Spitfires and Veterans team up to plant flowers
By Kati Panasiuk
The first of many legacy projects has been completed as a result of Windsor hosting the 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup.
The Memorial Gardens were planted in the roundabout at the WFCU Centre by a group of youth, directors and veterans. Focusing on the ties between hockey and the military, the Memorial Gardens will be planted every year to honour Windsor hosting the famous tournament.
The first Memorial Cup was handed out in 1919. The trophy was created by a veteran by the name of Captain James T Sutherland. Captain Sutherland lost of a number of friends he spent years playing hockey with and created the bond between Canadian hockey players and veterans.
John Savage, organizing chairperson for the 2017 Memorial Cup, said Canadian hockey and Canadian military have been closely connected.
“That connection between Canada’s favourite sport and its military is an extremely important part of these games,” said Savage. “It is why the Memorial Cup’s Remembrance Gardens is the first legacy project to be announced.”
Master Corporal Veteran Mike Akpata, also part of the Memorial Cup committee, spoke to the crowd about how the gardens will help people remember their freedom.
“The garden we go to today is designed to memorialize and remember,” said Akpata. “It is designed to ensure that those who reap the benefits of those who have given their lives can stop and pause. What better way to do it, than with flowers?”
The crowd formed outside around the roundabout to watch as the first tulip bulbs were planted. Each bulb was placed by the many people who make up the MasterCard Memorial Cup committee.
Memorial Cup committee plans to announce more legacy initiatives leading up to the tournament.
Youth participation members stand with (left to right), John Savage, Mike Akpata and Jeffery Artale at the WFCU new Memorial Cup Remembrance Garden on Nov 23 2016.
Photo by Kati Panasiuk