Students from Absorbent Minds Montessori, ages 3 and 4, help plant the memorial oak. (Sam Anderson)

UPDATE: Vimy Ridge memorial oak tree planted in Surrey Centre Cemetery

Sapling descended from oak tree destroyed 100 years ago during the battle of Vimy Ridge

On Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 11), the sacrifice of Canadian soldiers who fought in the First World War, and at Vimy Ridge, was honoured in a small ceremony at Surrey Centre Cemetery in Cloverdale.

An oak sapling, descended from an oak tree destroyed during the battle of Vimy Ridge, was planted to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the battle.

Representatives from the City of Surrey, the Cloverdale Legion and the Surrey Historical Society, as well as Surrey residents and a passing class of preschool children, came together to watch Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag and Surrey Councillor Dave Woods plant the oak.

Speaking on behalf of Surrey City Council, Woods told the group that many Surrey residents enlisted during the First World War, and 23 lost their lives.

Two Surrey men died at Vimy Ridge, a four-day battle that killed or wounded more than 10,600 Canadian soldiers. Harry Triggs, who grew up in Tynehead, and Frank Donald Aish of Hazelmere, lost their lives during that battle.

One hundred years later, Vimy Ridge is remembered as the first time the four Canadian army divisions fought as a unified force, accomplishing what was thought impossible by the British and French forces – they captured the heavily fortified Vimy Ridge, 175 km north of Paris, France.

On Wednesday, the ceremonial shoveling of dirt was lightened by laughter from the crowd, as eight preschool children lined up to take turns helping “plant” the tree by spreading dirt around its base.

The sapling had a long journey to get to Cloverdale. Aldag acquired three saplings from the Vimy Oaks Farm in Ontario, as a living memorial to the centennial anniversary of Vimy Ridge, earlier this year.

The Vimy Oaks were planted by Lt. Col. Leslie Miller in Scarborough, Ontario, with acorns he took as a souvenir from an oak tree destroyed by artillery fire at Vimy Ridge. Saplings from Vimy Oaks Farm were made available this year so Canadians could commemorate the centennial of the battle, and so Aldag obtained three for Cloverdale and Langley.

The saplings were trucked over from Ontario during a very hot, dry summer, said Aldag. They were then taken in by the City of Surrey Parks and Recreation Department, who nurtured them back to health.

“Hopefully it will grow and thrive and become a place that we can remember a very tangible connection to those who died at Vimy Ridge,” said Aldag.

Aldag planted the first sapling during BC Rivers Day Community Festival in Langley on Sept. 24. The third and final tree will be planted near Douglas Park in Langley on Nov. 3.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Back row, from left: Councillor Dave Woods, Cloverdale Legion President Barry Zuk, Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag, Sergean-at-Arms Laurier Cadieux. Front row: students from Absorbent Minds Montessori, ages 3 and 4. (Sam Anderson)

Students from Absorbent Minds Montessori, ages 3 and 4, help plant the memorial oak. (Sam Anderson)

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Tour de White Rock kicks off

Races take place this evening and tomorrow morning

It’s about to get hot: Special weather statement issued for Lower Mainland

Temperatures expected to rise and stick around till next week, Environment Canada forecasts

Delta’s OWL Society to pair raptors and yoga

The two-class fundraiser allows participants to do yoga while being watched by birds of prey

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

SilverStar officially opens Gondola

The brand-new gondola is now offering scenic rides for visitors on SilverStar Mountain Resort.

VIDEO: Man climbs crane in Abbotsford

Police, fire called to deal with climber last night

VIDEO: Langley City legendary water fight was a soaking good time

And perfectly timed for a hot weather warning

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Most Read