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Robin Hood, prince of donors

By Cpl. David Thomas
First published in
SFOR Informer#103, December 20, 2000

Glamoc - Robin Hood is back. For once, neither Errol Flynn, Sean Connery nor Kevin Costner are playing the part. The City of Nottingham and Sherwood Forest are not the scene, either. Glamoc has become his new home.
The Canadians based in this town have replaced Robin of Locksley and Little John, on the occasion of this large-scale CIMIC operation (11-15 december) bearing Howard Pyle's hero’s name.
"Glamoc area is one of the poorest in Bosnia," said 1Lt. Jeff Peck, from 2nd Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry Battalion (2PPCLI), CIMIC project officer in the Glamoc area. "The International community prioritises the return of former inhabitants."
With the aid from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which supplied the main part of humanitarian aid, for five days , B Battery from Royal Canadian Horse Artillery Regiment deployed in the whole area so that local inhabitants could all benefit from this operation.
A dozen patrols were organised daily. Aboard their Grizzly APCs, the gunners brought blankets, shoes, jackets, potatoes, wood and toys, also offered by Canadian families.
A meeting to take stock of the situation was held every evening. "We must deliver from one house to another. Moreover, I want a list with the inhabitants who have returned to date on it. We will need more oil lamps, candles and soap," underlines 1Lt. Peck. The orders are set, everyone knows his part.
During the first patrol, Sgt. Andy Johnson's team, composed of three gunners and a translator, paid a visit to those settled away from the village. “Seventy percent of the population lives downtown. But since Halapic is borderline, there's no electric power beyond," said Sgt Johnson. "That's why we are handing out candles." A 70-year old man, returned in March 1999, lives in a wooden house without a proper roof. "Tell him we will bring him canvas covers in the afternoon " Sgt Johnson told the translator.
In Rudici, Gunners Justin Moore, André Fortier and Lisa Kachanoski handed over a coffee set to an old lady. "She had asked for it because should somebody die in the village, the relatives have to offer coffee," explained the Canadian Non-Commissioned Officer. Children rushed up to the Grizzly for some candies. The distribution of smiles goes on…
Robin Hood has developed. In the XV century, he used to be prince of the thieves, nowadays he has become prince of donors, within the space of a CIMIC operation. As far as the Canadians are concerned, the legend is still alive.

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Canada
Humanitarian Aid