Embarrassingly, I have to admit that some of us also enjoyed to odd nickel or dime that failed to make it into the pot, probably with our help.
Over the years we would some times even see our Dad, marching with other WWII vets. As the years passed he would join others in the back of military trucks in the procession and giving friendly waves to those thousands gathered to be part of the day. Like Dad, I too would march with the Toronto Scottish for years behind their famous Pipes and Drums as we proudly marched along Young Street or Avenue Rd or University Avenue in Toronto. (memory fails on locations)
Years later I would be living in BC and yet again, in November would attend parades in Sydney and see my father either marching or, in later years riding in army trucks with his companions from the local Army and Navy or Royal Canadian Legion, he being a long time member of both.
The duty for me to remember was pounded into my head by parents who were both WWII veterans. Dad even for about 2 decades after the war. So, from the mid 50's to this year, on just about every Remembrance Day I have been out in support and to give thanks to those who served or continue to serve. Be it at the war front or the home front.
Two blogs ago in this space I brought you the story about a celebration during Remembrance Week of those who served. By using lights and technology, well over 100 images where projected outdoors, telling us the story of the war. And in so doing also remind the audience that it was the 80th anniversary of the end of the first year of that terrible conflict.
The slides shown were not just a bunch of pictures. The images were of 50 or more actual official Canadian War Artists and well over 100 or their historic paintings. Each told stories we have a duty to remember... all year round!
It was produced by Christ Church Cathedral and the Canadian Scottish Regimental Association. Both having a very long tradition of supporting the community they so proudly serve.
While the logos above are difficult to see, they represent agencies that have supported this and so many other causes. They represent Veterans Affairs Canada, The Royal Canadian Legion, United Rentals, Shoestring Filmworks, Kobalt Systems, Alaris Design, local artist Robert Amos, the Pacific Coast Branch of the Western Front Association, and the Royal United Services Institute of Vancouver Island.
For the three days, each night over 100 images were shown in about a 25 minute span, and shown again and again for several hours. The Cathedral sits on the traditional territory of the Lenkwungen-speaking people, specifically the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.
The earlier blog brought you a few comments on one of the official artists... Mrs Molly Jean (Lamb) Bobak, Vancouver area born and resident for years on the east coast. During the war she was a commissioned officer and she would married another officer, who also was one of the official War Artists.
Both his and her paintings were included in the presentation here in Victoria. Local historian John Azar, who's name has appeared many times in this space, was the Project Lead on the Remembrance Illuminated 2020. He notes that that while clearly not advocating war, he and others behind this project recognize that when the call to arms came, it was met. Yet they, and so many others would be the first to say they pray for peace. But that aside, they... and we... must not fail to remember and honor those who have served and continue to serve our nation... and the world.
And here are a few more of her paintings...
I highly encourage you to check these out by going to... www.bac-lac.gc.ca and typing in ...Mary Lamb Bobak. This should lead you to not only her paintings but also a daily diary which is fascinated. It covers several years and includes her sketches on most pages and explanations about the events of the day.
While there you can also type in my mother's maiden name Cathryne H (Blackley) Armstrong to see several of her paintings, though these are not official artist paintings.
I attended the first showing of the Remembrance Illuminated 2020 program and stood in the cold and rain throughout this most impressive production. The efforts of those involved should not go unnoticed. But a clearer night surely should have been arranged... hehe
I shall return next Sunday to give more on my Remembrance activities on November 11th this year.
Hope will join me then,