COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
Work continues Thursday along Victoria Avenue, where the trees will be rededicated to First World War soldiers to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the conflict. The rededication will take place in the fall after construction is completed.
The City of Brandon plans to rededicate the trees along Victoria Avenue to local soldiers who fought in the First World War.
The rededication will take place in the fall after construction is completed along Victoria from 18th Street to First Street.
"The city has been looking into something to do to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War," Mayor Shari Decter Hirst said. "This seemed like the perfect opportunity, with the construction finishing up along Victoria, to rededicate the trees."
A number of trees are being taken down throughout the construction process. Whenever trees are removed, it is part of the project budget to replace them, Decter Hirst said.
It will be a rededication because there is "a deeply held belief within the community" that the trees were originally dedicated to the soldiers right after the war, she said.
However, despite efforts made by the city, the Royal Canadian Legion and local archivists, no proof of this dedication has ever been found.
"Sometimes things can get lost in time and in the daily shuffle," said Coun. Corey Roberts (Rosser), who sits on the Brandon Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee. "This is our way of showing our continued remembrance."
The committee is on break for the summer, but will be in communication via email to work out details for the rededication.
"It will happen in some capacity," Roberts said. "If we don’t find proof that it happened after the war, we will be able to put something on record showing that they are officially dedicated."
Barb Andrew, second vice-president of the Royal Canadian Legion No. 3, supports the decision to make the dedication official.
"That was a part of our city’s history, the lives lost and those who returned," she said. "They were also the builders of the city when it started."
Andrew said most local residents she has talked to said they had been told from a young age that the trees were dedicated.
However, "we have been looking for proof but not finding anything," she said. "This would certainly be an excellent way to remember those who served and the 100th anniversary."
Decter Hirst and Roberts anticipate that construction will be done and the new trees planted in early fall. Then the heritage committee will be able to have an official rededication ceremony.
» Twitter: @megan_lane2
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 13, 2014