Prepared and proud to visit Vimy
Students are in the final stages of preparations for their trip to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
The SCI delegation of 26 students and three staff will depart April 5 for a 10-day trip, travelling with students from Collingwood Collegiate, Banting Memorial and Nottawasaga Pines.
“We are proud to be heading to Vimy 100 this year to participate in the Vimy Ridge 100 anniversary. It truly will be a trip of a lifetime. Walking where the soldiers once walked, seeing the land, trenches and tunnels that they had once stepped foot in, will really be a humbling experience,” said Grade 10 student Olivia Walker.
“We would like to thank our Clearview community for all of the support for our fundraising efforts. I would also like to thank teachers, Pam Jeffrey and Janice McLeod, for all of the hard work and dedication they put into making this trip possible. Bon voyage to all of the students across Canada who will be travelling to Vimy. This event will be the largest attended Canadian event during peacetime. I for one am thrilled to be a part of it.”
SCI students in Grades 9-12 will begin their tour in Amsterdam with a visit to the Anne Frank House and the Jewish Museum, then travel to the Vimy region to take part in the 100th anniversary ceremonies.
One of the highlights will be the Simcoe County District School Board wreath laying ceremony at the newly opened Ring of Remembrance, a monument inscribed with the names of all men and women killed in northern France during the First World War.
They will be the first Canadians to hold a remembrance ceremony there.
Last week, the school borrowed the Creemore Legion’s Book of Remembrance, a history of those whose names are inscribed on the Creemore cenotaph.
Students will visit the Nine Elms Military Cemetery, while in Pas de Calais, and each one has been assigned a soldier buried there to research. One of Creemore’s fallen soldiers, John James McKay, is among those buried in the Nine Elms Cemetery.
“The Legion has been very supportive of our trip,” said Stayner Collegiate Institute Teacher-Librarian Pam Jeffrey, one of the staff accompanying the students on the trip. “With the fundraising dinner (which raised $4,200 for the trip), selling windshield washer fluid and answering general questions.”
Walker was given the task of researching Private John Kennedy, from Pictou, Nova Scotia.
“Even though there is not much information available about him I still feel that he deserves to be recognized for his service and sacrifice,” said Walker.
They will visit the Wellington Quarry before crossing the English Channel by ferry from Calais to Dover to visit Dover Castle, do a walking tour of Canterbury and then on to London to see the sights, like Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, the London Eye and Stonehenge.
“I’m excited to be going to Europe to celebrate the once-in-a-lifetime 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Being at the battlefield and visiting the cemeteries will give us a small sense of what it must have been like to be a soldier faced with death so far from home,” said Grade 12 student Jackson Metheral. “I’m also looking forward to experiencing European culture and seeing how different the countryside will be. England is a place I have always wanted to visit. I have never been on a plane before so that is also something that I’m looking forward to.”
As part of fundraising efforts for the trip, the school is still selling windshield washer fluid for $4 per jug or $15 for a case of four. People are welcome to visit the school during regular hours to purchase the washer fluid and call 705-428-2639 for sponsorship opportunities.