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Portraits of Honour comes to Fergus on Dec. 8

by David Meyer

FERGUS - The penultimate stop on the Portraits of Honour tour of Canada will be in Fergus on Dec. 8, Centre Wellington council heard in its committee of the whole on Nov. 14.

Bruce Lloyd, of Fergus, is the national project manager of the Portraits of Honour tour. He is a longtime associate of the Kinsmen Club at local and national levels.

Portraits of Honour is a large mural created by Cambridge artist Dave Sopha, also a Kinsmen Club member. He has painted a picture of each of the 158 Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan since that war began.

He will bring the 10 by 40 foot oil on canvas to Fergus for viewing next month.

The Kinsmen Club of Fergus is in a partnership with the Fergus Legion Branch 275. From 10am to 6pm there will be a free viewing of the mural, with a special Remembrance ceremony at 11am.

The Kinsmen Club is also working to assist the Military Families fund, which supports returning veterans with physical and emotional needs.

Lloyd told council they often face issues due to the conditions of their service and should not be forgotten.

To raise funds, the Kinsmen Club is seeking 158 sponsors for 158 flags representing the Canadian death toll in Afghanistan, sold at $158. The mural’s permanent home will feature those flags representing each of Canada’s fallen soldiers. Each flag base will feature the name of a sponsoring individual, business, or corporate entity who supported the Honouring Our Troops Legacy.

As well, there will be a tribute dinner at the Legion starting at 6pm, for $35 per person, with cocktails, a dinner and special guest speaker Terry Kelly, who wrote A Pittance of Time and artist Sopha.

The tour began on May 28 in Kitchener and has since visited over 100 communities across Canada.

Among those who visited the tour were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Kate and William), Prime Minister Stephen Harper (three times), Governor General David Johnston, Chief of Defence Staff General Walt Natynczyk and Minister of National Defence Peter McKay.

Lloyd told council, “As a country, we need to support this – so those who have given can get.”

He added the final tour stop will be in Sopha’s home town of Cambridge two days after the Fergus visit.

Lloyd also showed a video of what the Portraits of Honour painting and tour has meant to the men and women in the Armed Forces and their surviving relatives.

Mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj said, “We are honoured we are on the list. We’re very moved.”

To sponsor a flag or to purchase a dinner ticket or for more information call 519-843-4745.



November 18, 2011


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