Garden honors local Veterans
Last Thursday afternoon, members of the Ayer’s Cliff Royal Canadian Legion, Branch no. 128, gathered at the Legion Hall on Rosedale Avenue for a special event: the inauguration of a new Memorial Garden. Situated in front of the building, growing in the garden, are some very special plants. “Rita Brus, the wife of John Brus who passed away in 2012, brought some Hostas from their garden,” explained Ayer’s Cliff Legion member Terry Loucks. A pink rose bush was transplanted from the garden of the late Veteran Kenneth Blake, who died this year. His daughter Vicky Blake, who lives in Alberta, wrote this on Branch 128’s rather new Facebook page: “What a beautiful garden and such an honour for my dad to be remembered by planting one of his own rose bushes from his own garden.”
Another special rose bush was planted in honour of the 70th anniversary of the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service, also known as the ‘Wrens’. “The Wrens opened the doors for other Canadian women to participate in the military,” said Mr. Loucks. Norman Benoit, the owner of Rose des Champs and a veteran himself, attended the event, donating the “Navy Lady” rosebush which was planted in the garden.
Inaugurated on the same day was a park bench which was donated to the Legion by the town of Ayer’s Cliff. Councilor Peter McHarg, who is also a member of Branch 128, represented the town for the occasion.
Besides Mr. McHarg and Mr. Benoit, the special guests and dignitaries present for the outdoor ceremony, which had to be held rather quickly at 4:00 pm with a rainstorm fast approaching, were: Brigadier-General Pol Bergevin - ret›d; BrigadierGeneral Robin Gagnon - ret’d; Norma McHarg; Branch 128 President, Susan Fletcher-Doust and her husband and veteran, Dr. David Doust; Rita Brus, wife of the late veteran John Brus; and Nellie Hudson, wife of the late veteran Herbert Hudson.
A dance was held in the hall following the ceremony.
People can learn about this active branch’s many events and activities, see photos from special events, and exchange messages on the Ayer’s Cliff Legion’s new Facebook page. “It’s been up for about six months and it already has about 76 ‘likes’. It’s a good promotional tool for the Legion,” said Mr. Loucks.
Comrade Terry Loucks, of Ayer’s Cliff Legion Branch 128, accepts the bench from Ayer’s Cliff councillor Peter McHarg (left).