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Shelburne students ‘Juno Beach Ambassadors’

June 11, 2015   ·   0 Comments

Eight Centre Dufferin District High School (CDDHS) history students proudly represented Dufferin Veterans as Youth Ambassadors at the Juno Beach Commemorative Ceremonies June 6th and 7th, along with four students from Orangeville District Secondary School and four from Westside Secondary School. The enthusiastic youth left for Europe accompanied by twelve adults last week, including honoured Veteran Cpl Bill Power. As is the tradition, the students presented their Dufferin Veteran biographies and unveiled 25 commemorative bricks, honouring mostly Dufferin Veterans, at the Juno Beach Centre.
CDDHS History teacher Neil Orford, founder of the Battlefield Tour, says the Dufferin youth will also be official Youth Ambassadors at ceremonies taking place at the Canadian War Cemetery at Beny Sur Mer, and at Abbaye d’Ardenne where twenty Canadian soldiers were executed and buried by the Nazis after D-Day. Three chaperones from CDDHS including Neil Orford, Shannon Rankin, and Asher Kirk Elleker are accompanying the students along with Peacetime Veteran Cpl William Power who has recently retired from the Forces. Veteran Jack Mason, 92, who flew on D-Day, came to bid the Dufferin students farewell with a speech as they started on their journey from Orangeville June 1st.
The European presentations are the summation of studies conducted by the students in the Digital Historian Project at the Dufferin County Museum and Archives (DCMA) over the last semester. As well as the bricks for Dufferin Veterans to be placed at the Juno Memorial, Orford said, “There were special requests that we have granted, to honour some ‘external’ Veterans with bricks.” At the various ceremonies, the students have earned the honour of being “readers, greeters, and wreath-layers.” The students will also be reading the Commitment to Remember in both English and French:
Commitment to Remember
They were young, as we are young,
They served, giving freely of themselves.
To them, we pledge, amid the winds of time,
To carry their torch and never forget.
We will remember them.
The Battlefield Tour includes visits to war cemeteries in Ypres, Belgium and the Flanders Field Museum, as well as French cemeteries for those who fell from Canada at Vimy Ridge, Juno Beach, Beny-Sur-Mer, Omah Beach, and Dieppe in France. The students will also experience the thrill of Parisian life, touring the city of Paris, visiting Versaille, Champs-Elysees, Versailles, and the Eiffel Tower. The students are expected to land back in Toronto on June 11th.
Appreciation and congratulations go out to Dufferin’s Youth Ambassadors who so proudly represent Dufferin County : Manojh Balakumaran, Avery Bettonvil, Elena Bramanis, Austin Bridger, Taylor De Brouwer, Ajay Harripersad, Tyler Hart, Mackenzie Haughton, Hannah Little, Karissa Matson, Jared Moore, Taylor Rutledge, Abby Scott, Gertrude Tilson and Mariellen Vanska.

By Marni Walsh

         

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