Sig­nif­i­cant an­niver­sary for Ar­gen­tia Naval Sta­tion hon­oured in Pla­cen­tia

The Compass - - NEWS - BY TOM O’KEEFE edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The Amer­i­can flag was flying in the Town of Pla­cen­tia to rec­og­nize the 75th an­niver­sary of the com­mis­sion­ing of the Ar­gen­tia Naval Sta­tion in 1941.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity held a spe­cial cer­e­mony July 15 in the town square. Amer­i­cans liv­ing lo­cally, vis­i­tors from the Amer­i­can Le­gion as well as many others at­tended.

Start­ing in the Cul­tural Arts Cen­tre, Mayor Wayne Power gave an im­pres­sive talk. The mayor re­called the days of the base op­er­at­ing be­fore it closed in 1994. He pointed out how the Amer­i­cans af­fected the lo­cal cul­tural and the econ­omy and also men­tioned the sac­ri­fice of lo­cal peo­ple who had to move their homes to make room for the base.

While there was hard­ship for peo­ple, many re­al­ized it was to help the war ef­fort. The mayor then in­vited ev­ery­one to go out­side to wit­ness the flag rais­ing cer­e­mony.

Terry Clower and Ge­orge Wal­ter of the Amer­i­can Le­gion raised the Stars and Stripes as members of the lo­cal the­atre group sang the Na­tional An­them.

The group then re­turned to the Arts Cen­tre where re­fresh- ments were served along with the cut­ting of a cake with the im­age of an Amer­i­can flag.

In the so­cial­iz­ing that fol­lowed there was an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to meet, some­times with old friends, and re­call ear­lier days on the base. There was a chance to view ar­ti­facts from the base pro­vided by the Port of Ar­gen­tia and others.

The event re­ally came to life when Dolly Vi­dal (for­merly of Dunville) started singing some of the old songs ac­com­pa­nied on the pi­ano by her hus­band Camildo, who had been a mu­si­cian while serv­ing on the base.

Sev­eral lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions and other agen­cies are work­ing to­gether to es­tab­lish an Amer­i­can Park in Ar­gen­tia. It will in­cor­po­rate two large six­inch guns and a bunker on the side of the main road run­ning through Ar­gen­tia. The guns are be­lieved to be two of only six of their kind re­main­ing in the world.

When ac­tiv­i­ties in the Arts Cen­tre came to a close, sev­eral peo­ple left ex­press­ing their sat­is­fac­tion to the town for a well-run event. Many pic­tures of the event are now dis­played on Facebook pages for the Ar­gen­tia base and Pla­cen­tia.

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

Peo­ple look on as an Amer­i­can flag is raised to hon­our the 75th an­niver­sary of the com­mis­sion­ing of the Ar­gen­tia Naval Sta­tion.

For­mer Dunville res­i­dent Dolly Vi­dal en­ter­tains at the Arts Cen­tre fol­low­ing flag rais­ing event.

Mayor Wayne Power Jr. of Pla­cen­tia ad­dresses an au­di­ence about the his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of the Amer­i­can base.

Terry Clower and Ge­orge Wal­ter of the Amer­i­can Le­gion get ready to raise the Amer­i­can flag.

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