Canadians are reminded about the contributions and sacrifices our war veterans have made to Canada, but it seems to me that we should remember them every day. The Last Post Fund provides to families of war veterans a small measure of comfort at a time of loss and remembrance,” said LCol. Mikkola.
“All of us at Pallett Valo are fiercely proud of Ray and his work at the Last Post Fund,” said Anna Esposito, managing partner at Pallett Valo. “Ray Mikkola is a great leader and that’s the type of person we want to keep attracting to our law firm.”
The Last Post Fund administers the Funeral and Burial Program on behalf of Veterans Affairs Canada. The fund provides financial assistance to cover the costs of a funeral director, casket, (or cremation and urn), and marker as well as other funeral expenses, to a dignified standard, to families of eligible Canadian war veterans. The fund is a national organization with provincial chapters across Canada.
LCol. Mikkola retired from the Canadian Armed Forces as Commanding Officer of the 7th Toronto Regiment, R.C.A., in the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He was awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration (with bar) for service to Canada and the Queen's Golden Jubilee medal for military service.
He is a member of the Military Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association and is the Chair of the National Real Property Section of the Canadian Bar Association.
LCol. Mikkola joined Pallett Valo in 2004 after 14 years at a large national business law firm, became partner on January 1, 2006, and now heads Pallett Valo’s Commercial Real Estate Practice. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1988.
Pallett Valo LLP is a leading law firm in the Region of Peel. The firm has 26 lawyers and 51 support staff.