What a wonderful event today! Thank you Guelph for embracing the 100th anniversary of John McCrae and his poem In Flanders Fields!
Our city was honoured to have the Governor General of Canada here for the unveiling of the statue which is now officially in the city’s public art collection. It’s called “Remember Flanders”.
The picture above shows just a glimpse of all that await you in our museum as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of his poem. Here I was taking the Governor General on a tour of the art which was inspired by John McCrae, his poem and our city.
What a day for our community.
It’s a privilege to have His Excellence the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, with us for this special day.
I would like to first of all thank the Fundraising Committee. This statue was funded entirely by private donations – and it was the fundraising committee that made it possible.
I would like to particularly thank the Committee’s Honorary Chair, William Winegard. Sir, you have made remarkable contributions to this community over the years – and this is one more example of your tireless commitment to Guelph.
I would also like to extend a very special thank you to the Committee’s Chair, Lieutenant-Colonel Michael McKay. Mike – without your vision and leadership, none of this could have happened.
On behalf of the City of Guelph, I am thrilled to officially accept the Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae statue into the City’s collection of public art.
The statue is appropriately placed at the highest point of our downtown. It overlooks a spectacular new garden here at the Guelph Civic Museum. It will be a focal point for visitors for generations to come.
This is a beautiful piece of art. It reflects the pride that Guelph has always felt at being the birthplace of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae – a pride that has deepened this year, as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of In Flanders Fields.
Before writing In Flanders Fields, John McCrae was simply a Guelph boy on his way to becoming an accomplished doctor, soldier and artist.
He was born and raised here. He graduated from Guelph Central School and GCVI. This is where his roots were planted. This was his home.
John McCrae is a great Canadian. He is revered all over the world. But to us, he will always be a Guelphite.
I believe this remarkable piece of public art will inspire all of us to reconnect with McCrae’s story and his words. It will rekindle our pride in McCrae’s legacy, and the role our city played in it. And it will deepen our respect for all who served, and all who continue to serve.
Thank you to all those who played a role in making this possible. And thank you to everyone here today, for being part of this special moment for our city.
A city release is here for you as well!