Historical student trips teach more than text books ever could, says speaker
by Sandy Lindsay
November 8, 2015
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Veterans are piped in at Port Elgin Legion
photo by Michael Crossling
(L) Vern Johnson (Veteran Queen's Own Rifles), Piper Steve Wolfe and Veteran Watt Rogers
The November meeting of the Saugeen Shores men's Probus Club held on Tuesday, November 3rd, was emotional in its leading up to Remembrance Day.
The meeting began with Piper Stephen Wolfe leading in three veterans, Vern Johnson, Watt Rogers and Michael Crossling.
(front to back) Watt Rogers, Vern Johnson and Michael Crossling
Featured speaker Clive Card also brought to the fore through a touching slide presentation, young people and their interest in the history of Canada's role in two world wars.
Card, a retired teacher and principal, lead students from Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS) on two journeys in 2012 and 2014 to Europe, and into the past, to remember those who fought and died in two World Wars.
"If kids are going to understand historical things, they really do need to be there," said Card. "For instance, I took a grade 8 class to Brock University and it wasn't until they had to scale the Queenston Heights as General Brock did in 1812, that they could understand what it was like to go anywhere carrying an 80lb. pack. Until they (students) actually get out and experience things, they can't understand historical concepts."
According to Card, many students had not travelled widely and, therefore, had to learn the rudiments of travel abroad, including things such as acquiring a passport and how to pack minimally.
Working with Veterans' Affairs, the students prepared a flag which was signed prior to the first trip for the 95th anniversary of Vimy Ridge.
Once in Europe, students traveled by bus with other students from Manitoba and, while the concept was based on war history , they also had the opportunity to visit many historical sites such as the Roman Coliseum, Constantine's Arch, sculpture works, the Forum, the Vatican and the connections to ancient Greeks.
From Rome, the students traveled to Ortona, where Canadians in 1944 helped to liberate Italy. While there, the students met a woman, who in 1944 at the age of 12, remembered the Canadian soldiers who liberated the country.
"You will never ever forget the first step you take into a Commonwealth
War Cemetery," said Card. "Each cemetery we visited, the students
gathered around and we had our own ceremony. Veterans' Affairs
gave us the names of soldiers who were in the cemeteries so that the
students could visit the gravesites, including the Bruce County fallen."
Retired Teacher Clive Card explains the Canadian technique, the rolling advance, used to capture Vimy Ridge
Students placed their biographies with
the soldiers' gravestones that they had researched and, for many, it
was a shock to see that the ages of the soldiers were often the age
Probarian John Cherrie (R) presents an honorarium to Clive Card which he said will go toward another student trip
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Sunday, November 08, 2015