Sunday, November 11th was a blustery, snowy day but that didn’t deter large crowds from coming out to see the special 100th Anniversary ceremony in Southampton.
One hundred soldiers of ‘C’ Company from Canadian Forces Base (4CDTC) in Meaford, ON signified the 100 years since the signing of the World War I Armistice, Treaty of Versailles, and they came to pay tribute to the soldiers who volunteered from Bruce County to fight in the Great War that was supposed to end all wars.
Earlier in the day, some of the soldiers re-enacted a photo taken in 1916 when young men from Bruce County enlisted at the Southampton Town Hall.
Just as the wreath laying ceremony began, a snow streamer swept in across Lake Huron.
Wreath Laying Ceremony
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The soldiers took part in the wreath laying ceremony and, then, later in the afternoon they marched down High Street again, lead by the McLaren Pipes and Drums from Wiarton and the Southampton Royal Canadian Legion Colour Party. They stopped at the Southampton Town Hall where the Town Hall clock chime struck 100 times joining other Bells of Peace across Canada.
The McLaren Pipes and Drums from Wiarton played the moving Amazing Grace and then they continued down High Street followed by the Legion Colour Party, Saugeen Shores Police and Fire Services, dignitaries and Canadian Armed Forces ‘C’ Squadron and Saugeen Shores Air Cadets for a special sunset ceremony at Southampton’s giant flag on the shore of Lake Huron.
Southampton Legion President, John Willetts, explained that the park at the foot of High Street was known as Dominion Lookout and, when the soldiers went to war it was for the Dominion of Canada. On Sunday, November 11th, the park was re-dedicated, Dominion Park.
“World War I was the birth of the nation, and the valour in battle and sacrifices made at home and in duty gave Canada the right to sign our first international agreement,” said Willetts. “I can’t think of a more appropriate document to sign as a country separate from Britain than the Treaty of Versailles. Our signature on that document lead to our position on the League of Nations that ultimately became the United Nations.”