While an inaugural commemorative dinner near the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge is now sold out, organizers are hoping to attract a strong crowd to a Sunday, April 2, 2017 ceremony at the Sarnia Cenotaph.
The ceremony, which will take place at 4 p.m., will feature wreaths being laid in the memory of four local men who were killed at the Battle of Vimy Ridge: Frederick Johnson, David Kerr, Roy Lumley and David Montgomery. Multiple agencies will be partaking in this special ceremony.
Known as “The Battle that Forged a Nation,” the victorious battle took place on a 7-kilometre-long ridge in northern France on Easter Monday, April 9, 1917. The four divisions of the Canadian Corps, fighting together for the first time, drove the German Sixth Army off the ridge in one of the most important victories of the Great War on the Western Front.
The dinner event, which takes place at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 62 on Front Street, was sold out very quickly. TurnerMoore, a local accounting firm, is sponsoring the event.
A cash bar that starts at 5:30 p.m. will be followed by dinner, with guest speakers to include Tom Slater, author of the War Remembrance Project, and Randy Evans, a contributor to the project.
Lt. Col. Mark Poland, Commanding Officer of the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada, will be the keynote speaker.
The Sarnia Historical Society has been busy with this commemoration project for several months and its work has included the sale of a commemorative Vimy Pin. To date, the organization has 3,400 pins, with proceeds divided between the Vimy Ridge Foundation and the Sarnia Historical Society.
Pins continue to be sold ($6 each or two for $10) through the Book Keeper in Sarnia and Poppies Gift Shop at Bluewater Health.