The City of Saint John commemorated several military events and anniversaries Friday, June 6, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy.
The events began at 9:45 am at the Cenotaph in King’s Square
The ceremony at King’s Square included the addition of an Afghanistan War plaque to our municipal cenotaph and the re-dedication to our veterans of that war. The Piper for this component of the ceremony was Sergeant (retired) Al MacNeil, LdSH (RC), who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
Wreaths were laid in memory of our Afghanistan, NATO and Peacekeeping veterans, as well as the first Canadian killed in World War One, Captain Jones of Saint John. The families of Captain Jones, Private David Greenslade and Corporal Moe Gordon laid wreaths.
Due to weather, the ceremony moved to the Simonds Lions Den. Wreaths were laid and those who served in the Battles of the Atlantic and Normandy when HMS Jervis Bay, HMCS Saint Jon and 410(City of Saint John) Squadron participated.
The families of Reverend James Ross who donated the park land, of Lieutenant (N) Chris Saunders, RCN, and Able Seaman Walter Darnbrough, the last survivor of HMS Jervis Bay, laid wreaths.
A new RCAF Memorial was dedicated in recognition of the 90th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Canadian Air Force. This was unveiled by Lieutenant Generalm(retired) Lou Cuppens, representing the Chief of the Defence Staff, Charles Gabriel, President of 250(Saint John) Wing, RCAF Association, and Cathy Peters, the daughter of the late Major Wally(Bubbles) Peters, Canada’s first black jet pilot.
Students from Bayview, Loch Lomond, Bayside and Woodlawn Schools participated.
As well, the City of Saint John, in partnership with Jervis Bay Memorial Branch #53, Royal Canadian Legion, unveiled three new interpretive signs telling the story of this park, the donor of the land and of HMS Jervis Bay. Terry Kelly, award winning singer sang his Remembrance Day song ‘A Pittance of Time’.
This ceremony was organized by the Turnbull (NB) Chapter of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, supported by the City of Saint John, the Jervis Bay Memorial Branch #53, as well as the District Command of the Royal Canadian Legion, 250 (Saint John) Wing of the RCAF Association and HMCS Brunswicker. The Simonds Lions Club, the Greater Saint John Community Foundation,250 (Saint John) Wing, RCAFA, Saint John Transit, Brenan’s Funeral Home, and the Growth and Community Development Service of the City of Saint John, provided invaluable services in making today’s event possible.