Peacekeepers memorial takes in the past and the future
© Diane Crocker
For a brief moment on Saturday Winston Childs’ mind drifted to the future — 100 years in the future when a time capsule buried at the Bay of Island’s War Memorial is opened.
“A hundred years from now whoever is going to be standing here in our place, I can’t imagine what they’ll look like or they’ll be thinking when they knock that top off that monument and say ‘wow look at these old guys here.’”
The monument he’s referring to is the peacekeepers memorial the Western Newfoundland Chapter, Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping unveiled at the at the Bay of Islands War Memorial on Saturday morning.
About 60 people joined with the dozen members the chapter to mark the dedication of the memorial, which fittingly took place on National Peacekeepers Day.
The monument is a project of the local chapter to recognize all peacekeepers from this area who through their service have helped to preserve world peace. The project is part of efforts and events around the country to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
Buried beneath the monument, which sits in a bed of flowers close to the road with the big war monument almost overlooking it, is a time capsule that has been filled by members of the chapter with information on peacekeeping operations, service records, photographs and notes.
Childs, 73, figures the contents will give people 100 years from now an idea of the people of today and the past ... what they looked like ... how they dressed and how they thought.
He put some pictures of missions he’s served on in the capsule and included a lighthearted note to say hi to the people of 100 years from now.
But on a more serious note, the Pasadena resident said the monument was very important to him.
“There’s been a lot of loss of life and lot of good work done in the world,” he said of the contribution Canada has made to peacekeeping operations.
After 33 years in the Canadian Army and serving in at least five peacekeeping missions, he’s witnessed that contribution first hand.
He recalled serving in Cyprus and going into the small enclaves of villages talking with people and trying to solve any issues they had, providing food and water and making sure children were safe.
“You really felt you were doing something great,” Childs said. “You felt buoyed up when you came out.”
But for Childs, who was 20 when he first signed up, they were all “typical things.”
“I come from Lark harbour and Lark Harbour has a tradition of military people,” he said.
“It’s just part of my psychic I guess,” he said.