The Veteran’s Memorial Walkway in Almonte celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a rededication ceremony scheduled for Sunday, October 16th at 2:00pm.
A unique joint venture between the Town of Mississippi Mills and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 240 Almonte, the idea of a living memorial to our veterans dates back to 2003. WWII veteran, the late Herb Pragnell, a former municipal councillor and a long-time Legion member, saw an opportunity to improve the vacant piece of land between Perth and Bridge Streets and honour local and allied veterans.
Over the next two years, he and the late Joe LeBlanc, a veteran and former local Legion President worked with the Municipal Council on the concept. Basically, the local Legion would sell and plant Red Maple trees to families who wanted to honour a veteran and the municipality would maintain the site.
To date, 124 trees have been planted, forming an avenue between Perth and Bridge Streets which is a popular shortcut for students at the nearby Naismith Memorial Public School. Many of those students were involved in helping to plant the original batch of trees in 2016. Each tree is identified with the name of the honouree and sponsor and there is a central map of the site so that families can easily find their tree.
Project coordinator Denny O’ Connell of Legion Branch 240 Almonte said that “There is a limit to the number of trees that we can plant on that site. Anybody who is interested in dedicating a tree to a family veteran can contact me through the Legion at (613)256-2142.”
Tree sponsors and the general public are invited to attend the rededication ceremony on Sunday, October 16 at 2:00pm. A Legion Colour Party will accompany local and regional officials and, in case of inclement weather, a ceremony will be held at the Almonte Legion. Everybody is invited back to the Legion for a reception afterwards.