MESSAGE: Lynne Deering District Commander still has MSRB Books : # VII if anyone needs them
Information was recently passed on to our Executive Director from Saskatchewan Command regarding a unique way of securing submissions for our Military Service Recognition Book Program.
A couple of years ago, they made contact with their Provincial Sports Hall of Fame who had an exhibit for the Veterans that had been inducted into their Hall of Fame. Saskatchewan Command utilized the biographies of the Veteran inductees from their Sports Hall of Fame exhibit and had them published in their MSRB. They in turn placed the logo of their Hall of Fame beside the Veterans name indicating where the submission had been obtained.
We could, and probably should, grasp hold of this opportunity and do something similar and possibly research further information regarding the Veteran through family members of the Veteran. There are several communities within our Province that have their own Sports Hall of Fame who recognize their local Sports celebrities. And of course, we have the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame which has 115 inductees. There is also Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame along with the Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame as well. So, there are many avenues of opportunity where we could be obtaining additional submissions for our books.
The following link includes Veteran inductees into Canada’s Hockey Hall of Fame located in Toronto that was received from Veterans Affairs Canada. As you will note, there are 22 WW1 Veteran inductees and 8 WW11 Veteran inductees within the Province of Ontario that could be researched by the Branches involved for a submission into our book.
There is also the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame located in Toronto that has 115 inductees which I am sure some are no doubt Veterans. But as previously stated, there are many municipalities throughout Ontario who have their own Sports Hall of Fames that could be checked out with the local authorities involved with the facility.
And who knows maybe these Hall of Fames could do a “Veterans” gathering of players that served. They might be receptive to the idea in November (of next year now of course).
Anyway Comrades, a great opportunity and just another way that Branches could research in order for us to obtain more submissions of our Ontario Veterans to be published in one of our Military Service Recognition Books.
You will recall that I had reported good news to you in the year #8 final
MSRB Monthly District Report on June 1, 2021. That good news was that we had
a most successful year in recognizing many of our Veterans within the
Province of Ontario during year #8 of our program.
Well, I have some further good news that I would like to share with each of
you. You may recall that during my MSRB report at the last P.E.C. meeting
where we met in person in November of 2019, I
mentioned about a lady who lives in Belgium who was researching the names of
Veterans buried in a Canadian War Graves Cemetery located in Adegem, Belgium
not far from her home. In her research, she found a Veterans bio and
photograph that was published in our Volume #3 who was buried in this
cemetery. In her email enquiry, she stated that she was attempting to put a
face to the names of Canadian soldiers buried in this War Graves Cemetery
and wondered if she could receive a copy of this Veterans photograph.so that
she could place it by his gravesite.
Since that time, I have communicated with this lady on several occasions and
have sent her copes of several photographs of Veterans who have had their
bios and photos published in our books. In doing so, and rather than just
sending her a copy of the photograph, due to privacy and copywrite issues, I
have had to obtain permission from family members through the District
involved to send her copies of the photographs.
I believe that this is an amazing project that this lady has undertaken all
on her own in memorializing our fallen Canadian solders buried there by
having a face added to their names. She has been doing the research on her
own and no-one there knows who it is that has undertaken this project. To
date, she has found approximately 525 Veteran photographs and has placed
approximately 300 of the photographs at the gravesites to date. She prints
copies of the photographs sent to her onto forex which is a superlight white
plastic that is wind, water and UV resistant. She also makes her own wooden
stands for the photos out of Douglaswood and has purchased a number of
Canadian flags and places them along with the photograph at each of the
I have attached two photos that she sent to me of the gravesite of William
John Findlay whose submission was in Volume V1 of our Military Service
Recognition Book. The one photo is just of the gravesite and the other
includes Caroline Cleemput the lady who has engineered this project and the
one who I have been communicating with since 2019.
She has received quite a few photographs from family members that she has
researched, and they all appreciate what she is doing. The family members of
the photographs we have sent to her have also shown their appreciation for
the project she has undertaken.
She has also made a simple request that I feel we could assist with. Her
request is for us to check to see if we know of anyone who has a relative
buried at the Canadian War Graves Cemetery at Adegem, Belgium. She would be
more than happy to have a photograph of any Canadian Veteran that is buried
there placed at the gravesite.
So Comrades, this is a suggestion of how I feel we could help. As each
Branch receives a Veteran submission for a WW11 Veteran, the Branch
Coordinator could check to see if the Veteran served in the Netherlands or
Belgium during that time, and if they paid the supreme sacrifice, is the
Veteran buried in the Canadian War Graves Cemetery at Adegem, Belgium.
Please keep in mind that if we do find a Veteran who is buried in this
cemetery in Belgium, that we do require permission to utilize the photograph
prior to it being sent to this lady in Belgium. And I would be more than
happy to have a photograph sent to her if such a photograph is passed on to
me. I know that Caroline would be most appreciative.