Governor General's Award
It has been recently announced that Neil Orford, a Secondary School teacher, is one of the honored recipients of the 2013 Governor General award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History.
The DCMA is proud of their part in this award. In 2008, 2011 and 2013, over forty students have been involved with researching and honoring Dufferin County veterans. The Archive staff assist the students in identifying veterans and assisting with their research on the person. Their research projects become part of the Veteran permanent file in the DCMA online site DuffStuff.
The Veterans section holds information on over 5300 Dufferin veterans from the Napoleonic to the Afghan wars. When the projects are completed they are also presented by the students at the Juno Beach War Memorial where they each place a plaque for their veteran on the Memorial.
The purpose of DuffStuff, DCMA’s database is to Discover-Educate-Honor the citizens of Dufferin County. Mr. Orford’s project achieves all three goals. The DCMA Virtual War Memorial honors and acknowledges all Dufferin County residents who contributed, many with their lives, to the wars.
The names are found in various newspaper articles, their stories gathered from sources at the DCMA. They are honored not only by the Juno Beach Memorial plaque, but also by the student projects themselves.
The student’s essays are thoroughly critiqued to meet scholastic and literary ability. The DCMA would like to think that these students are the Historians and University Scholars of the future. We give them the tools and rules of researching and even encourage them to look back at their own genealogy.
We hope to continue this important collaboration. In this present day of social media and fast food society, the stories from the past are not being passed down. We strive to keep them strong and memorable. As well each trip, the DCMA has fundraised the cost to send a veteran from Dufferin County to travel with the students. Congratulations to Mr. Orford and all of his students for their excellence in Canadian History.
Past Good News:
Orangeville native and Afghanistan War veteran, Cpl. Wayne Strudwick, joined the Centre Dufferin District High School’s Canadian Battlefields Tour in November 2011. Dufferin County Council approved him as the 'sponsored-veteran' of the Dufferin County Museum & Archives (DCMA) for the purposes of the Battlefields Tour and ceremony at Juno Beach Centre. Below is a letter from Cpl. Wayne Strudwick to Dufferin County Council summarizing his experience during the 2011 Battlefields Tour.
Letter to Dufferin County Council from Corporal Wayne Strudwick
First, I would like to thank the members of Dufferin County Council for giving me an opportunity to briefly address you this evening. Unfortunately due to work commitments I was unable to be here in person however felt it was important to share some of my experiences as the Representative on the 2011 Battlefields Tour and emphasize the value that a project like this adds, not only to the Students, Staff and the Representative who attends but also the local community as a whole.
As a lifelong resident of Dufferin County and a Veteran of Afghanistan, to be chosen to represent your local community on such an amazing tour is truly humbling and to experience it with over 30 respectful, intelligent Students from a local high school is “icing on the cake”. By supporting the Battlefields Tour, you are acknowledging. Acknowledging the sacrifices that soldiers from Dufferin County both past and present have made, not only for their Country, but more importantly their community. Throughout the tour this point is driven home time and time again. To stand on the Beaches of Normandy and listen to the Students read personal stories of the sacrifices that Veterans of Dufferin County have made not only is emotional but can’t help but bring you extreme pride in being Canadian, and extreme pride in being a resident of Dufferin County! Witnessing students seek out the names of Dufferin County Veterans listed on the monument at Vimy Ridge or seek out a Grave stone at the Canadian War cemetery at Beny-Sur-Mer, France certainly gave me a great sense of pride in my community and I am quite certain that this feeling was shared by every student there. I could go on and on about crossing the English Channel, walking through the tunnels at Vimy Ridge, standing on the battlefield at Beaumont Hamel but unfortunately time will not allow me to do that this evening. My point being that this tour, the Battlefields Tour, is filled with moments like these and every one of them personally changing. By supporting a project like this you can take great pride in knowing that you are investing in the youth of your community and therefore investing in the future of your community.
In closing, I would like to thank Dufferin County Council for having supported me and all the students on the 2011 Battlefields Tour and I sincerely hope you continue to support a project that emphasizes what sacrifice for your Country and community truly means.