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EMSB MARKS REMEMBRANCE DAY OVER A TWO-WEEK PERIOD

MONTREAL, NOVEMBER 12, 2013 – With ceremonies in both the youth and adult sectors, the English Montreal School Board marked Remembrance Day at its schools and centres.

The following EMSB schools held Remembrance Day observances on Monday, November 4:

• St. Dorothy Elementary School (8961 6th Avenue) in Cartierville observed Remembrance Day with an assembly taking the format of the official ceremony in Ottawa. Featuring a guest speaker and piper from the Black Watch regiment, students observes two minutes of silence, which was followed by presentations and reflections on the sacredness of life.

• LaurenHill Academy Junior campus (2355 Decelles) in St. Laurent commemorated Remembrance Day with a military speaker, the laying of seven wreathes by the military representative, the principal, staff and students. The ceremony concluded with a memorial for all the Canadian personnel who died in Afghanistan, the reading of In Flanders Fields, a minute of silence, the last post and reveille.

• Perspectives High School (7770 20th Avenue)in St. Michel observed Remembrance Day with an assembly that included Major Corporal Kevin Vincent of the Armed Forces. Major Corporal Vincent shared his experience as a young soldier in Afghanistan.

• James Lyng High School held a Peace and Remembrance ceremony where Afghanistan and World War II veterans, and a Holocaust survivor were all invited guest speakers. They each shared their personal stories and emphasized the importance of peace as a method of conflict resolution. The ceremonies featured various musical performances including a Lament performed on the bagpipes, the Last Post performed on the trumpet and the performance of O Canada. Other students helped out by reading in Flanders Fields and some read original Remembrance Day short stories that they themselves had written.

The following EMSB schools held Remembrance Day observances on Tuesday, November 5:

• John Paul I High School (8455 Pré Laurin) in St. Leonard held “Canadian and Proud” a citizenship and Remembrance Day ceremony. The purpose of this celebration was to keep alive the achievements and sacrifices made by those who served Canada in times of war and peace, to engage communities in remembrance of these achievements and sacrifices as well as to promote an understanding of their significance in Canadian life as we know it today. Former EMSB Director General Mr. Antonio Lacroce, Rev. Darryl G. Gray at Imani Family Full Gospel Church, and Mr. Alex Hall, 92 year old British Navy Leading Seamen were among the speakers. Citizenship Judge Barbara Seal presides over the ceremony. Other guests includes: Ms. Angela Mancini, Chairman English Montreal School Board Council of Commissioners, Ms. Paola Miniaci, Deputy Director General Division 1, Ms. Dora Cesta, Assistant Director of Student Services, Ms. Irene Miller, Spiritual Community Animation Consultant, Ms. Carole Jacques, Director of Services for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Montreal Division, Color Sergeant Steve Leroux, member of the Canadian Grenadier Guards, and Daniel Castonguay, Police Officer from Station 41.

• Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School (6855 Cartier) in Rosemount observes Remembrance Day with in class presentations. Students observes two minutes of silence, which will be followed reflections on the sacredness of life.

• LaurenHill Academy Senior campus (2505 Cote Vertu) in St. Laurent commemorated Remembrance Day with a military speaker, the laying of seven wreathes by the military representative, the principal, staff and students. The ceremony concluded with a memorial for all the Canadian personnel who died in Afghanistan, the reading of In Flanders Fields, a minute of silence, the last post and reveille.

• Pierre de Coubertin Elementary School (4700 Lavoisier) in St. Leonard held three separate assemblies of Peace and Remembrance. Lieutenant Ntam Nda-Ngye was be present for each assembly.

• Royal Vale School held a Peace and Remembrance ceremony where Afghanistan and World War II veterans, and a Holocaust survivor were all invited guest speakers. They each shared their personal stories and emphasized the importance of peace as a method of conflict resolution. The ceremonies featured various musical performances including a Lament performed on the bagpipes, the Last Post performed on the trumpet and the performance of O Canada by the Royal Vale Glee club accompanied by a Grade 3 student on piano. Other students helped out by reading in Flanders Fields and some read original Remembrance Day short stories that they themselves had written.

The following EMSB schools held Remembrance Day observances on Wednesday, November 6:

• Dante School (6090 Lachenaie) in St. Leonard commemorated Remembrance Day with the help of Secondary 4 and 5 International Baccalaureate students from Laurier Macdonald High School. These senior students presented the lives of their family members during World War II and how they fought for their freedom and struggled in an unfamiliar land called Canada. These students were accompanied by Canadian War Veterans and Canadian Forces Members who shared their heartfelt testimonies and memories. Representing the Canadian forces, past and present were Alex Hall, Veteran; Color Sergeant Steve Leroux, Lieutenant Anhorn, and Corporal Wasburn.

• Parkdale Elementary School (1475 Deguire) in St. Laurent observed Remembrance Day with an assembly that included students singing songs of peace and hope. Students read reflections on the sacredness of life. Two minutes of silence were observed while a piper played the last post.

• Leonardo Da Vinci Academy (12025 Andre Dumas) in R.D.P. held three separate assemblies of Peace and Remembrance. Lieutenant Sebastien St. Jean was be present for each assembly.

• Elizabeth High School (1741 de Biencourt) held their Remembrance Day ceremony at 11:00 am. They received a presentation by PO2 Cathy Paquette, who worked as a Boatswain for the Canadian Navy from 2000 to 2005. Afterwards she took on the role of Chief Clerk for the Minister of National Defense in Ottawa, until returning to Montreal in 2012, where she is now responsible for analyzing policies and auditing military units throughout Quebec.

• St. Monica Elementary School held a Peace and Remembrance ceremony where Afghanistan and World War II veterans, and a Holocaust survivor were all invited guest speakers. They each shared their personal stories and emphasized the importance of peace as a method of conflict resolution. The ceremonies featured various musical performances including a Lament performed on the bagpipes, the Last Post performed on the trumpet and the performance of O Canada. Other students helped out by reading in Flanders Fields and some read original Remembrance Day short stories that they themselves had written.

• Remembrance Day is not just one day or one minute at Marymount Academy.

On November 6, the students at Marymount joined together in assembly and heard first hand what it was like to be sent away from home, from your family, from everything you knew, straight into the ravages of war.

“...happened to be smoking a cigarette at the time. And we hopped out, got into this slit trench and a bomb went off so close that I couldn't see daylight. It blew the cigarette right out of my mouth. And I thought, good heavens, this is the end of the war.”

Mr. Alan Canavan is a World War Two veteran who enlisted in the summer of 1941. He served overseas during the Normandy and the Northwest Europe campaign with the intelligence section of the 7th Reconnaissance Regiment (17th Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars), the reconnaissance unit of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division.

Now, at the age of 92, Canavan faced the assembly of students and told tthem of the horrors of being in a foreign country with bombs falling around you, eating rationed food - a small pat of margarine straight into the mouth because he had nothing to spread it on - watching his friends fall beside him, but having to move on. In one case, he was severely reprimanded for using his own bandage to bind the wound of another soldier - “I did what I felt I had to do”.

The room was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. Canavan brought the realities of war to the students, dispelling any thought of grandeur and heroism. When he came home to Canada, unlike in the US, there was no special welcome, no parades, he went right back to work.

The lessons learned by the students from Canavan’s talk are invaluable. They bear repeating, and should not be forgotten, for the students are the future.

Remembering our Veterans continues with official ceremonies on November 11, 2013, in the school and with some students attending Remembrance Day in Ottawa.


The following EMSB schools held Remembrance Day observances on Thursday, November 7:

• Vincent Massey Collegiate (5925 – 27th Avenue) in Rosemount marked the 70th anniversary of the Canadian Forces involvement in the Italian Campaign (Operation Husky) of World War II and the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. Over 30 Canadian and Italian Veterans and dignitaries, including the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Mrs. Giovanna Giordano, President of the Italians abroad in Canada were present. 
The ceremony also marked the beginning of a project entitled “The Spirit of Remembering, Then and Now”. Since May 2013, students from Vincent Massey Collegiate (VMC) have been involved with a project initiated by their school Spiritual Care, Community Involvement and Guidance Animator (SCA) Mr. Rocco Speranza and teacher Mr. Gagnon.

Entitled “Remembering the Forgotten Heroes Then and Now,” the project aimed to teach the youth about leadership, citizenship, remembrance, and community.

The first aspect of the project was the creation of red maple leaves, which would be placed on remembrance markers, which were placed in Sicily, marking the anniversary of Operation Husky.

Continuing with the project, both Mr. Speranza and Mr. Gagnon decided to mark the 70th anniversary of Operation Husky and the 60th anniversary of the Korean War by holding a commemorative ceremony and creating a cenotaph at the school. A joint project between Mountainview High School and VMC led to creation of 4 x 4 wooden symbols for the cenotaph.

On Thursday November 7, 2013, VMC Held its trilingual youth commemorative ceremony and youth forum entitled: “The Spirit of Remembering Then and Now Remembering the Forgotten Heroes.” Students were joined by The Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada, the Honourable Julian Fantino and other guests including veterans and present members of the Canadian Forces.

The school and students paid homage to the fallen and those who returned from battles and conflicts and in their honour. Additionally, they unveiled its 4 x 6 foot stone cenotaph with the centerpiece being a wood cutout of the replica of the Korean War pin on one side and the outline of Italy on the other side. They also unveiled three wooden poppies (4 x 4).

This project is still ongoing thanks to Mr. Gagnon and his Secondary 1 art class, who have agreed to continue working on this project with Mr. Speranza. This project and the art will service as a reminder of the sacrifices made by our Canadian Veterans to future generations.

Mr. Speranza and Mr. Gagnon note that our veterans have not forgotten us and it is up to us not to forget them.

• Sinclair Laird Elementary School (8380 Wiseman) in Park Extension observed Remembrance Day with an assembly taking the format of the official ceremony in Ottawa. Veterans Mr. Raymond Playair and Mr. Christian Rose were in attendance.

• Dalkeith School (7951 Dalkeith) in Anjou commemorated Remembrance Day with the help of Secondary 4 and 5 International Baccalaureate students from Laurier Macdonald High School. These senior students presented the lives of their family members during World War II and how they fought for their freedom and struggled in an unfamiliar land called Canada. These students were accompanied by Canadian War Veterans and Canadian Forces Members who shared their heartfelt testimonies and memories. Representing the Canadian forces, past and present were Alex Hall, Veteran; Color Sergeant Steve Leroux, Lieutenant Anhorn, and Corporal Wasburn.

• Carlyle International School (109 Carlyle) in Town of Mount Royal joined together to remember those who were killed on the defending Canada and freedom. The ceremony involved a military speaker, the laying of seven wreathes by the military representative, the principal, staff and students. Finally, the ceremony concluded with a memorial for all the Canadian personnel who died in Afghanistan, the reading of In Flanders Fields, a minute of silence, the last post and reveille.

• John Caboto Elementary School (8955 Meunier) in Ahuntsic observed Remembrance Day with an assembly taking the format of the official ceremony in Ottawa. World War II veteran Alan Canavan was on hand. Students observed two minutes of silence, conducted a candle ceremony, followed by presentations and reflections on the sacredness of life. This gathering was intended to provide students with the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of courage and sacrifice.

• Honoré Mercier School (8280 Nantes) in St. Leonard held three separate assemblies of Peace and Remembrance.

• Lester B Pearson High School (11575 P.M. Favier) in Montreal North received a presentation by Bombardier Didier Dupuis, who is part of the 2nd Regiment Artillery Militia. He has served Canada domestically. Secondary 4 and 5 received a presentation by Lt (N) Patrick Cameron who served as a MARS officer of the Royal Canadian Navy. He has served Canada domestically and internationally.

• St. Gabriel Elementary School held a Peace and Remembrance ceremony where Afghanistan and World War II veterans, and a Holocaust survivor were all invited guest speakers. They each shared their personal stories and emphasized the importance of peace as a method of conflict resolution. The ceremonies featured various musical performances including a Lament performed on the bagpipes, the Last Post performed on the trumpet and the performance of O Canada. Other students helped out by reading in Flanders Fields and some read original Remembrance Day short stories that they themselves had written.

• Roslyn Elementary School in Westmount observed Remembrance Day with an assembly taking the format of the official ceremony in Ottawa.

• Elizabeth Ballantyne Elementary School in Montreal West observed Remembrance Day with an assembly taking the format of the official ceremony in Ottawa.

The following EMSB schools held Remembrance Day observances on Friday, November 8:

• Laurier Macdonald High School (7355 Viau) in St. Leonard held a special Remembrance Day ceremony that bridged the past, present and future by honouring Canadian Veterans, Canadian Forces and Holocaust survivors. Students were able to partake in six intimate and interactive sessions with both Holocaust Survivors and the Canadian Forces members. This marked the fifth time that Laurier Macdonald has brought Holocaust survivors, Canadian Veterans and Canadian Peacekeepers together in one panel to share their experiences. Students were able to experience firsthand accounts of the war through the eyes and stories of Laurier Macdonald’s honoured guests. Representing the Canadian forces, past and present were be Alex Hall, Veteran; Color Sergeant Steve Leroux, Lieutenant Anhorn, and Corporal Wasburn. Joining students to share their experiences and memories from the Holocaust were be: Elie Dawang, Margrit Stenge, and Ernest Ehrmann. The intimate and interactive program will culminate with a six month long holocaust sensitization program with the Montreal Holocaust Museum. Over 300 students from Laurier Macdonald High School History classes are projected to visit the Montreal Holocaust Museum from November 2013 to April 2014. Special emphasis was placed on the hope and survival of the children of the Jewish Ghettos. Also a special focus placed on the children of Holocaust survivors who, in the name of human and children’s rights, keep the memory alive for future generations.

• Mackay Centre School (3500 Decarie) observed Remembrance Day with an assembly taking the format of the official ceremony in Ottawa with veterans Mr. Don Racicot and Mr. Christian Rose.

• John F. Kennedy High School (3030 Villeray) in St. Michel observed Remembrance Day with two assemblies taking the format of the official ceremony in Ottawa. The ceremonies included honored guests from the military, veterans, a flag party and Black Watch cadet representatives. The ceremony was comprised of music, readings, reflections, poetry, O Canada and a moment of silence. This gathering was intended to provide students with the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of courage and sacrifice.
• Nesbitt Elementary School (6108 – 8th Avenue) in Rosemount observed Remembrance Day with an assembly that included students singing songs of peace and hope. Students read reflections on the sacredness of life. Two minutes of silence were observed while a piper played the last post.

• General Vanier Elementary School (4555 Buies) in St. Leonard held one school-wide assembly of Peace and Remembrance at 11:00. Sergeant Philip Wolfson was present for the assembly.

• Gerald McShane Elementary School (6111 Maurice Dupplessis) in Montreal North received a presentation by Captain Christian Rose, a retired member of the 22nd Royal Regiment, Infantry. He worked for 20 years, serving domestically as part of the military's civilian division. He helped protect Canadians against such disasters as floods and the 1998 Ice Storm.

The following EMSB schools held Remembrance Day observances on Monday, November 11:

• Dunrae Gardens Elementary School (235 Dunrae) in Town of Mount Royal observed Remembrance Day with an assembly taking the format of the official ceremony in Ottawa with two special veterans and members of the Dunrae Gardens family. Mr. Spanos, the grandfather of Grade 5 student Maria Spanos and Mr. Spividis, the father of Grade 5 student, Costa Mandelo were in attendance. Additionally, the lunch monitor, Mrs. Harrison, spoke to the children. Five of Mrs. Harrison’s brothers fought in World War II, with one being killed at the age of 22.

• Our Lady of Pompei Elementary School (9944 St. Michel) in Montreal North welcomed commander Luc Morin.

• Edward Murphy School in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve took part in the official Remembrance Day ceremony at Longue Pointe Military Base. Students read in Flanders Fields and Au Champs D’Honneur. Additionally, students will laid a wreath.

• Lester B Pearson High School (11575 P.M. Favier) in Montreal North watched video excerpts taken from the National Film Board documentary "The Van Doos in Afghanistan" (2011).

• The Marymount Adult Education Centre held its first Remembrance Day ceremony since relocating to our community a number of years ago. Organized by Vice-Principal Joan MacMillan, the program began with a piper from the Canadian Legion marching into the room with senior staff and the two guest speakers. One student recited On Flander`s Field while another led the audience in the singing of O Canada.

Students and staff were treated to two firsthand accounts from war: one veteran from WWII, L. Hugh Martin, and another from the Vietnam War, former English Montreal School Board commissioner Joseph Petraglia.

Mr. Martin joined the British Army in 1942. He was called to enlist at that time and was placed in an army division that worked with heavy weapons such as cannons and large guns. Mr Martin went on from there to apply to a newly formed glider pilot regiment. These glider planes, with no engines, were known as the “silent wings” and were used to bring supplies to their men. But like all missions anything can be expected. Mr. Martin shared some fascinating stories and even pulled out some maps and a model plain to better explain the situation.

Mr. Petraglia is a native of Long Island, N.Y. He served as a platoon sergeant in the Vietnam War. Back in the 70’s a platoon sergeant’s job was very different than it would be today. Today troops would have previously prepared dug in bunkers in the ground and have helicopter support. Back then troops would walk all day, carry everything they owned on their backs, and dig out their own trench.

Mr. Petraglia suffered a permanent hearing loss as a result of his two combat tours of duty. He said that the war and his military experience, "had a profound effect on his whole life, mostly for the better. The military teaches you duty, honour, country. The success in my life has come partly because of my military service."

Mr. Petraglia brought his combat helmet and passed it around the room. Students had many questions, such as whether he was ever injured. Except for his hearing loss, caused by the constant sound of gunfire in one particular 24 hour period, Mr. Petraglia said that he was once shot near the knee by neither he nor any of his platoon members suffered anything serious. “I had two tours of duty in Vietnam and I am fortunate to have never lost any members of my troops,” said Mr. Petraglia, who received a bronze star for bravery.

• Westmount Park Elementary School observed Remembrance Day with an assembly taking the format of the official ceremony in Ottawa.

• Carlyle Elementary School students created and planted poppies for Remembrance Day. Mrs. Liz Leaman, school commissioner, and Mr. John Miller, TMR Councillor were also in attendance. The idea of creating and planting poppies in front of Carlyle School was brought forth by Liz Leaman at a recent Governing Board meeting. This was undertaken by all the students of Carlyle who remembered the fallen soldiers by creating their own poppy field in front of Carlyle.

The following EMSB schools will be holding Remembrance Day observances on Tuesday, November 12:

• Michelangelo International Elementary School (9360 – 5th Street) in R.D.P. received a presentation by Lt (N) Patrick Cameron, who served as a MARS officer of the Royal Canadian Navy. He has served Canada domestically and internationally.


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Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213
E-mail: mcohen@emsb.qc.ca