In a ceremony held at the Beaverton Town Hall Tuesday (July 18), members of the Beaverton Legion, presented Mayor John Grant and Ward 2 Councillor Cyndi Schaffer with a certificate of authenticity to accompany the Vimy Oak that was recently planted near the gazebo at Alexander Muir Park. An additional Vimy Oak was also planted at the Legion.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge in northern France from April 9 to 12, 1917 is considered to be one of the defining events in the history of our nation.
“These trees are descendants of acorns sent home from the battlefield at Vimy in 1917,” said Legion member Mike Agnes.
The Vimy Oaks were obtained by Legion member Blair Kelly on behalf of the branch from The Vimy Oaks Legacy Corporation, which is made up of volunteers promoting the memory and legacy of Canadians who fought in the First World War through the planting of saplings that are descendants of acorns gathered after the Battle of Vimy Ridge and planted in Canada.
“Lieutenant Leslie H. Miller, a soldier with the Canadian Expeditionary Force (1914 to 1919), sent acorns home to Canada that he had gathered up after the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917. These acorns are now large majestic oaks that are growing on his former farm, today the home of the Scarborough Chinese Baptist Church, in Ontario,” reads a post from the Legion.
“The First World War wiped out all but one native oak known to survive in the (Vimy) area today. The foresight of Lieutenant Miller allows us the possibility to repatriate young Vimy Oak saplings to their original territory of Vimy Ridge one hundred years later.”