Remembering our veterans a highlight in Brookfield’s festival week

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Your stories by Lyle Carter

Meaningful ceremony held at the fire hall to reflect on those who served

During the dedication and unveiling of a special plaque in Brookfield, front

row, from left, Henry Fisher, Helen Kendrick and Eric MacMillian. Back row,

LAC Denver Nicol, Albert Hannah, Gordie Burnett, Gordon Matheson, Larry

Harrison, Shannon Baird and CPL Nicholas Hinton. Photo by Debbie Matheson

Back Home Again was the theme for the 19th annual Coming Home to Brookfield days. Some people we talked to said the opening parade Saturday, July 19, was their favourite event. Others named the closing, an outdoor community church service this past Sunday at the Carter Homestead, as the highlight of the week.

By all accounts it was an exciting, wonderful week as both local people and visitors from away, took part in numerous events.

And, perhaps one of the most meaningful moments of the week took place in front of the Brookfield Fire Hall last Tuesday night.

Gordie Burnett, the chairman of the organizing committee for the dedication and unveiling of a plaque naming those who supported the erection of the Brookfield and Area Memorial, was pleased.

“The granite plaque contains the 90 names of individuals and companies that supported the memorial project,” Burnett said. “The plaque is to be attached to the memorial which lists 290 names of the men and women who served in the First World War and the Second World War. Of these, 17 were killed in action. It is truly amazing how many young men and women from this area served in the two wars.”

Burnett appeared ecstatic that three veterans living in the area were located and able to attend the ceremony.

Helen Kendrick, who served with the Women’s Division of the Royal Canadian Air Force, described the service as being “wonderful.”

“I feel we owe the people who served overseas defending our country and beliefs an awful lot,” said Kendrick, a resident of Truro. “This was importantly brought to light with this service. I know a lot of people worked hard on this memorial project. You have to give them credit. This was a very meaningful time for me tonight.”

Kendrick touched on important history and shared that her father Byron Mersereau served in both world wars. She said her father-in-law Frank Kendrick also served in both wars and that her husband Richard Kendrick served in the Second World War.

“Their names are all here on this monument,” Kendrick said proudly.

Eric MacMillian was also in the RCAF and served overseas with the Bomber Command.

“I was glad to participate tonight,“ MacMillian, of Truro, said. “I’m glad Gordie Burnett invited me. There are many wonderful people here tonight. It’s nice of them to remember the veterans. A lot of memories always come back to me at a time like this. There were certainly some bad times during the war but there are good memories too especially remembering when the war ended. It is still strong on my mind.”

Henry Fisher, of Middle Stewiacke and who recently celebrated his 90th birthday, was the third veteran in attendance. Fisher, who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, touched the gathering as he appeared in full uniform dress.

Members of the 569 Brookfield Colonel Ned Henderson Air Cadet Squadron, including Commanding Officer Ralph Murphy, marched and took part in the ceremony.

Larry Harrison, master of ceremony, did an outstanding job. Early on, Harrison introduced the bag piper Shannon Baird. Byard Fisher, Baird’s father, was killed in the Second World War.

Harrison reflected back to the building of the first memorial when the Brookfield Memorial School was built in 1950. When the school was torn down in 2005, 1,800 bricks were saved and used in the building of the latest monument, Harrison explained. Gordon Matheson planned the monument and it was built by Albert Hannah. Both Matheson and Hannah attended the ceremony.

Burnett advised that more then 500 people attended when the memorial was dedicated on Nov. 11, 2005. He then made reference to a copper box containing a time capsule from when the school was built in 1950.

“The time capsule was removed from the school following its destruction in 2005,” Burnett said. “It contained pictures, newspaper articles, floor plans and interesting tidbits of Brookfield. More recently, a second box (time capsule) has been lodged containing information right up to 2014.”

Yes, any way you look at it, the ceremony in front of the Brookfield fire hall last Tuesday night, was indeed a meaningful event.


Lyle Carter’s column appears every second Tuesday in the Truro Daily News. If

you have a column idea, contact him at 673-2857.

Organizations: Canadian Air Force, Brookfield Memorial School, Truro Daily News

Geographic location: Truro, Middle Stewiacke

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