Past stuff

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The past meetings and topics were:
bullet October 23, 2004 - Passchendaele, Mapping, and Flanders Benjamin Keevil summarized, "One Day in Hell - Passchendaele on October 26, 1917". Floyd Low demonstrated a unique mapping technique to record the movement of the Canadian Battalions during the Great War. Glenn Kerr talked about his recent trip to Flanders. At the Annual General Meeting, the members approved the election of the officers and the financial report. See the Agenda. As usual, all members had the opportunity to "show and tell" their latest research and remembering projects.

bullet June 19, 2004 - The 38th Infantry Battalion and Repatriation - Mark Humphries, a student at Wilfrid Laurier University, talked about his graduate thesis on the mobilization and training of the Canadian 38th Infantry Battalion in 1915-1916. Gordon MacKinnon talked about Repatriation - the story of two Canadian airmen whose bodies were brought from England to Canada in 1917 for burial in Toronto. All members will have the opportunity to "show and tell" their latest research and remembering projects.

bullet March 27, 2004 - The Unknown Soldier, CEF 75th Battalion, and Remembering - Glenn Kerr talked about the internment of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa. Don Vance diccussed the 60-page booklet he is publishing on "The Dead of the 75th". Mike Kenny repeated his Remembering slide show. All members had the opportunity to "show and tell" their latest research and remembering projects.

bullet Sunday Nov 9, 2003 - Remembrance Service at the Church of the Transfiguration. We attended the Remembrance Service at the Church of the Transfiguration, 111 Manor Road East, in Toronto. The service included a Flag Parade by the 58th Scout Group in memory of the CEF 58th Battalion, a sermon by Father Fred, a talk by Kevin Shackleton, and the playing of the Last Post by Sam Cancellara. Then, after the service Mike Kenny presented his fascinating audio-visual slide show on Remembering to both our members and the congregation in the basement of the Church Coffee, tea, and cookies were served. Two of our members Glenn Kerr and Larry Levett volunteered to help set up the slide-show equipment.

The Church of the Transfiguration is at 111 Manor Road East, in Toronto near Eglinton and Yonge. Manor Road runs east off Yonge Street at the second stop lights south of Eglinton and Yonge. The church is at the top of the hill between Yonge Street and Mt Pleasant Road.

bullet October 4, 2003 - Two Famous Canadians - John McCrae and Billy Bishop John Hurst, one of our members from Guelph, talked about John McCrae --- the author of the famous poem In Flanders Fields. John McCrae was more than a poet, and was in fact a doctor, soldier, author and artist. Steven Dieter from London, Ontario, Associate Air Force Historian and a Former Historian of the Billy Bishop Heritage Museum in Owen Sound, talked about Billy Bishop. By his skill and daring Bishop became, at 24, Britain's leading air ace, Commander of the first Canadian Air Force, and the most decorated Canadian in World War I.

At the Annual General Meeting, the membership approved the following reports from the Excecutive Committee.

  1. Membership Report - there are about 27 members
  2. Election of the Executive Committee. The following people have agreed to serve for another year:
    bulletChairman* - Mr. Benjamin Keevil
    bulletVice Chairman* - Glenn Kerr
    bulletSecretary - this role is managed by the Chairman
    bulletTreasurer* - Cliff Nyenhuis
    bulletMembership - this role is managed by the Chairman.
  3. Appointment of Volunteers - as listed on our Members page.

After discussion, Kevin Shackleton moved, Steven Dieter seconded, and the members approved the election of the Executive Committee, appointment of Volunteers, and the Financial Report as presented on the understanding that a more formal financial report will be prepared in the future.

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bulletJune 21, 2003 Major General M.S. Mercer, CB

Gordon MacKinnon, one of our members, talked about his research into General Mercer --- the highest ranking Canadian officer to be killed in action in WWI or WWII, yet very few people know about him. He was GOC of the 1st Bde CEF at the first gas attack at Ypres in April 1915. He then became the first GOC of the 3rd Division and was killed on 3 June 1916 at Armagh Wood near Ypres.

Also, after a recommendation of the Executive Committee, it was agreed that Cliff Nyenhuis will assume the role of Treasurer after Benjamin gets the signing authority updated at the Bowmanville Bank. In addition, Glen Kerr agreed to assume the role of Vice-Chairman. Both these positions will be confirmed at the AGM on October 4, 2003.

bulletMarch 29, 2003 - CEF Facts and Fiction - We had two outstanding guest speakers.

The Facts - Matthew Lucas, a WFA member and a researcher from the University of Birmingham in the UK compared the CEF 1st Canadian, BEF British (9th Scottish), and 1st Australian Divisions during the Great War. Matthew ( spent 6 weeks in Australia and 6 weeks in Canada visiting the main research libraries in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City.

The Fiction - Veronica Cusack, a writer based in Toronto, will share her adventures of researching and writing a fictional book based on the life of Capt. William A. P. Durie of the CEF 58th Battalion. Veronica ( conducted her research in Canada and the libraries in London, England. In the November 2001, she published a biography of Captain Durie, called The Family Plot in the Toronto Life magazine and now she is working on her book.

bulletNov 9, 2002 - Remembrance - John Haslam introduced the COBWFA members to two special guests from Bowmanville -- John Kay and Jim Connell. John's father was killed on the D-Day Beaches (Juno) in a 1st Hussar (RCAC) tank in 1944. Jim is the chairman of the Bowmanville Legion and was recently elected as an Honorary Member of the COBWFA. On behalf of the COBWFA, John Haslam presented Jim Connell with a Great War helmet and bayonet to be displayed at the Legion. Also, Mike Kenny showed his latest Great War presentation.

bulletOct 5, 2002 - History of the Colt 45 and a Canadian in the Cyclist Battalion who Carried One - Ron Alldred presented a facinating story about a man and his gun --- Sgt. John Henry Smithies, Number 125. During WW1 the Canadian Government smuggled 5,000 Colt 45 automatic pistols with holsters into Canada from the United States. Also, in the show and tell part, Kevin Shackleton, talked about the writing of his book Second to None.

At the Annual General Meeting, the membership approved the following recommendations from the Excecutive Committee.

  1. Membership Report - there are about 24 members
  2. Election of officers - the Executive Committee recommends the following people who have agreed to serve for another year:
    bulletChairman* - Mr. Benjamin Keevil
    bulletVice Chairman* - Vacant (Benjamin will find someone during the year who is willing to become the Chairman next year)
    bulletSecretary* - Kathleen and Larry McCone
    bulletTreasurer* - Kathleen and Larry McCone
    bulletMembership* - Kathleen and Larry McCone
  3. Other Business - The Executive Committee recommends the appointment of Mark Pilot and the Luce Maple Leaf Executive Committee who live in the Somme area of France as Honourary Members of the COBWFA. During the past 5 years, the Luce Maple Leaf have welcomed and helped many members of the COBWFA to research and remember the Canadian contribution to the Great War. Every August 8th the Luce Committee has a rememberance ceremony.

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bulletJune 8, 2002 - Gord MacKinnon recently returned for a research trip to the Public Records Office in London, England and presented his story on how he researched the combat reports to find out more detailed information about WW1 operations. Snapshot Status Reports and Book Reviews - Each member introduced themselves and in 5 or 10 minutes described their interests in the Great War and the status of any remembering projects or helpful books. For example, Benjamin Keevil talked about the WFA book published in 1999, "Private Memorials of the Great War on the Western Front" by Barrie Thorpe.
bulletFebruary 16, 2002 - Planning meeting to determine the dates and topics for future meetings.
bulletNovember 17, 2001 - Remembrance and Annual General Meeting. Gordon MacKinnon told the story of Private Ronald MacKinnon of the PPLCI who was killed at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917.
bulletApril 21, 2001 - Member Presentation
bulletJanuary 13, 2001 - Election of new Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer, and Membership Secretary.

bulletDecember 9, 2000
bulletSeptember 16, 2000 (meeting of members, the AGM was delayed)
bulletJune 17, 2000 - Member presentations. Note that in June 2000, our friends from France visited Canada.
bulletApril 29, 2000 (Vimy Ridge)
bulletMay 13, 2000
bulletMarch 18, 2000 - Member presentations, video

bulletDecember 11, 1999 - Holiday social and auction
bulletNovember 20, 1999 - Remembrance Presentations.
bulletSeptember 11, 1999 - Annual General Meeting (AGM)
bulletJune 19, 1999 - Member presentations.
bulletMay 29, 1999 - Member presentations, video
bulletMarch 20, 1999 - Presentation by Benjamin Keevil on how to develop a Web site and research the World Wide Web for WW1 information. (Video, Sgt York and Soldiers Series "The History of the Infantry")
bulletFebruary 27, 1999 - Member presentations
bulletJanuary 30, 1999 - Member presentations

bulletDecember 5, 1998 - Seasons Greetings social get together and auction.
bulletNovember 21, 1998 - Slide and tape presentation on "Remembering 1914 to 1918" by Mike Kenny and a video "Dept of Honour" - the story of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
bulletOctober 17, 1998 - Annual General Meeting, election of Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer, and Newsletter publisher.
bulletSeptember 26, 1998 - First meeting of the year, presentation on WW1 tanks.
bulletNote that John Haslam founded the COBWFA and started monthly meetings in September 1994.


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