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This article was published 17/3/2018 (1520 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Point Douglas recreation centre has been renamed in honour of Sergeant Thomas George "Tommy" Prince, a highly decorated Indigenous veteran.
The North Centennial Recreation and Leisure Facility at 90 Sinclair Street will now be called Sergeant Tommy Prince Place. The facility held a ceremony to mark the change on Saturday, and unveiled a new sign for the building.
Sergeant Prince was a member of the Brokenhead Band of Scanterbury, Manitoba and a descendent of Chief Peguis, according to Veterans Affairs Canada.
He enlisted in the Canadian military in 1940 at the age of 24 and initially served as a sapper in the Royal Canadian Engineers before volunteering to become a paratrooper and joining the 1st Canadian Special Service Battalion.
That battalion later merged with a U.S. unit and became the 1st Special Service Force, known to the Germans as the "Devil's Brigade". The unit "became a versatile assault group with a reputation for specialized reconnaissance and raiding," says Prince's biography on the Veterans Affairs website. "Prince was well suited to be a member."
Sergeant Prince distinguished himself in action during two separate reconnaissance missions in 1944, one in Italy and the other in France. King George VI decorated Prince with the Military Medal, as well as a U.S. Silver Star on behalf of the president, making Prince one of only 59 Canadians to be awarded that honour.
Sergeant Prince "showed tremendous courage both on the battlefield and in his tireless work on behalf of Indigenous peoples," said Point Douglas Councillor Mike Pagtakhan in a City of Winnipeg press release on Saturday.
"It is my hope, and the hope of Winnipeg City Council, that this centre in the heart of Point Douglas, which now bears his name, will help keep his achievements and his sacrifice shining brightly in the memories of all Winnipeggers and all Canadians."