Friday, June 29, 2007

Funeral of Cpl Stephen Frederick Bouzane

BOUZANE, Corporal Stephen Frederick– It is with great sadness that the family of the late Corporal Stephen Frederick Bouzane announce his passing at Kandahar, Afghanistan on June 20, 2007 at the age of 26. Stephen was a member of the Canadian Forces 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, C Company, CFB Edmonton. Predeceased by grandfathers: Thomas Snook of St. Albans and Francis Bouzane of Little Bay. Left with fond and loving memories are his parents: Moureen and Fred of St. Albans; sister, Kelly of Scarborough, Ontario; grandmothers: Lucy Bouzane of Little Bay and Cecilia Snook of St. Albans. Also leaving to mourn a large number of aunts, uncles, relatives and friends. Father Eugene Morris and Father David Joy conducted the funeral service at the Sacred Heart Parish in St. Patrick’s on June 30, 2007. Interment was at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in St. Patrick’s. Pallbearers were provided by 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, CFB Edmonton. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Ken Goodyear and the staff of Central Funeral Homes.
Cpl. Stephen Bouzane was born on March 21, 1981 in Springdale, Newfoundland, but grew up in Toronto. He enlisted in the Regular Force, land component, on June 4, 2003. After completing basic training, he was posted to 3 PPCLI in Edmonton, AB, where he was employed as a rifleman with C Coy (Para), with whom he deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, as part of Task Force 1-07. He was qualified Basic Mountain Operations, Tactical Combat Casualty Care, Infantry Platoon Support Weapons, and LUVW driver, among others. Stephen had no relatives in Edmonton, but had many good friends amongst C Coy and the Battalion. He died while on duty in the province of Kandahar on June 20, 2007. He is survived by his parents Moureen and Fred, as well as his sister, Kelly.

June 30th, 2007

Kelly Bouzane, sister of Cpl. Stephen Bouzane, stays by his grave after his funeral in Sacred Heart Cemetery in St. Patricks, NL, on June 30, 2007. Photo credit: Andrew Vaughan

Moments after she was handed a folded Canadian flag that draped over her brother's coffin, Kelly Bouzane knelt down and kissed the casket as nearly everyone in this central Newfoundland hamlet of less than 400 people looked on, mourning the loss of a native son.

Cpl. Stephen Bouzane was remembered as a loyal son and soldier that younger troops admired at a funeral service that brought out mixed emotions over Canada's involvement in Afghanistan.

After the funeral, Kelly Bouzane thanked all Canadian Armed Forces personnel and wished for their safe return home.

"We love you, we're thinking of you. Come home safe to us," she said, clutching the Canadian flag with her father, Fred, as she choked back tears.

"Stephen will be watching over all of you," she said.

Outside Sacred Heart Parish Roman Catholic Church, Gloria Wellman and two other people hoisted a large Canadian flag in tribute to Bouzane's sacrifice in the war-torn country. Bouzane was born in St. Patricks but spent most of his life growing up in Toronto before he took on an active role with the Edmonton-based 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

Maj. Glen Zilkahns said Bouzane was a model leader who lived life to its fullest.

"He went out of his way to welcome these young soldiers, to train them, to make them part of the family," Zilkahns said.

"He knew there was a difference between living a life that mattered and merely existing."

Bouzane died June 20 after the unarmoured vehicle he was in was hit by a roadside bomb, west of Kandahar.

Funeral services for Sgt. Christos Karigiannis and Pte. Joel Wiebe, who also died in the blast, were held Saturday in Quebec and Alberta. All three belonged to the same battalion.

Their deaths prompted the Canadian military to suspend the use of the unarmoured vehicles, known as Gators, outside secure compounds.

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