Nepean War Memorial
City of Nepean, Ontario

It is fitting that, in this community celebrating its bicentennial, we should gather here today to unveil and dedicate a new memorial to those who made the supreme sacrifice, in many world conflicts, to ensure that we can all enjoy the freedom and security we have in this great country of ours.

The City of Nepean is happy to join with the Royal Canadian Legion, Bells Corners Branch, in celebrating this important milestone, one of many marking our 200th anniversary.

  Nepean's story begins with the granting of land in 1792. Many will be surprised to learn that much of present day Ottawa was once a part of Nepean and indeed the sandstone used to construct the Parliament Buildings was quarried in Nepean. The growth of the timber trade, the importance of milk production, our survival of the Great Fire in 1870, the birth of streetcar suburbs, speculative land booms and recurrent depressions are all a part of our past.

Many of you know that the City of Nepean was named after Sir Evan Nepean. Sir Evan, an English nobleman, served as Secretary of the Admiralty, Chief Secretary for Ireland and Governor of Bombay. He earned an excellent reputation as a hard-working administrative official and was further distinguished by having Nepean named in his honour.

Today, Nepean is a city of 110,000 residents and over 2,100 businesses. The city, its businesses and its residents are happy to join in the celebration of our 200th anniversary and Canada's 125th birthday.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Royal Canadian Legion, I would like to take a few minutes to tell you about this organization. The Royal Canadian Legion's mission is to serve veterans, ex-service persons and their dependents as well as to support community activities. Annually, the Legion contributes millions of dollars as well as other assistance for Seniors including care, housing, medical services and training, the cadets, boy scouts, girl guides, youth sports, scholarships and bursaries, geriatric education, charitable organizations and other agencies.

The Royal Canadian Legion has 700,000 members, affiliates and ladies' auxiliaries in 1,750 branches in Canada, the United States and Germany.

Our service officers are available to provide assistance, advice and representation to help veterans gain the many support programs available through Veterans' Affairs. Our next major campaign is the Annual Poppy Campaign from October 31 to November 10. The Legion appreciates the many donations it received through this campaign. Funds are used to support the programs mentioned earlier.

Today's ceremony marks the end of a project which began in late 1990 by the Royal Canadian Legion's Bell Corners Branch by way of a letter to Nepean Mayor Ben Franklin. Mayor Franklin and his Council were most supportive as were members of his staff.

A planning committee held their first meeting in February 1991. It was comprised of Bill Levesque, Director of Planning and Development with the Parks and Recreation Department; Colonel John Gardam, CMM., CD., a former Canadian and Commonwealth War Graves Commissioner and, currently, Project Manager of the Peace Memorial which will be unveiled next month; and led by Clair Adams of the Royal Canadian Legion.

The site was chosen and the launching of the project was announced by Mayor Franklin at a ceremony held on May 5, 1991, to mark the 30th anniversary of the Legion's Bells Corners Branch. A fund-raising program was announced and, thanks to the citizens of Nepean, local service clubs, industry, the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa Association, the Westboro Branch of the Legion, members of the Bells Corners Branch and many others, we will witness the results of those endeavors today. A special thanks must go to the Nepean Kiwanis Club. Without their generous donation, it would have been necessary to delay this project for some time.

The names of all donors and the details of those who submitted information on their loved ones, whom they all wish remembered, have been included in a capsule which was placed under the memorial.


There is still much more to be done to complete this project, including landscaping, for which donations continue to be accepted gratefully.

On parade today we have the Canadian Forces Pipe Band from CFB Ottawa leading the contingents from the Royal Canadian Legion - Zone G5.

The Cameron Highlanders of Canada Band leads the contingents from all the local militia units.

Also in the parade are members of the Canadian Sea Cadets, the Army Cadets and members of the Nepean Police Service, the Nepean Fire Department, Nepean service clubs and the Girl Guides of Canada.

Excerpts from the speech by Peter Van Dusen
at the Dedication of the War Memorial
by the Royal Canadian Legion, Bells
Corners Branch and the City of Nepean

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