St. Dominic Catholic Elementary School students continue tradition of honouring veterans and their families

Fri, 14 Jun 2013

Students from St. Dominic Catholic Elementary School remembered and celebrated the valour of two Canadian war heroes at the Bronte Veterans Garden this morning. Two new benches with plaques honouring the late Private Hartley Tosh and the late Private Blake Williamson were unveiled as part of the official dedication ceremony.

For several years, Grade 7 students from St. Dominic Catholic Elementary School have been exchanging letters and posters with the families of Canada’s fallen soldiers and veterans. Over the course of the most recent exchange, the students developed a relationship with the families of Private Tosh, a WWII Veteran and long-time resident of Oakville who passed in December 2012; and Private Williamson who was killed in action in October 2006 while serving in Afghanistan.

“It is through these reflective correspondences that our students deepen their appreciation for veterans and their families,” said Diane Rabenda, chair of the Halton Catholic District School Board. “On behalf of the Board, it is with all of our hearts that we thank and salute Canadian veterans and their families.”

The idea of a Bronte Veterans Garden was first conceived by students from St. Dominic Catholic Elementary School who were inspired by a school visit from Carol Mitchell, a mother of a fallen Canadian soldier. Following her enlightening presentation, the students expressed their desire to create a more visible and lasting tribute to Canadian veterans and their families.

With the support of the Town of Oakville and Ward 1 Councillor Ralph Robinson, the students’ vision was made a reality at the unveiling of the Bronte Veterans Garden in June 2011.

“We’re proud to support St. Dominic students and their ongoing efforts to continually enhance the Bronte Veterans Garden,” said Robinson. “These are our leaders of tomorrow, and I applaud them for creating this lasting legacy in Bronte.”

Additional enhancements to the garden including a flag pole were made possible through funding from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 486, Bronte; Ward Funeral Home; Kopriva Funeral Home; and MEDIChair Halton. The semi-circular pathway, benches and plaques were funded in part by St. Dominic Catholic Elementary School; a grant from the Ministry of Education under the Student Voice /Speak Up Program; and Finewood Products/Starfleet Construction.

The Bronte Veterans Garden is located at Donovan Bailey Park on Bronte Road (designated as Halton Region’s Veterans’ Highway) in Oakville.

Media contacts:
John MacPhail
St. Dominic Catholic Elementary School

Janine Ivings
Senior Communications Advisor
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3005