Delta residents can now learn more about a special oak tree growing near Ladner’s Memorial Park cenotaph.
On Monday, the City of Delta unveiled a storyboard near the base of the tree just steps away from the cenotaph. It was initially planted in November 2017 after Delta MP Carla Qualtrough was among 150 recipients across Canada of saplings made available in recognition of the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge.
After the First World War at a decimated Vimy Ridge, Lt. Leslie Miller found the remains of a half sunken oak tree. He retrieved some of the remaining acorns and planted them at his family farm in Scarborough, Ont.
The tree’s story, the significance of its location and a look back at the famous 1917 four-day battle in northern France are explained on the storyboard.
Qualtrough was joined by Delta Mayor George Harvie, Coun. Dylan Kruger and members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 61 for the special unveiling ceremony.
“It’s been my pleasure over the past few years to learn more and more about a soldier who took a handful of acorns and put them in his pocket and came back to Canada, and how we have used the opportunity of planting these trees 100 years later, across the country to re-energize the conversations about Canada's military and what happened in April, 2017,” said Qualtrough. “Even in our own household, with my nine-year-old, whenever we come here and we kind of look at the tree and we put him beside the tree and we talk about what happened all those years ago and why we get to play in this beautiful park is because of the sacrifices of the people. The Canadians who came together and fought in France.”
Harvie said the tree and storyboard is a valuable addition to the cenotaph area, for park users and visitors to better understand our history, especially for future generations.
“We created the storyboard to provide history and context of Vimy Ridge as part of our ongoing efforts to remember and never forget our fallen soldiers,” said Harvie. “The tree represents a living memorial to recognize the incredible courage and strength of Canada's soldiers at Vinny Ridge. “We are also proud of the Ladner Legion and its incredible efforts to remember our past and support veterans and their families in our community.”