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VINCENT MASSEY STUDENTS SKYPE WITH FEDERAL MINISTER OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

MONTREAL, DECEMBER 16, 2014 – Students from the  Remembrance Committee of Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount took part in an historic and educational Skype session with the Canada’s  Minster of Veterans Affairs, The Honourable Julian Fantino and two World War II Veterans, Sheridan Edward Atkinson and Joseph Stewart Egglestone.

The Skype session, which lasted for 45 minutes, happened while the Minister and veterans were in Italy. They were members of a delegation that was taking part in commemorative ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the Italian campaign and the liberation of Italy by the Canadian Forces. The school’s Remembrance Committee is overseen by Spiritual Community Animator Rocco Speranza and teacher Vincent Gagnon

Students from the committee had been working with their Spiritual Community Animator for several months on projects and ceremonies concerning World War II and the Italian campaign. They created pieces of art, painted murals, designed medals, and established a remembrance garden.  

Students had the rare opportunity to hear stories from veterans, ask them questions such as; How did you spend Christmas day back in 1943?, What did you bring back to Canada after the War? And one question was asked of the Minister himself, What is it like being back in Italy 70 years later?.  They youth also shared a few laughs with the veterans. 

"Students and staff at Vincent Massey Collegiate are pleased to have had the opportunity to take part in this once in a lifetime session. It is important that all Canadians, especially our youth, to remember the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and our Veterans - past, present and future,” said Speranza. “I was honoured to join Veterans of the Italian Campaign as they shared personal experiences and memories of their service with students of Vincent Massey Collegiate,” added Minister Fantino, following the Skype chat. “The discussion was an important opportunity for students to learn, first-hand, about the remarkable contributions Canadians made to uphold peace and freedom in Italy 70 years ago.”

"On behalf of Vincent Massey Collegiate, I thank Minister Fantino and Veterans for sharing their personal and profound impressions and Italian Campaign-related experiences through this unique opportunity,” said Principal John Pevec. “In doing so, you have further educated, engaged and validated the commitment and dedication of our students, teachers and support staff in remembering our brave Canadian Veterans and the fallen."

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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