The large evergreen tree between the town hall and the post office in downtown Strathroy has been strung with light bulbs. Just as the bulbs on the tree bring light into the downtown area when they are lit, we ask individuals and businesses to think of people they care about who have brought light into their lives. These people have had an influence on who you are and maybe have been important in providing you with the opportunities to succeed in your life. These influential people may still be living or they may have passed away. Often they are family members; grand parents, parents, sisters, brothers, your children. Sometimes they are not related to you at all, but still have been important in who you are today: neighbours, teachers, church ministers.
The Strathroy – Caradoc Lions, over the past few years have asked citizens to ‘buy a bulb’ thinking of someone who has brought light into your life. Individual bulbs are $5 each. Individuals and businesses have also made significantly larger sponsorship donations toward specific target projects.
Past projects have included: an ophthamological chair in the eye surgery area at Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital, wheelchair accessible picnic tables in parks, bicycle racks in downtown for riders to lock their bikes while shopping, steel benches through downtown and at the hospital.
For 2015 the project is a cooperative one, with the Strathroy – Caradoc Lions, the Strathroy Legion Branch 116, the International Order of Daughters of the Empire (I.O.D.E.), and the Municipality of Strathroy – Caradoc.
2015 is the 70th Anniversary of end of World War 2. The Strathroy cenotaph has inscriptions of war veterans with a connection to Strathroy. 17 of those names are of veterans who served in WW2. They served in 15 different military units (battalions) each battalion had its own design for its emblem, banner badge – quite often very stylish and colourful to represent it distinctly.
The 4 organizations have taken on a “WW2 – Veterans Memorial Project” for 2015. The total project consists of:
- replacing the wall at the cenotaph which is made of stone and is crumbling, ($6,000+ / Legion & IODE)
- placing engraved memorial plaques made of laser cut stainless steel on the top, angled surface of the wall. These plaques would each have the name of a separate batallion, its emblem or banner badge design, and the names of the veteran(s) who were in that battalion when they died ($310 each Lions’ sponsors)
- placement of metal ‘banners’ on utility poles along the route of honour between the cenotaph and the cemetery, with the Legion Hall along that route. Each metal ‘banner’ will have:
- the Lions logo and the municipality’s name – Strathroy Caradoc at the top, ($565 each – Lions’ sponsors)
- a colour image of the battalion’s emblem in the middle,
- a poppy,
- the name of the battalion below the emblem,
- sponsor’s name(s) in colour at the bottom.
The colour on the metal utility pole ‘banners’ will be made of the same durable material used for stop and other road signs.
+ a sponsors’ recognition panel in the library / museum foyer