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Toronto Catholic District School Board

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On Friday, November 9th the St. Joseph's College School community assembled to remember the countless men and women who have served in our armed forces in times of war, peacekeeping, and disaster relief. Our ceremony began with the acknowledgement of our school's location on traditional land of our First People. We shared the story of Chief Joe Dreaver of the Mistawasis First Nation in Saskatchewan. Chief Dreaver served in both World Wars and was decorated for bravery for his service in the First World War. He is just one example of the thousands of Indigenous Canadians who have served in Canada's military. As this was the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice to formally end the First World War, our prayers, readings from scripture, dramatic presentation, dispalyed images from the arts department and delivered so eloquently by our students, were focussed on bringing peace in our world.
 
I had the great honour of sharing my late father's military history with the St. Joseph's community. He volunteered for service in August 1940 and in 1943 he was sent overseas with the Royal Canadian Regiment to take part in the campaign to liberate Italy from Nazi occupation. The allies successfully liberated Sicily and then proceeded to the mainland. They came under particularly heavy fire as they advanced on the strategic town of Ortona. On December 18, 1943 my dad was hit by shrapnel, some of which struck him on the forehead. At 21 years of age he was permanently blinded. He returned to Canada where he was helped enormously by the Sir Arthur Pearson Association for War Blinded which was affiliated with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Their headqurters on Beverley Street in downtown Toronto assisted blinded vets in adjusting to their disability. It was here that my dad met my mom. They married and had four children and I am the youngest. As the son of a World War 2 veteran I saw first hand the terrible price many of our soldiers paid for their service and at the same time I also saw the enormous pride veterans have for their role in securing the freedom of so many.  May we always remember them.
 
Mr. John Doucet
Department Head, Canadian and World Studies​
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The Art Club added more panels to the war mural installed on the school fence​.

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 This year we recognized the Armistice , and our First Nations Peoples who served in the wars.

 
 
 
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