(Robert Halberstadt, President of the Goulbourn Township Historical Society, lays the Society’s wreath on Remembrance Day at the Stittsville Cenotaph. The temporary memorial plaque signage is to the right. Photo: John Bottriell)
On Monday, November 11, 2019, a new memorial plaque was on display next to the Cenotaph for the Stittsville Remembrance Day ceremony.
Robert Halberstadt, President of the Goulbourn Township Historical Society (GTHS), had this to say on the history of the project. “The plaque commemorates thirty-nine members of Canada’s armed forces, all from the Stittsville area, who gave their lives in the two World Wars and the War in Afghanistan. The plaque represents the vision of GTHS member Valerie Wright, who conceived the memorial, methodically researched local history files, and organized a GTHS sub-committee of volunteers to see the project through to completion. The committee plans to install a permanent version of the plaque in the vicinity of the Cenotaph sometime in the future.”
(The temporary memorial plaque displayed at the Remembrance Day ceremony as part of the Goulbourn Township Historical Society’s memorial plaque project. Photo: Stittsville Central)
Many thanks go to Edna Marlow, who organized and led the subcommittee with help from Fran McCarthy, Joan Darby, Judith Richardson, and Bob Halberstadt who worked diligently to see Valerie’s vision executed.
Edna Marlow, who led the sub-committee, conveyed the following remarks on the project. “We should sincerely thank Valerie Wright who initiated this project and we all got onboard. It has been a wonderful journey looking through the records of these brave people who were once part of our community of Goulbourn and the Stittsville area. These men gave of their lives and the Society is pleased that we could pay homage to each one of these local heroes in such a way.”.
This article would not be complete without the thoughts of Valerie herself, the initiator of this all-important remembrance endeavour. Valerie shared her thoughts with us today, “I was so proud and happy this week to see the photos of Remembrance Day 2019 taken at the Stittsville Cenotaph. The achievement of the Goulbourn Historical Society sub-committee in putting up a temporary well-researched list of Stittsville’s war dead is so noteworthy. As someone who was in on the project at the beginning in 2017, when I first realized that there was no list of Stittsville names at our Cenotaph, as exists for other war memorials around, such as in Richmond and Carp, I congratulate the committee for its work and look forward to a more permanent memorial to be completed later.”
Valerie mentioned some other worthy of note research that she has worked on regarding the many ‘Home Children’ who came to our area from the UK to work on local farms. “In doing the research I contributed to the list of war dead project, I have become interested in those “Home Children” who came to our country as orphans without family from the UK, who worked on farms in Stittsville, some as young as 11, and who eventually ‘signed on’ to serve for Canada in the First World War…as far as I can find out, as many as five from Stittsville died during that war, several before they were 21. They deserve remembrance.”.
(Sub-committee members of the GTHS memorial plaque project. L to R: Robert Halberstadt, President of GTHS; Edna Marlow; Joan Darby; Fran McCarthy. Missing from the photo: Valerie Wright and Judith Richardson. Photo: John Bottriell)
The Goulbourn Township Historical Society is honoured to financially support the memorial plaque project.
The sub-committee also wishes to thank: Tom Louks and the Richmond Legion for their donation of a permanent sign. Councillor Glen Gower, Jennifer Shepherd and the City of Ottawa for their support; Peter Holmes and Lorraine Satchell for their knowledge and helpful advice and Stittsville Glass & Sign Co. Ltd. for creating the plaque.
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