One of the reasons I enjoy her emails is the little quote at the end of each. Weird eh! Not really. Here is the quote from Albert Pike. He once said or wrote that... "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others all over the world remains and is immortal." Readers, I want you to know that this quote reminds me so much of the work Shirley and others have done over the past three years in Ontario, in a little area known as The Township of Zorra. I think she and I might be cut from the same cloth.
Shirley has banded together with a crew of strong supporters who decided it was time that the area create a website in honour of all the men and women who have gone before...and who continue today..to put on the various uniforms of the country and head off to serve in the military. She chairs the work and her worker bees include the very talented and dedicated Helen Brenneman, Sue Butt, Joyce Day, Rev. Doug Peck, John Hiusur, Ruth Lawson, Margaret Lupton, Carl MacDonald, Jim Verwer and Roy Youngs.
These folks, heroes themselves for what they have done, have scoured the records and books of the past and talked to everyone they can think of to get the names of those that ought to be recognized. I am told that they have already come up with about 1,000 names. I'm working on 107 and well realize the massive task these folks, bandied together under the name,,,The Heroes of Zorra Committee, have gone through to get those names and the stories whenever possible. It is a massive job. And folks, like the usual, it is all done by volunteers. Volunteers who have even raised I am told just over $10,000 to get the ball rolling, to have a professional site created, and to hold an elaborate week-end event to bring the community together in honour of these men and woman, and of course to launch their brand new website, the beginnings of which are now up, but the unveiling will be the culmination of their years of work. It can be found at www.heroesofzorra.ca
Information is on the net about their grand opening over the weekend of the 16th to 18th of August. There will be lots to do and see, with re-enactors doing a few battle scenes, and setting up a night camp, to farmers food booths to singing and listening to a local historian's presentation and even including singer songwriter Jack London performing his song... the Highway of Heroes. This is a most moving song and I would ask you take to take a few minutes right now and listen to it. But first, you will need a cleanix, then click here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34n4AJu2mkg
So how can you help? There is contact info on the net to donate to the township so that they can continue the work of this committee to ensure that this web site is maintained, continues to grow with even updates as required. Please check out this opportunity for you to play a role in its success. Why not write then a cheque for ten or twenty bucks or even 50. It is a most worthwhile cause.
I had the privilege of meeting Shirley in California three years ago when I and another woman, with assistance from many quarters, unveiled a new grave marker from Benjamin F Youngs. Note the surname, and the last name of those listed on the committee. A direct descendant indeed. Shirley, Roy and about a dozen of others from the township including its Mayor and husband came to California...at their own expense, as I did, to either attend, or participate in the formal ceremony at the grave site. Other relatives joined us from across Canada the US and even London England. BF Youngs has been mentioned often in this space in past blogs.
Prior to the work done for BF Youngs the only marker on site was the flat one on the left above. It of course gave no details of his military hero status. The new marker is to its right. The double picture on the right has the Noil marker for a Nova Scotia MOH recipient that is in the works to be replaced, and the Buckley marker replaced a few years back. Buckley was yet another Ontario MOH recipient.
My research produced a family member in the US that still had the actual medal awarded to Youngs. Actually he had two, but that's another story. He was convinced to come to the ceremony and he brought along the medals. The relatives and others were all allowed to actually hold the medal. A keepsake memory all will no doubt cherish to this day. I know I certainly do.
Tomorrow I will bring an extra blog. And it will be part two of today's. Please check in again and feel free to send along your comments on these blogs. A lot goes into them and feedback is important to me. Thanks,