We Were There, Over There

A group of vol­un­teers goes above and beyond to keep his­tory alive

More of Our Canada - - Contents - by Ryleigh Carr,

A group of vol­un­teers with a pas­sion for his­tory, dis­play and pre­serve our mil­i­tary her­itage.

In Saska­toon, housed in the base­ment of Nu­tana Le­gion Branch 362, is a unique and amaz­ing col­lec­tion. For­merly known as the Ar­ti­facts Room of Mil­i­tary His­tory, now called the Saska­toon Mu­seum of Mil­i­tary Ar­ti­facts, it is staffed and op­er­ated by vol­un­teers who have a pas­sion for his­tory and are ded­i­cated to dis­play­ing and pre­serv­ing our mil­i­tary her­itage.

In 2014, in hon­our of the 100th an­niver­sary of World War I, vol­un­teers Shirley Timp­son, John Davis, Eric Story, Sam Derk­sen and I de­cided to do some­thing that would hon­our this his­toric mile­stone.

Our project was called, “We Were There... Over There.“We cre­ated a fic­tional World War I vet­eran, giv­ing him a voice in the form of a first-per­son mono­logue. He was ac­com­pa­nied by a nurs­ing sis­ter, who also had a mono­logue, both of which were writ­ten by Shirley.

In its col­lec­tion, the le­gion has a World War I sol­dier’s tu­nic, cap and pants but we were lack­ing a nurs­ing sis­ter’s uni­form. Through the gen­eros­ity of Lynne Yelich, then the Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for Black­strap, Sask., a seam­stress was en­gaged to sew a replica of the uni­form.

With ac­tors por­tray­ing the World War I char­ac­ters, our group be­gan show­cas­ing our trib­ute, tak­ing it to her­itage fairs, li­braries and din­ner the­atres. Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Canada pro­vided fund­ing for hon­o­rar­i­ums and travel.

Our goal was to keep en­gag­ing the pub­lic with the re­al­ity of the ex­pe­ri­ences of those who served, so that their sac­ri­fices would al­ways be re­mem­bered. ■

Ac­tors Eric Story and Ken­dal Mcinnes por­trayed a World War I sol­dier and nurs­ing sis­ter at var­i­ous com­mem­o­ra­tive sites in Saska­toon.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.