Yes, thanks to my readers and my close perusal of the local press, I do know all the best coming events. Haven’t I told you about church suppers and church services and down-home Christmas events, about garden tours and meet-the-author events, and so on and so on? And now I have another excellent coming event to tell you about.
It’s actually coming in the very near future: this very Saturday (the summer solstice!), June 21, at 10 a.m. at the Madoc Public Library. It is an event where you can learn about, and pay tribute to, the experiences and the sacrifices of local soldiers in the First World War. (This year, 2014, being the one hundredth anniversary of the start of what they then called “the war to end all wars,” which sadly it was most assuredly not.)
Now listen: do you remember my post about Winfred (Fred) Glover, a young teacher from just up the road in Queensborough who enlisted for the Great War, who experienced hell and mud and camaraderie and homesickness while serving, and who wrote home to his family about all of it? And who never did make it back from the trenches of France? If not, you can read it here; and I hope it might make you realize how amazing, and how close to home, the stories of the soldiers from our part of the world are.
And that’s just what’s going to be talked about this Saturday at the Madoc Library. Local residents are being asked to bring in and share any memorabilia they may have of family members who served in, or had a connection to, that war; there will be some fascinating stories and artifacts to come out of this.
I got some advance notice (thanks of course to a reader) about some of those stories and artifacts: “A touching love story of my great-aunt Alma interrupted by war and death;” “a fabulous collection of sheet music from the Great War era…”
According to the library’s website, there will also be some special guest speakers (one of whom, I happen to know, will be the remarkable nonagenarian physician, veteran, former MPP and military historian Charles Godfrey) – and light refreshments. (For the uninitiated: refreshments are always good in the Central Hastings County area.)
So there you go. Raymond and I will be at the Madoc Library this Saturday morning, because we are always up for local stories and local history. And because it’s up to us – all of us – to share those stories, and to keep them alive.
And also this: because the sacrifices of people like Queensborough’s Winfred Glover must never be forgotten.