STRATHROY, ON, Aug. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Bev Shipley, Member of Parliament for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, on behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today participated in the unveiling of the General Sir Arthur Currie Memorial in Strathroy. The memorial recognizes the contribution of the Canadian Corps and its Commander, General Sir Arthur Currie, during the First World War. The life-sized bronze statue is located near the town's existing cenotaph, in front of the complex housing the Strathroy Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery.
Born in Strathroy, General Sir Arthur Currie was the first Canadian to attain the rank of full general. In 1917, he became the first Canadian commander of the four divisions of the unified Canadian Corps of the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War.
Today's unveiling and dedication ceremony coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of the First World War and the official launch of Canada's World Wars Commemoration period. Until 2020, the Government of Canada will commemorate and honour all of the Canadian men and women who bravely served our country during the First and Second World Wars.
For more information on Veterans Affairs Canada's commemorative activities and programs, please visit veterans.gc.ca.
- The Strathroy Middlesex Museum was approved for $50,000 of funding toward the memorial through the Veterans Affairs Canada Community War Memorial Program (CWMP).
- Across the country, there are more than 6,000 cenotaphs/monuments dedicated to Canada's war dead and Veterans. #ShowYouRemember
- The period from 2014 to 2020 marks the centennial of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War.
"Our government is proud to support memorials across our country, as they stand to honour the service of Canada's Veterans. Monuments, like this one, ensure that we continue to remember and honour the great sacrifices and tremendous achievements of those who have and continue to serve our country with distinction."
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs
"Today we are here to recognize and also honour the significant contribution of General Sir Arthur Currie with the unveiling of the commemorative bronze statue of him at the Strathroy Cenotaph. General Currie grew up in Strathroy and was recognized as the first-ever Canadian General. Canadians never lost a battle under his command, which reflects the incredible strategic leadership that he had. I want to also thank all members of the Currie Memorial Project Committee, the Army Cadet League of Canada, the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc and all volunteers who became partners in this project. I am pleased that our federal government joined the partnership to make this initiative happen. It is because of their efforts that we are here today just four years after the planning and fundraising began."
Bev Shipley, Member of Parliament for Lambton–Kent–Middlesex
"The Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc truly values the partnership of the Government of Canada in making this project possible. The contribution received through the Community War Memorial program delivered pivotal support for the fundraising efforts of community volunteers, who worked tirelessly over the last five years to achieve this important monument. The statue will serve as a source of community pride for generations to come, recognizing the remarkable achievements of General Sir Arthur Currie, and the valour and sacrifice of all Canadians who served in the First World War."
Mayor Joanne Vanderheyden, Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Barbara Mottram, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Veterans of Affairs, 613-996-4649; Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468