YARMOUTH COUNTY - Motorcyclists participating in the sixth annual memorial ride from the Wharf Rat Rally in Digby to the Afghanistan monument at Maple Grove Education Centre in Hebron received reassuring news during a ceremony honouring fallen veterans and their families.
Canadian Army Veterans (CAV) Motorcycle Unit ambassador Trapper Cane said it was “a hard thing” to learn that the Maple Grove and Yarmouth High School Memorial Club founded by Joe Bishara had disbanded earlier this year.
Memorial Club members were a familiar sight at just about any local event honouring veterans over the past three decades.
Cane acknowledged their hard work and said what they have done is incomparable.
“They’ve done something that I don’t think they can even realize,” he said.
“I’ve attended 1,500 events in the last 15 years. There’s nothing like this across Canada. You can be proud in what you’ve accomplished here,” he said, gesturing towards the monument that the club had fundraised for.
“All you who support this, this is historic, this is important.”
Maple Grove Education Centre principal Sean Penney said many people have been wondering what’s going to happen in a post-Memorial Club era at Maple Grove.
He promised those attending the ceremony that respect would continue to be shown to veterans and that a new student club was in the beginning stages.
“We’ll be responsive to student interest while providing opportunities for students to pay their respects to Canadian service members and veterans,” he said.
The CAV and the Wharf Rat Rally organization invite all motorcyclists, military and otherwise, to join them each year in the ride.
The ride commemorated Master Cpl. Darren Williams, who organized the first event and died in a motorcycle accident in Trenton, Ontario, in 2015.
Following the remembrance service, some riders visited veterans at Veterans Place.
Riders donated to Maple Grove Education Centre for the maintenance of the memorial and to Veterans Place, which is fundraising for a new van.