I sincerely hope and wish that this note finds you and your families well during these difficult times. I know many of you have faced some challenges, but I am reminded that good comes from all adversity so let us look forward to better days ahead together. Thank you to all of you for your continued support of the COBWFA and our Great War Family. There has never been a more important time to protect the memory of those that came before us.
The Western Front has been a quieter place during this world crisis, but I am assured by our friends in Flanders, the Artois and across the Somme, that the Great War and the soldiers that gave of themselves have not been forgotten. The nightly Menin Gate ceremony in Ypres has continued in the absence of crowds with a lone bugler as the torch of Remembrance continues to burn bright awaiting our return.
Enclosed you will find our latest issue of The Maple Leaf. Thank you to all the contributors and our Managing Editor David Fuller. Another issue is underway and we welcome any and all submissions. The Maple Leaf circulates throughout the world and it is the grass roots contributions of our membership that make our branch magazine unique and a must read for many of you. Please consider a submission.
With the unavoidable postponement of our very strong 2020 Speaker’s Series, we have been forced to think outside of our traditional ways and shall be introducing more technology into the mix. Stay tuned for news as our plans evolve.
I officially welcome Adam Saunders to the role of Branch Secretary who assumes the role from our long standing member and friend Gordon MacKinnon who served us well for many years in many capacities and was always willing to help anyone. He supplied our meetings with a steady stream of history books for our book raffles that generated much needed revenue for the branch. On behalf of our membership Gordon, we thank you. Adam is a born story teller and a champion of 3rd Battalion CEF history and mapping and we are looking forward to scheduling a social distance guided tour through one of Toronto’s historic cemeteries in the coming months with Adam as our guide.
All of our featured speakers have expressed an interest in rescheduling as soon as we can once again safely assemble, but for now, our friend, Tim Cook of the Canadian War Museum, has a new book, The Fight for History. Tim has always been a wonderful champion of our history and we welcome the opportunity to spread the word about our friend’s latest work.
I will sign off with a few insightful words from a recent correspondence with COBWFA member Ron Atkins. It reminded me that we will get through this challenging time together and likely a better people.
By the time of the kick-off of the Allied Offensive at Amiens, August 8, 1918, the Black Day of the German Army, the Spanish Influenza had secured a firm toehold onto all of the armies remaining involved in the Great War; Through this growing global pandemic, the Armies fought on, and despite the Spanish Influenza pandemic, forged ahead, resulting in the ultimate victory of the Allied Forces. What is important here is that they all fought through the Spanish influenza pandemic and came out the other side of it, with things like freedom of speech and thought, having been secured.
My best regards to you all – Glenn Kerr, Chair