A Glimpse of Thunder Bay’s Past in Honour of Remembrance Day

(All photos provided by Dr. Beaulieu)

On November 10th, Woodcrest Public School’s Mrs. Clutchey prepared for Remembrance Day by inviting an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment to speak to her grade 6 class. Dr. Michel S. Beaulieu, who is also Associate Vice-Provost Academic and External Relations Associate at Lakehead University, painted a picture of Thunder Bay in the World War I and World War II eras, teaching the students the impact the people of Port Arthur and Fort William had on the wars. In addition to the thousands of people from the Thunder Bay area who enlisted to fight, ships were built at what is now Marina Park, and planes were built on the grounds of what is now Bombardier.

In WWII, over 1 million Canadians served, with 709,000 serving in the Canadian Army and 250,000 serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force. During his presentation, Dr. Beaulieu voiced that some soldiers from Thunder Bay fought in every major battle of the six-year war. He provided the photo below which offers a rare glimpse of our local veterans fighting for peace in France in 1944.

Dr. Beaulieu also brought a more recent perspective to the history lesson for the students by paying homage to three Thunder Bay soldiers who sacrificed their lives fighting for peace in the War in Afghanistan. All future history lessons, all mention of Canadian soldiers, together with the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment, will forever honour Corporal Boneca, Private Costall, and Private Klukie, alongside all veterans, through the symbolism of the poppy and the deepest recognition on Remembrance Day.

The impression left on the history of the City of Thunder Bay from past and current wars is monumental and will remind us, every year, to pause and recognize those who have served for their country.