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Central Alberta Schools taking part in “No Stone Left Alone” program for first time

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  • The mission of the No Stone Left Alone Foundation is to honour the sacrifice and service of Canada’s military by educating students and by placing poppies on headstones of veterans. Since it’s humble beginnings in 2011 when 120 students took part and placed poppies on 4100 headstones, the impact has grown to involve 10,000 students this year who will place poppies on almost 50,000 headstones.

    The organization works closely with the Canadian Armed Forces, volunteers, students and various educators such as Alberta Education, Edmonton Public School Board, Edmonton Catholic School District and numerous other school districts across Canada. Various branches of the Legion also get involved.

    At the school level, there is curriculum that’s been developed that ensures future generations are engaged and learn about the history of wars we have fought in and have foundational understanding of the sacrifices their ancestors made so that they are able to lead peaceful lives today.

    Here is a list of schools and dates of ceremonies in Alberta.  Locally, Father Henri Voisin School is taking part in a ceremony on Tuesday, November 6th at Alto Reste Cemetery (3.6 km east of 30 Avenue on Highway 11).

    “Our Grade 4 students are honoured to be representing the No Stone Left Alone program in Red Deer,” said Jessica Maloughney of Father Henri Voisin School.  “They have been researching our Canadian Veterans, and the vital role that our nation has played in wars throughout history. On Tuesday, they will be ready to lead a ceremony, celebrating the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives to the cause of peace.”

    As well, Ecole Mother Teresa Catholic School will be at Lakeview Cemetery (4302 – 50 Street) in Sylvan Lake on Tuesday at 1:30 pm.

    Red Deer – Father Henri Voisin School
    November 6, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
    Alto Reste Cemetery
    3.6 km east of 30 Avenue on Highway 11

    Sylvan Lake – École Mother Teresa School
    November 6, 2018 at 1:30 p.m.
    Lakeview Cemetery
    4302 – 50 Street

    Here’s a story of how it really began. (from the No Stone Left Alone website). Also scroll to bottom of story for an impactful and touching video featuring Sherry Clarke, mother of Pte. Joel Wiebe, killed in Afghanistan on June 20th, 2007.

    “… As a mother lay dying from breast cancer in 1971, she had one request for her 12-year-old daughter; “PLEASE DO NOT FORGET ME ON ARMISTICE DAY.” This mother was a proud Canadian soldier, who with her husband, both served in World War 11.

    So, began, that each year, this young girl would honour her mother’s wish, by taking the poppy she wore in November and placing it at the headstone of her mother’s resting place.

    This young girl, grew up, married and had children. Every November they would as a family, go out amongst the thousands of headstones, in the Field of Honour at Beechmount cemetery in Edmonton. They would pause and reflect and look out from the large cenotaph that overlooked all the headstones. Her young daughter asked, “Mom, why don’t they all get a poppy?”

    A movement began. The young mother took it upon herself to see if that could be done. From her outreach letters to the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs, to her contact with local educators and a friendship with a young lieutenant colonel, No Stone Left Alone placed 4948 poppies in 2011 at one cemetery. In seven years, No Stone Left Alone is in over 111 cemeteries, all provinces and two territories and has engaged thousands of students.

    2018 marks the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, a truce to end World War 1 in 1918.

    A mother’s words, ring true today as in 1971, the importance, recognition and obligation to ensure that our youth understand the sacrifices, service and commitment of our military members, what they have done in the past and continue to do today.

    We know and gauge our success, by the words of our Canadian children, who through a written exercise of reflection, send their letters to the President telling all of us, they didn’t really know or understand why there is Remembrance Day. Below is an excerpt from one of the “reflection letters” which affirm to us that this is a new generation and NSLA is having a huge impact on their learning, their emotions, their leadership. This is enhancing all Remembrance events…”

    These following two examples are indicative of the powerful impact this program has on students:

    Resting place of Edward Trooper at the NSLA event in Edmonton.

    “…Dear Edward Trooper, on this day I visited your grave and your friend’s graves at Beechmount cemetery. We thank you for your caring and support, what you have done for our great home Canada! We will remember that you had died just to save our country and to think about us. You are a special soldier and I will never forget that. You will never be left alone, and you are important to Canada. Our hearts will never let go, what you have done, for us. Thank you for going to war to make our country beautiful and peaceful…” – Student from St. Mary’s school Edmonton

    “…When the military Padre reads the “Prayer of Remembrance”, my silent prayer is to my mother. I tell her, to share with all the veterans of this great country, that we all remember them, we haven’t forgotten, and we never will…”  – Maureen Bianchini Purvis 12-year-old girl in 1971

     

    Read more stories about our community on Todayville.com. 

     

     


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    President Todayville Inc., Former VP/GM CTV Edmonton, Honorary Lieutenant Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Past Board Member United Way of Alberta Capital Region, Musician, Photographer.

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    November 19 2018 Red Deer 2019 Capital Budget Meeting; Item Aquatic Centre

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  • Red Deer Multi-Use Aquatic Centre conceptual model from MacLennan Jaunkains Miller Architects

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    After perusing the agenda for Red Deer’s November 19 Budget meeting, I would say it is obvious that people want a 50m pool.
    20 years ago it was hoped for, and there was discussion about it being incorporated into the Collicutt Centre. 15 years ago it was hoped to be incorporated into the downtown Recreational Centre.
    4 years ago the discussion started about being built by Hazlett Lake in the north-west corner of Red Deer.
    There have been serious concerns about the downtown location. Bussing, parking, traffic and size have brought at least 4 councillors to withdraw support for the downtown location.
    The cost is phenomenal and mysterious and holding back support. 2013 the number tossed about was $85million plus demolition, streets, lights etc.etc. Now 5 years later the number could be $110million plus demolition, streets, lights etc.etc.
    Yellowknife is budgeting $50 million, UBC cost $39 million, Markham and Saskatoon cost $56 million in 2018 dollars.
    Why do we need a Rolex if a Timex will do? The term Taj Mahal is used when talking about Red Deer structures from Public Works to Bus Stations, is that necessary?
    Out of the 7 largest cities in Alberta, Red Deer is the only city that cannot host a 50m swim. We are talking about Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie and Lethbridge doing what Red Deer cannot and unwilling to do.
    The number of pools is a great concern. We have had only 4 pools since 2001, and if we only renovate a current pool then we will be down to 3 pools for a couple of years then be at 4 pools for another 32 years. If we build or renovate a pool every 25 years. The goal was 4 pools for 60,000 residents but we will probably be at 4 pools for 150,000 residents in 32 years.
    The city recently replaced one ice rink downtown, the college opened a new ice rink recently and the city wants to build another rink in the near future. Interesting because the number one activity of Red Deer residents is swimming, even the Red Deer Advocate posted that a few weeks ago. 60% prefer the Collicutt Centre.
    When Red Deer Lodge was renovating their pool, they offered free passes to the downtown pool, a couple of blocks away, and had few if any takers.
    The downtown location is wrong, the cost given is wrong, the delay offered is wrong, so where is the disconnect?
    E-mail legislative services@reddeer.ca and ask or tell them what you think. I did.
    Just saying.


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    Calgary voted against bidding for Olympic Games, would Red Deer have voted against bidding for Canada Games?

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  • Calgarians have voted against bidding for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games. Besides the boosterism of the few, the bid never really resonated with the populace.
    This bid also undeniably fell victim to the unpleasant baggage weighing down the Olympic movement. The cynical narrative is familiar by now. Cities spend billions more than initially proposed to host a two-week party that leaves little long-term positive economic impact. According to reporter Jamie Strashin of CBC news.
    There would have meant billions spent for this event and yet the perception is that there would be negligible long term benefit.
    Another question that was being asked, would the Olympics have delayed other much needed projects, more important to the residents of Calgary?
    Would Red Deer residents, if having the opportunity, would they have followed Calgary in voting against the bidding for the 2019 Canada Games? Will the two-week party in February leave little long-term positive economic impact?
    Has other projects, more important to Red Deerians been delayed or cancelled, until after the Canada Games? Will there be any quantifiable benefits to the average joe in Red Deer having these games?
    I know that the Canada Games does not have the same baggage and is only in the tens of millions not like the billions, in total, by various governments, for the Olympic games, but Calgarians still did not believe they would see any long term economic benefit.
    They can watch the ceremonies, races and events on television like almost everyone else no matter where it is located.
    Will Red Deer be able to show that the Canada Games will give us long term economic benefits without delaying other projects nearer and dearer to our hearts? Will we be scrambling to catch up after it is over?
    Perhaps we should start having plebiscites before we commit our tax dollars to these big events? Just saying.


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    november, 2018

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