On November 11 we held our Remembrance Day ceremony, gathering as a community in a hybrid format. Students and staff who stood for the fallen were in attendance in our Chapel while others joined remotely in house groups around campus or off-site from their homes.
While we normally would gather in the theatre for the ceremony and enjoy live performances, this year our Arts students and faculty worked for five weeks to prepare and record performances that honoured the stories of war and freedom. Through song, dance, spoken word, music and dramatic performances, students brought even greater compassion and empathy for those we remember and honour.
We took time to acknowledge, remember and honour the sacrifices of Indigenous Peoples of Canada in the wars. We respectfully acknowledge that Lakefield College School is located on the Treaty 20 Michi Saagiig territory and in the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig and Chippewa Nations. Many Treaty 20 people served in the military.
Many Indigenous Peoples of Canada, are veterans of World War I and Il. In fact, going back to the War of 1812 — no identifiable group has contributed more to defending the lands we now call Canada than Indigenous peoples. For example, when World War I was declared, there were 63 adult males in Alderville — 38 of them volunteered to protect their lands and Canada. That’s 60% of the male population of Alderville. Indigenous Peoples continue to be committed to protecting these lands and waters.
We also took the time to remember Hugh MacDonald ’55. Hugh was passionate about the school's military history. As a student, he served as Chief Petty Officer of the Cadet Corps. He played an integral role in leading the LCS Military History Committee and was an important figure in bringing the other alum together for this program. Hugh was an important part of our Remembrance Day services for many years.
In Lakefield College School's own history, 56 members of the Grove community served during WWI and WWII in various elements of the Canadian Forces and lost their lives for the cause of freedom. During the service, the names of these LCS alumni were read aloud, a tradition in which one student or staff member stands for each of the fallen. Given the small population of the school in those days, it represents a very large proportion of the students at that time, many of whom were only a year or so older than our students today.
Finally, Ms. Brown reminded us of the importance of honouring those who have sacrificed their lives for the freedom we have today by choosing, every day, to support one another.
“Right now, our Lakefield family is separated. We cannot be altogether today, but we can bridge this separation by reaching out to one another and by choosing to lead with love, to listen with compassion and to extend gratitude… for all those who gave their lives, you are not forgotten.” — Ms. Lorraine BrownWatch the full Remembrance Day service.