Bob Domoney of the Vimy Oaks Legacy Corporation presented a Neighbourwoods Tree Talk at the Fergus Legion on Nov 30th. Domoney related the inspiring story of a remarkable project that memorialized Canadians who fought in WWI.
After the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917, Canadian soldier Lieutenant Leslie Miller gathered acorns, brought them back home to Canada, and planted them on his farm in what is now Scarborough. By the early 2000’s, a group of volunteers led by Monty McDonald, a close friend of the Miller family, became determined to commemorate Lt Miller and others by repatriating “Vimy Oak” saplings descended from those acorns, back to Vimy Ridge, to reforest the devastated area, and also distribute Vimy Oak saplings across Canada.
This compelling story was a wonderful example of how a group of volunteers worked together and persevered through various setbacks to accomplish their mission to honour Canadian veterans. One hundred and twenty Vimy Oak trees are now planted in a beautifully-designed park near the Vimy Memorial in France, and more than 900 are planted across Canada. Two Oaks are growing in front of the Wellington County Museum and Archives in Aboyne, and two are on Tower Street in Fergus at the edge of Victoria Park. There are plaques identifying the trees.
Neighbourwoods thanks the Fergus Legion, the Vimy Oaks Legacy Corporation, and the Elora and Salem Horticultural Society, for helping to make this event possible.