Rededication ceremony at Rocanville Cenotaph on Sept. 20

September 11, 2023, 4:19 pm
Sierra D’Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A rededication ceremony in honor of Canadian veterans will be happening on  September 20 at the Cenotaph in Rocanville.

On Wednesday, Sept. 20, members from Rocanville Legion will be holding a rededication ceremony in honor of Canadian veterans at the town’s Cenotaph.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Afterwards, members of the legion will be hosting a barbecue, and will donate all its proceeds towards local projects in the community.

“The reason we’re gathering is because we’ve got a brand new plaque that’s installed on the Cenotaph, that includes an additional name,” said Allan Young of Rocanville Legion.

“His name is Donald Walter Chilcott. Typically names on Cenotaphs are of veterans who died in wars, and until recently, wars overseas.

“In this case, Chilcott came home in a hospital bed and died from his war wounds over three years after he was wounded.

“His name was not included on our cenotaph originally. We were approached by a niece of Donald, and because we were approached, the Legion discovered by research that he did qualify.

“We found that the Government of Saskatchewan, and Canada, included him on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial (CVWM). Plus, he’s also on pg. 594 of the 1947 book of World War Two Remembrance in Ottawa.”

Young said the reason Chilcott’s name was not on the original plaque­—installed in the 1940s—was due to an oversight.

“For World War One the cut off date to be on the Cenotaph was October 1921, and for World War Two it was not a date so much, but mid 1947,” he said.

“When research was done, even though Donald had died from his war wounds on August 27, 1947, he had been on the Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial.

“For us in Rocanville—as a small Legion branch—we can legally put his name on the plaque and we did.”

In honor of Chilcott, among other Canadian veterans, the ceremony will be taking place on Sept. 20. If the weather does not permit, Young said the event will happen the following day on Sept. 21 at 11 a.m.

BBQ fundraiser at the Cenotaph
On the day of the ceremony, Young said the Rocanville Legion will also be hosting a barbecue fundraiser.

“During National Legion Week, which is September 17 to 23, we’ll be having a fundraising barbecue at the Cenotaph grounds after the ceremony,” said Young.

“The proceeds go to a wide variety of projects. One of the projects locally, is support of the Legion’s Poster and Literary Contest campaign at the school. The kids who participate and get first, second, and third places receive a small monetary prize, as well as a certificate.

“Over the years we’ve been able to supply medical equipment to the Rocanville Medical Clinic. We’ve also been able to show support from the time the new health centre opened in Moosomin, where we donated $10,000 a few years ago to help furnish a room, and more recently, medical appliances including a high end mattress for one of the rooms, and everyday equipment.

“The other ones that are dear to the Legion, our own Legion and the provincial Legion, is the PAWS program. This provides trained service dogs to PTSD veterans. That one is dear to our hearts.

“The second one we’ve donated to on a regular basis is the Homeless Veterans. Unfortunately some of homeless in Canada are veterans. It’s a wonderful program that does more than provide housing, it provides continued support.”

Young said there are two funding categories the legion fundraises for: the poppy fund and general fund.

“Over the years we’ve had excellent support on Nov. 11 for the Poppy Campaign, and for attendance at services,” said Young.

“The school has been utterly fantastic with continued support from a wide range of children in all grades participating in the Legion’s Poster and Literary Contests.

“There are parameters on what kind of things you can spend from your poppy fund, but that’s why we do little events to raise money which goes into a general fund.

“An example of general fund spending money would be donations to our school band.

We were also able to fund our computer system out of our general fund for the medical clinic out of Rocanville.”

“When money goes into the general fund, for example this barbecue after the rededication, that money can then be dedicated to things that wouldn’t apply to the poppy fund donation.”

oung said he hopes to see people from the community come out on September 20 at the Cenotaph in Rocanville, in support of the rededication ceremony, and to enjoy lunch with people from the area.

“I feel, for myself, the whole purpose is remembrance, not to push the aspect that wars are good, but to remember the service done,” said Young.

“Without these women and men we wouldn’t be the kind of country we are today.”