Once Canada’s darling, Afghan heart patient now in hiding

An item from the Legion Magazine.

Stephen J thorne

Stephen J. Thorne

Once Canada’s darling, Afghan heart patient now in hiding



An Afghan boy who was once Canada’s darling is now an ailing young man in hiding and in fear for his life.

Djamshid Djan Popal, who came to Canada in 2004 for life-saving heart surgery thanks to donors from across the country, has faced hardship, health issues and physical threats since he returned to his war-ravaged homeland 18 years ago.

Taliban sympathizers wrongly assumed Djamshid’s good fortune was because his father Shafiullah was a coalition informant, a spy, or some other enemy. Shafiullah, a rock breaker, was beaten several times and imprisoned for three months after the country fell to the Taliban in August 2021.




5 Volume Collection

Sharif Tarabay

Patrol ship dedicated to Black Victoria Cross recipient


On Nov. 16, 1857, William Hall earned the British Empire’s highest bravery award, the Victoria Cross. He became the third Canadian and first Nova Scotian to do so.

Hall, of Horton, N.S., was the son of former Black slaves from the United States. He worked in Hantsport shipyards, before serving on a merchant vessel, followed by a couple of years in the United States navy.

In 1852, he enlisted in the Royal Navy in England, joining the crew of HMS Rodney where he earned medals from Britain and Turkey for his service during the Crimean War, when he lent a hand to ground forces operating the heavy gun batteries.

His career prospered. He was serving on HMS Shannon, which was escorting troops to China, when it was dispatched to help quell a mutiny in India.



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