Historical vignettes being researched for St. Jean Baptiste Park

Musee Morinville Museum Directors Andre Noel, Murray Knight and Yvon Leblanc (not pictured) were busy removing the old vignettes from the St Jean Baptiste Park early Wednesday morning.

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Morinville – Musee Morinville Museum Directors Yvon Leblanc, Murray Knight and Andre Noel were busy removing the vignettes from the St. Jean Baptiste Park Wednesday morning. Some of the vignettes will be redone and the museum directors are already tasked with their choice of theme to research and compilation of information before meeting with the chosen artist. Two of the vignettes are already completed: the Father Primeau and Agriculture vignettes. The 100 years of Military History coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Town and the Freedom of the City ceremony recently held in Morinville.

Ernie Chauvet, coordinator Centralta Tourism Society, MCHS teacher Kenton Zerbin and Lucie Roy met Tuesday afternoon to discuss the military vignette. The 100-year theme begins with June 6, 1909, the formal opening of the Militia Squadron D armoury in Morinville. The Squadron, formed by Major DeBlois Thibodeau, paraded to the Morinville church on June 6th where the colour (Union Jack) was blessed before the formal opening took place. A few years later this Squadron, along with many others across Alberta, were integrated to form the 19th Regiment of the Alberta Dragoons. The trucks from J.H. Perras garage were part of the convoys hauling equipment to Dawson Creek to construct the Alaska Highway. WWII veteran Melville Dalphond was part of the 52 men who escaped from the Fort de la Revere prison camp in Nice France, dubbed by many as the “Great Escape.” One Morinville family, Mr. and Mrs. Louis McDonald, had seven of their twelve children that served in WWII, four sons and one daughter in the Canadian Army, two sons in the Royal Canadian Air Force and a son-in-law in the Air Force. This and other facts and stories have surfaced and now the decision is to determine what will be portrayed on the vignette.

Another meeting held Tuesday was the Cardiff Coal Mine vignette. Some research still needs to be done to try and determine exactly where the three coal mines were situated. Maps of Cardiff and its three subdivisions- Cardiff, Pittsburg and McKenzie do not show their exact locations. The Cardiff Coal Mine and Alberta Coal Mine were neighbours with the same connection to the spur of the Canadian Northern Railway. The Banner mine is under research at this time.

Numerous other vignettes are also currently undergoing research and it will be interesting to see the completion and unveiling.

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