Take the time to visit the Veterans’ Walkway with entrances on Bridge St and Perth St in Almonte. A recent addition to the Veterans’ Park includes a new Memorial Wall. The Almonte Legion and the rest of our community owe a great deal of gratitude and offer a very special thank you to Pat Richards of Richcon Homes, for not only donating the materials but constructing the wall itself. Please take the time to visit the park and see the fine work that has been done.
Engraved black memorial stones can be purchased in memory of past service members at Almonte Branch 240 or by contacting email@example.com or phone 613 256 2142.
The park itself contains hundreds of red maple trees each having been donated over the years recognizing a past service member. Plaques located at the base of each tree contains the names of the service members. 2022 saw an infestation previously known as LDD moths, seemingly decimate the red maples in the park but thankfully they survived and came back to full foliage this year.
A map located in the park identifies each service member and their tree. You may recognize many of the names on this list as streets have been named after them and many of these families still live in the Almonte area. Special thanks to Mississippi Mills Parks & Rec for a great job maintaining the park and recently adding bark mulch to all the trees!
The battle of Vimy Ridge in northern France, April 9th to April 12th 1917, is considered one of the most defining moments of our young country. Where French and British troops struggled and failed, the Canadians overcame great odds and eventually captured the ridge at a cost of 10,000 casualties. Leslie Miller of North Scarborough, Ontario, served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and amidst the carnage and destruction on the battlefield, gathered up a handful of acorns from a partially buried English oak (Quercus robur) on the ridge as a remembrance. He sent the acorns home to his family with the instructions “to plant them in case I don’t return”. In 1919, Lieutenant Miller did return, was given a 25 acre section of his father’s North Scarborough farm and transplanted the oaks along the borders of his woodlot. He named his farm the “Vimy Oaks”. Today, a number of these majestic oaks are thriving in the same but smaller woodlot under the close care of Scarborough Chinese Baptist Church that purchased the farm property in 2002 and after it remained unworked for 30 years. There they built their place of worship without disturbing the woodlot.
January 2014, a group of volunteers, the “Vimy Oaks Legacy Corporation”, decided to repatriate offspring of these descendant oaks back to Vimy Ridge, whose oak trees had all been destroyed in the First World War. Acorns taken were low that year so cuttings were taken from the strongest trees, grafted onto mature Quercus robur rootstock, and raised by NVK Nursery in Dundas Ontario, one of Canada’s premier nurseries. Additional saplings were also planted and raised by NVK Nursery the following year from acorns harvested from the Scarborough Vimy Oaks. This saplings is one of the acorns sent home by Leslie Miller from Vimy Ridge.
Lest we forget.