Municipality marks 100th anniversary of Battle of Vimy Ridge with special guests

DATE CHANGE!  Now March 24 at 3:30 pm

March 17, 2017

SYDNEY, NS – The public are welcome to participate in a special event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the nation-defining World War I battle that saw Canadian troops seize an enemy held ridge. The battle claimed the lives of 3,598 Canadian troops and wounded 7,000.

A delegation from France will arrive at City Hall on Thursday, March 23. They are marking the 100th anniversary by visiting several Cape Breton communities including Cheticamp, Sydney, Glace Bay, Port Morien and Louisbourg, following in the footsteps of Canadian solider John Arsenault, killed at Vimy in 1917. Their visit also recognizes the contribution of Percival Anderson of Big Baddeck, who served as a Commanding Officer in the 85th Battalion of Overseas Nova Scotia Highlanders who took Hill 145, where the Canadian Vimy Memorial now stands.

The public are invited to City Hall beginning at 11 a.m. on March 23. A proclamation will be made to twin Cape Breton Regional Municipality’s District 8 with Givenchy-en-Gohelle, the municipality that is home to Canada’s Vimy Memorial.

A town crier will proclaim the resolution and municipal members in Givenchy-en-Gohelle will watch the event’s livestream. Following the ceremony, the flag of France will be raised at City Hall.

The delegation is attending several events during their visit, including a community breakfast in Baddeck on March 22 at Branch 53 legion and a visit to the Ashby Legion in the afternoon. They will tour the Miners Museum, the oldest mine site in Port Morien, the Fortress of Louisbourg and the Main-a-Dieu Coastal Discovery Centre. The Port Morien Legion will host a dinner on March 23 for the visiting group and the public are invited for a meet and greet at 7 p.m.

Councillor Amanda McDougall is working with the delegation and encourages residents to welcome the group by attending one of the public events.

"Our regions have an incredible shared history," said McDougall. "As we mark the 100th anniversary of Vimy, we can ensure the next generation continues to learn about the transformative events that shape who we are today."

The Battle of Vimy Ridge will be officially commemorated, nationally and internationally, on April 9 with ceremonies in Ottawa and at the Vimy Memorial in France.