A Legacy of Dedication and Service

In the heart of London, at Wolseley Barracks, stands a resilient woman named Gail whose inspiring journey echoes through the decades. For the past twenty years, Gail has served diligently in various roles, from guard to bylaw officer to, now, a supervisor at the Barracks gatehouse. 

Gail had plans to retire a few years ago. Those plans were put on hold when the world faced the onslaught of Covid-19. CFB London was in urgent need of staff so, without hesitation, she stepped up. What was meant to be a temporary fix soon evolved into a permanent position as Gail’s exceptional work caught the eye of the Colonel. 

Before her time at Wolseley Barracks, Gail had already carved out a path of service and dedication. She reminisces about the early days of her career when she was one of the pioneering women in a predominantly male-dominated environment and served as military police officer with the Canadian Forces from 1974-1998. 

“I was one of the first groups to go through in ’74. Only 21 out of 97 in the class graduated,” she recalls. Despite the challenges and stringent standards, Gail’s perseverance and resilience shone through.  

One of the highlights of Gail’s career was being selected as one of the first female officers to embark on an overseas posting in Lahr, Germany. The experience opened her eyes to a new world where she immersed herself in different cultures, forging connections with veterans and locals alike. 

Gail retired as a reservist and soon found herself raising three grandsons. Her journey came full circle when Jim McGee from Commissionaires in Sarnia reached out to her and persuaded her to join the Corps. This familiar space felt like the military she had been a part of. 

The military runs in her blood and remains a central theme of service and sacrifice in her family. One of her grandsons now works on the base, covering Gail’s shifts at the gatehouse on weekends, a testament to the bond of family and service.  

Beyond her professional commitments, Gail finds solace in her hobby farm in the countryside where she chops wood, tends to chickens, dogs, and cats, and cherishes the simple joys of life. Her weekends are often spent at Palmer’s Maple Syrup Farm, serving pancakes or with her great-granddaughter. She also volunteers as the Poppy Chair at the Legion in Aylmer. 

Gail’s passion for meeting new people and imparting her wisdom to the younger Commissionaires is evident in her approach to training—provide knowledge and unwavering support to those under her guidance.