For Immediate Release
April 9, 2016 ‐‐ VIMY RIDGE DAY 2016 ‐‐ POEMS FOR THE VIMY OAKS
In preparation for the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 9, 2017, the Vimy Oaks Team, in partnership with The Vimy Foundation, invited Canadians to submit a poem to evoke the meaning of the repatriation of the Vimy Oaks to France.
Canadians coast to coast answered the call. Poets and Poet Laureates from British Columbia to the Maritimes wrote heart‐felt poems expressing the thoughts and feelings of Canadians toward the bravery and sacrifice of our soldiers. For many, their poem was a personal tribute to a father, grandfather, uncle… or to a more recent fallen soldier.
Their poems communicate the belief that the soldiers’ spirits will live on through the planting of the Vimy Oaks and that each tree will be a silent requiem for the past and a symbol of Canadians’ commitment to still stand on guard in the future.
The selection process was not easy because the quality of the submissions was superb. The contribution of one soldier in particular made the task very poignant.
Mr. Gordon Lane (London, Ontario) submitted his father’s First World War poems which had only recently been rediscovered. Andrew Lane was a Gunner with the 43rd Battery Canadian Field Artillery. The unit was commissioned in 1916 by Lt. Col. David McCrae, John McCrae’s father. Gunner Lane’s poems written in 1917‐1918, provide us with a contemporary soldier’s thoughts and emotions.
On the other hand, our modern poet, Tony Peneff from Chilliwack, B.C., articulates the meaning of our 2017 commemoration.
Separated by 100 years of history, these two Canadian poets share a quiet and eloquent passion.
Please read both poems and share them with others.
• “Here On The Top Of Vimy Ridge I Stand”– Andrew Lane, 1917
• “Vimy Oaks – Windbreak” – Tony Peneff, 2016
Congratulations Tony Peneff ‐‐ and, thank you Andrew and Gordon Lane!
We would like to thank our Poet Laureates:
George E. Clarke, 7th Parliamentary P.L. Penn Kemp, London, ON Anne Michaels, Toronto, ON
Candice James, New Westminster, B.C. Judith Krause, Regina, SK Bruce Meyer, Barrie, ON
Deirdre Kessler, Charlottetown, PEI Derek Beaulieu, Calgary, AB Thomas Leduc, Sudbury, ON
Yvonne Blomer, Victoria, B.C.
We would like to also thank and congratulate the other Poets:
Laura Cannon‐Sherlock, Flesherton, ON Sylvia Taekema, Chatham, ON Robyn Licaa, Hudson, PQ
Lynn Hilborn, Grafton, ON Jennifer Footman, Caledon, ON Khrys Dumyn, Toronto, ON
James Dyer, Cambridge, ON Katheryn Bezaire, Windsor, ON Hillery Bourne, Toronto, ON
Douglas Sinclair, Toronto, ON John Wiznuk, Mississauga, ON Andrea Coli, Calgary, AB
Connie Lee Fehr, Kingsville, ON Michael Shain, Little Current, ON
As well, the Vimy Oaks Team would like to thank Ms. Margaret Atwood for the professional advice she shared.
For more information:
Vimy Oaks Project Coordinator