The public is invited to a Remembrance Day service on Friday, Nov. 9 at the Discovery Centre at 270 Water St. from 10:30-11:30 a.m. The service will honour all war veterans but especially those who attended the Stratford Normal School/Teachers’ College.
The site of the service will be the fully-restored Memorial Chamber which houses the memorial stained glass window and oak alter. The chamber was used every Nov. 11 when the school was in operation to hold an in-house service to instruct the teachers-in-training on how to tell their future students about the wars. A book of the veterans’ names would sit on top of the alter and every year a page would be turned to signify the passage of time.
The event this year is being held on Friday, Nov. 9 to avoid any conflicts with Remembrance Day services held elsewhere in the city, and is being organized by the Friends of the Stratford Normal School/Teachers’ College Heritage.
The service will include the singing of Remembrance Day musical selections by a local choir and guest speaker Sadie Cole, who will share some of her memories and experiences as a World War II war bride and “land girl” in South Wales during the war.
Cole was in her early 20s when the war began and she was obliged to make a decision – serve in uniform or free up the male farm workers for active service and become a “land girl.” She chose the latter. There she met her future husband, Fred Cole, who was on leave in the area. After a whirlwind courtship and much to the disappointment of her mother, she agreed to marry Fred and move to Canada. They have lived in the area, where they raised three children, ever since, and currently reside in Woodland Towers.
Seating for the ceremony will be available on the E Pauline Johnson (third floor) at the Discovery Centre.