Lest We Forget: Georgina’s Military Salute by Mark Koning
Lest We Forget: Georgina’s Military Salute
April 15, 2014
If there is anything that could capture someone’s attention in a fairly dramatic way, I think it would be this: a forty-two tonne, steel armored, 1965, Leopard 1 military used tank.
I visited the Georgina Military Museum the other day and received a small tour from the president of this quaint but very important establishment. It was founded in 2002 and then moved into its present location (just off of Woodbine Avenue in Georgina) in 2007. The museum offers up quite the collection of artefacts and historical memorabilia, along with a library of audio/visual and printed materials of, and from, those affected by war; particularly veterans. They also focus on educating the community, including schools, as to the tragedies incurred and the necessity of making every effort to prevent these types of conflict.
The outside grounds consist of a gravel parking area, a grassy knoll with a couple of picnic benches and a place for the events in which they host, a forested and open area for re-enactments which are occasionally performed, the tank that I mentioned, an infantry support gun, and a few other military vehicles. One that quickly caught my eye (after that massive tank of course) was a green medical ambulance that would have been used to collect wounded soldiers after they were taken from the battlefield. It was amongst a few others that were in the current state of restoration; but still….. looking at these military transports one could only image the roles that they played.
Three buildings sit upon this awesome site and all are used for different purposes. One is a storage/maintenance shed, the second is a portable for school classroom presentations, and the third is the museum itself. It is somewhat small in comparison to some big city museums, but it is cozy and intimate and absolutely perfect for the personal stories that are held within its walls. The story of the soldier who got married two weeks prior to shipping out, only to never return….. one of the many that I am sure has drawn a tear or two. Most who visit this place will recall some type of connection they have to these devastating events; mine being the fact that my Grandfather served in World War 2. I choked up a little as the stories that he had told me when I was younger came rushing back to fill my head.
The museum is open from the last week in April up to Remembrance Day and it is run by a dedicated group of volunteers. The site welcomes, and is a treat that I highly recommend, to everyone of every age. For more information, visit: http://www.georginamilitarymuseum.ca/