The Quest To Ensure All Are Remembered

November 3, 2018.   On November 2, Pieter was invited by the Tryon and Area Historical Association and the South Shore United Church to give a presentation on the Borden-Carleton Cenotaph Research Project.  Those who came out in absolutely terrible weather – Dutch weather as Pieter put it – said they were glad they came.

Among the guests were Senator Mike Duffy, Honourable Jamie Fox, MLA for Borden-Kinkora, John Wales, Assistant Curator of The North Nova Scotia Regimental Museum in Amherst, Nova Scotia, and Reverend Kent Compton of the Free Church of Scotland in Cape Traverse.

CIMG2769 Nov 2 2018 Pieter Mike John Jack

Left to right: Pieter Valkenburg, Senator Mike Duffy, John Wales of The North Nova Scotia Regimental Museum, Jack Sorensen. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Opening remarks and words of welcome were made by the co-hosts, first by Rev Dr Karen MacLeod-Wilkie of South Shore United Church, then by Jack Sorensen, Chair of the Tryon and Area Historical Society.

Jack Sorensen’s warm words of welcome and introduction:

On behalf of the Tryon & Area Historical Society Inc., and as co-host for this presentation, it is an honour for me to bring greetings and welcome you here this evening.

This year being the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI, it is an historical moment as we reflect on the soldiers of our country who have been instrumental in attaining peace for our country.

One of the defining characteristics of a nation is the honour it bestows to those who have served in peace keeping roles.

As a community in this great country of Canada, and at this time of year, we gladly, and honourably, carry out this tradition.

Many of the people Pieter will be talking about were, and still are, our friends and relatives. Often, to soldiers returning after a war, thoughts about battle are best forgotten and less talked about. Pieter and Daria will mention things which are lost to our knowledge, but appropriate for us to know. It is with gratitude that we express our thanks to Pieter and Daria for researching and telling us more about these brave people.

Pieter will also be telling us about a special component of his research. That is the celebration of the life of air force Pilot Elmer Bagnall Muttart, and the memorial panel planned for Muttart and his crew in the Netherlands.

The Tryon and Area Historical Society have partnered with the Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation in The Netherlands to raise funds for this memorial.

Those wishing to make donations for the memorial panel will receive a charitable receipt from our Society, which can be used for income tax purposes. Arlene and I will be at the table at the back of the church to receive your donations, and we thank those who are able to support this worthy cause.

CIMG2760 Nov 2 2018 Pieter at the podium SSUC

Pieter at the podium of South Shore United Church. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

In his opening remarks, Pieter explained that the Borden-Carleton Cenotaph Project “began out of respect for the country that is now my home.  If it wasn’t for the Canadians, I might not be here. I was born in The Netherlands during the Hunger Year of 1944, when there was little or no food.  Our family lived in the countryside and my father spent many nights, sneaking out after curfew, looking to trade items for food to feed his family.  Anyone caught with food by the Nazis had it confiscated.

If you were unlucky enough to live in a city, sometimes tulip bulbs were all that was available to eat.  So many people starved to death that winter. The Canadians not only liberated us from Nazi rule, they saved us from starvation. So this project is one way for me to honour those who lost their lives in war.

Stories of people from the Cenotaph who were from the nearby area were then told.  Everyone was engaged in the presentation as they got wrapped up in the lives of men who lived so long ago.

After the presentation, Pieter was thanked by Lorna Lord, on behalf of the Tryon and Area Historical Association.

CIMG2767 Nov 2 2018 Pieter with Lorna Lord after the presentation

Pieter receives thank you from the Tryon & Area Historical Society from Lorna Lord. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

CIMG2765 Nov 2 2018 Pieter with Jamie Fox and story of Kruger

Hon. Jamie Fox, MLA for Borden-Kinkora (left), and Pieter Valkenburg (right) with the County Line Courier article on WW1 soldier Elmyr Kruger. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

If you have photos or information to share on soldiers from the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion, please let us know. Send us an email to dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on this blog.

UPCOMING PRESENTATION: Pieter has been invited to be a guest speaker at St John The Evangelist Church in Crapaud during their Remembrance Day service, which begins at 10:30 am on Sunday, November 11, 2018.

© Daria Valkenburg

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