THEN AND NOW: From supply tech to peacekeeper

Tim Murphy
Tim Murphy in 2020. (SONJA DRINKWATER / Special to the News)Tim Murphy in 2020. (SONJA DRINKWATER / Special to the News)
Tim Murphy joined the military in 1973. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)Tim Murphy joined the military in 1973. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

The number of Port Alberni’s veterans of the First and Second World Wars, and campaigns such as the Korean or Vietnam wars, are dwindling. When we see these veterans in uniform, be they members who saw battle, supported their brethren or entered areas of conflict on peacekeeping missions, we see the way they are today: navy blue blazers, chests full of medals, faces lined with character.

Last year, freelance writer and photographer Sonja Drinkwater approached eight veterans of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 293 and asked them to share a photo from when they served with their respective military branch, as well as a description of their role. She then took a photograph of the veterans as they are now.

The project was so popular that she has approached six more veterans this year. They are all active members of the Legion. If you know of a Port Alberni veteran who deserves to be featured, reach out to us at


Tim Murphy was raised in a military family and lived throughout Canada before settling in Sidney, B.C. He joined the Military in 1973 as a Supply Technician. His first posting was Canadian Forces Base Comox where he met Ollie (also in the military) and they married in November 1976.

Murphy’s 32-year career involved three peacekeeping tours (Egypt, Cyprus and Golan Heights); postings included tours in Comox, Ottawa, Petawawa, Toronto, Montreal (to learn French), Borden, Ont. and finally Esquimalt, B.C.

When he was offered the opportunity to experience Navy life in 2002 Murphy was delighted to return to the West Coast and served aboard HMCS Huron, and HMCS Calgary when she sailed in support of Operation Apollo.

He retired in 2006 to Port Alberni, an area he and Ollie had enjoyed visiting when they first lived in Comox.

Murphy is an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 293 in Port Alberni and continues to volunteer and support the branch through his involvement on various committees.

Port AlberniRemembrance Day