A Vimy Ridge memorial plaque designed and donated by the Sault’s Lock City Monuments, in a Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 initiative, was officially unveiled at a ceremony held Saturday at Greenwood Cemetery.
Local leaders, including Sault MP Terry Sheehan, Sault MPP Ross Romano, Sault Acting Mayor Lisa Vezeau-Allen, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25’s 2nd Vice-President Ron Rouleau and members of the Algoma Veterans Association laid wreaths at the site where the plaque is now mounted.
Both the Legion’s band and that of 2310 Army Cadets took part in the ceremony, joined by local air and naval cadets.
Lock City Monuments owner/operator Dave Cartmill (whose father Raymond fought and survived D-Day in the Second World War) and son/co-worker Craig Cartmill attended.
‘The Vimy Oak’s Story’ plaque reads:
“The Battle of Vimy Ridge in France, April 9th through 12th, 1917, is considered one of the defining events in the history of our nation. Where Allied troops had struggled and failed, more than 15,000 Canadians, fighting as a unified force, overcame great odds and eventually captured the Ridge at a cost of some 10,600 casualties. After the battle, Lieutenant Leslie Miller of Scarborough, Ontario, serving with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, gathered up a handful of acorns from a partially buried oak on the Ridge. He sent the acorns home to his family with instructions to plant them. Today a number of these majestic oaks are still thriving. In January 2014 the Vimy Oaks Legacy Corporation decided to repatriate offspring of these descendant oaks back to Vimy Ridge, whose oak trees had all been destroyed in the First World War. These Vimy Oak saplings were planted adjacent to The Canadian National Vimy Memorial site in 2017 and 2018. The Vimy Oaks Legacy Corporation made Vimy oak saplings available to be planted at commemorative sites throughout Canada to honour the soldiers who fought at Vimy Ridge and other battles of the First World War. The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 obtained one of these saplings, planted it in September 2017 and dedicated it on April 8, 2018. May this oak grow tall and proud in memory of all our brave men and women who serve this great country of Canada.”
That particular Vimy oak tree, dedicated at Greenwood Cemetery in a separate ceremony held last April was purchased with the help of a group of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 patrons.