Significant anniversary for Argentia Naval Station honoured in Placentia
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.
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.