The Commemorative ‘Blood Red Poppy’ Plaque, Lobby Of The Prince Arthur Hotel, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.
.by Anura Guruge
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Part of My “Poppy Day” series on this Blog.
So I contacted the hotel, viz. Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel and Suites, 17 N. Cumberland St., Thunder Bay, ON P7A 4K8, Direct line: 807.346.5124
Tony Scarcello, the General Manager and Kory Morabito, the Sales Manager helped me out. This morning, Kory sent me the above picture. So now at last we have a good, clear image for posterity. With luck I might get more from Kory. Thank you Tony. Thank you Kory. Nancy will be delighted.
Kory also sent me this great aerial of the James Whalen marina taken by Robert Patterson, the Product Development Coordinator for Wilderness North. You can see The Hotel (as it looks now), in brick red, just to the right of center behind the covered, elevated walkway.
“Poppy Day” Tradition In Canada & The Plaque That Hangs In The ‘Prince Arthur Hotel’ In Thunder Bay, Ontario.
.by Anura Guruge
>> Poppy Day, November 11, British Remembrance Day:
>> A Beautiful Tradition — Nov. 10, 2012.
>> Poppy Day, 2012: President Obama
>> In Arlington Without One — Nov. 11, 2012.
>> I ask President Obama to wear a poppy — Nov. 11, 2012.
From a contributor from Ontario, Canada.
This above plaque hangs in the lobby of the Prince Arthur Hotel in the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario, the amalgamation of twin cities Fort William and Port Arthur in 1970.
Mme. Anna Guerin, wife of a French jurist and founder of a Paris war orphanage reached out to North American for financial support. She was aware of Canadians’ strong association between the Flanders poppy and their heavy overseas losses, their “fallen” soldiers, since late December 1915 when an little poem “In Flanders Fields” appeared anonymously in England’s popular periodical ‘Punch‘.
This turned out to be authored by an Ontario physician army officer, composed that May while contemplating the fresh grave of friend, which later was sent to England by a fellow officer.
As she wrapped up her charitable fundraising, in 1921 Mme. Guerin brought out French-made cloth replicas of the wildflower and, with the encouragement of Canada’s first ‘returned soldiers’ association [see plaque] and public support asked government to recognize it and ask citizens everywhere to wear one on November 11 that year. Recently with our own Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa, the custom has arisen spontaneously of placing one’s poppy on the sculpture, a blanket of funeral-like flowers. A moving sight.
The first Armistice Day in the Empire, 1918, was an occasion of celebration and thanksgiving for victory. But in 1919 King George V asked his subjects everywhere to pause just where they were, to stop all traffic, and to observe two minute of silence at the stroke of 11 am in remembrance of those who did not come back. This tradition makes it a solemn day, remembering our many losses, the families they left behind, while former military “vets” join civilians recalling lost comrades.