Lost memorial maples to be replanted at special Vic High ceremony

Old maples replaced with new trees due to school expansion

Remembrance Day will take on special significance for the students at Vic High this year.

Tomorrow (Nov. 10), the school will be joined by the Canadian Club of Victoria for a rededication ceremony to replace maple trees with a tie to the First World War.

“This is a group of women who, in 1917, donated 17 maples for Vining Street to memorialize staff and students of Vic High that lost their lives during the war, but more particularly at Vimy Ridge, because there are maples at Vimy Ridge,” said Vic High principal Randi Falls.

The trees, which were dying, were taken down in March during the construction of the school’s new technical building.

A consultant advised against replacing the lost maples with new ones, because they only last 80 to 100 years.

But Falls had a different take on it.

Rather than seeing the trees’ short lifespan as a disadvantage, she sees it as an opportunity.

“It’s staying with the same group of species, as was originally intended in 1917, and having basically a tree that will need to be replaced over a shorter period of time will allow our school to continue on with this tradition, this rededication piece. We think this will be really, really exciting for our kids and our community.”

The ceremony begins at 10:15 a.m. and will be attended by Victoria MP Denise Savoie, Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin, Vic High school alumni, a member of the Western Front, Pacific Coast Branch and other officials.

There will also be another tie to 1917.

“The Fifth B.C. Field Regiment RCA Band played in 1917,” said Falls. “That band is still ongoing. They will play again for us.”

 

rholmen@vicnews.com