New monument pays tribute to servicemen and women

Gordon McRae shakes hands with Second World War veteran Alf Stulberg shortly after the unveiling of the monument in front of Davidson Town Hall on July 1.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — More than 600 men and women from Davidson and district have served their country in uniform since the start of the First World War.

Their names will live on, engraved on a granite monument that was unveiled July 1 during the town’s Canada 150 festivities.

Roughly 150 people were present for the ceremony on Saturday afternoon outside Davidson Town Hall, where the monument was installed on June 19.

Gordon McRae, president of Branch 51 of the Royal Canadian Legion, said the idea for the monument originated close to a decade ago.

He and the late Fran Stone had discussed building a monument to all those who had served — complementing the existing cenotaph, which honours the fallen of the First and Second World Wars.

McRae began working on the project in earnest after Stone died in August 2014.

“These names shall never disappear, but will go down in history forever,” he said during the ceremony, amidst blistering heat.

Joining McRae for the unveiling was Alf Stulberg, the town’s last remaining Second World War veteran, and Alf’s grandson Trevor Bessey.

Stulberg, who will turn 96 in August, thanked those who had attended the ceremony, adding, “It’s a good thing we have Gordon here to keep us going.”

Gladys Junop served as emcee for the program, which began with the singing of “O Canada,” led by Geena Heinrich.

Comrade Wayne Morrison directed the colour party carrying the flags, with guests invited to follow as a parade behind them.

The group marched eastward down Washington Avenue past the monument, turning around at the end of the block and walking back.

Lavonne Lyke spoke on behalf of Arm River MLA Greg Brkich, who had left following the Saturday parade to attend another event within his constituency. She expressed his thanks to the Legion and its members.

Mayor Tyler Alexander also spoke briefly, expressing appreciation to McRae in particular, for his efforts in keeping the Legion branch active in the face of declining membership.

Atel Concrete, Ltd., of Saskatoon donated the concrete for the base and a short sidewalk leading up to it, which was installed by Tom Vanghel.

For the full story, please see the July 10 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

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