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Losing some Canadian history


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Here is a copy of an email I have sent to the Prime Minister, I am sending a copy to you on the chance you may know someone that can help this man.  For years I have thought someone should create a  traveling World War II Memorial and get it to the people across Canada that may never have the opportunity to travel to Ottawa and go to the museum. I would do it myself, I have the ability to take on a project of this magnitude, but not the funds to  bring this to fruition.
Please forward this to anyone you think may be able to keep this remarkable collection in one piece so that this valuable part of Canadian history remain intact. SHARE THIS WITH AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN TIME IS RUNNING OUT.
Thank You
Joe Wilson

From: Attitude & Ideas Inc. [mailto:ani@ody.ca]
Sent: February-10-11 3:34 PM
To: 'pm@pm.gc.ca'
Cc: 'valerf1@parl.gc.ca'; 'p.guerin@orange.fr'; 'kyum@globeandmail.com'; 'city@thestar.ca'; 'torsun.citydesk@sunmedia.ca'; 'info@ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca'; 'gnott@ottawacitizen.com'; 'information@vac-acc.gc.ca'
Subject: Losing some Canadian history

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

It has recently been brought to my attention that we Canadians are about to lose some of our Canadian Military History in France. While doing my daily social networking for my business, on the facebook page Canada Remembers which has over 450,000 followers I came across a person named Philippe Guerin from Normandy France (p.guerin@orange.fr).  Mr. Guerin just started a facebook group page called Normandy 1944 Canadian Museum in which in his own words he did because “the idea is to show Canadians what they will not be able to visit when visiting Normandy in the future, as the project of such a museum is nearly dead... Enjoy the visit! I will add many more pictures of the collection, by themespictures of the collection, by themes”.  Mr. Guerin from his postings has an amazing collection of Canadian Military artifacts (I highly recommend you peruse his postings to get a clear understanding of the significance of his collection).  Mr. Guerin is readily available to assist Canadians that are looking for closure for lost World War II family members.  As stated here in one of his postings “I live 10mn away from the Abbay d'Ardennes and 15mn away from the Canadian cemetery, in case you need pictures of the grave, let me know”. On another “My parents and I have been welcoming Canadian vets since 1973, we always gave them everything they needed: room, food, drinks, drives, fun,... for NO charge”. My parents are now old, I am now disabled of my left hand, and believe me, you will never find anyone like us in Normandy”.  Mr. Guerin is truly a passionate individual, definitely a Canadian asset in Normandy, and presently he is in need of Canada’s help.
The problem Mr. Guerin is facing is that he is dire need of a location to relocate his collection to a museum to honour our Canadian Soldiers abroad, and he does not have the funds to obtain a location on his own.  As he states “this collection was started in 1973. Thousands of hours and tens of thousands of Euros spent. I found a lot from local markets, barns, attics, aged people, and Canadian vets! I have come to the point that I'm fed up seeing this collection in the ex hay attic of my farm, and need to do something proper now... I say 'now'... I am in a hurry, I have to sell my farm as I can't maintain it anymore, nor my parents can. I have to move the collection somewhere else, a museum or sell it so things must go fast. I can't wait”.  Yes the Juno Beach Centre already exists, it does have; multimedia presentations, interactive computer terminals, antique radios that broadcast news from the war, video montages and veteran interviews that bring you closer to actual events of the war, and they also have artifact displays it is my opinion that they do not have the room to display Mr. Guerin’s entire collection which from what I have seen from his postings would rival some of the artifacts found at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.  In 2004/5 the ‘Year of the Veteran’ Mr. Guerin did display one part of his collection at the Centre in a ‘temporary’ exhibit .His collection is so vast, as he puts it there is a need to “create a RIGHT and PROPER Canadian museum in Normandy”.  He has on his own tried to get help in France to create such a museum, but to no avail. Again in his own words “I called the Mayor of Courseulles sur Mer for a meeting, good contact but still NO room for such a museum, February  28th I will be 45 and will start selling the collection, I’m done”.
Today, worldwide the World War II generation is leaving us at the rate of a thousand a day. The generation that gave so much to each of us, and to the world, is quietly receding into the pages of history.  Mr. Harper I beseech you is there anything we can do to help Mr. Guerin and keep this part of Canadian history alive.
I humbly await your response.
Kindest regards:
Joe Wilson
Have you contacted the Canadian War Museum?



Mark O'Neill
Director General, Canadian War Museum, and Vice President, CMCC
(819) 776-8622

Dianne Turpin
Executive Assistant, Canadian War Museum
(819) 776-8626

Rachel Poirier
Budget and Administrative Officer
(819) 776-8658

Yasmine Mingay
Manager, Communications
(819) 776-8608

Holden Stoffel
Records Manager
(819) 776-8692

Avra Gibbs-Lamey
Communications and Media Relations Officer
(819) 776-8607

Morgan Wright
Public Relations Officer
(819) 776-8631

Research and Exhibitions:

Dr. Dean Oliver
Director, Research and Exhibitions
(819) 776-8654

Kim Muller
Administrative Assistant
(819) 776-8592

Genevieve de Mahy
Manager, Canada Culture Online Projects (CCOP)
(819) 776-8656

Tony Glen
Exhibition Planner
(819) 776-8619

Sarah Dobbin
Exhibition Project Manager
(819) 776-8602

Martine Seewaldt
Exhibition Project Manager
(819) 776-8643

Dr. Peter Macleod
Historian, Pre-Confederation
(819) 776-8659

Dr. Tim Cook
Historian, First World War
(819) 776-8677

Dr. Jeff Noakes
Historian, Second World War
(819) 776-8696

Dr. Andrew Burtch
Historian, Post 1945
(819) 776-8615

Dr. Laura Brandon
Historian, Art and War
(819) 776-8666

Dr. Amber Lloydlangston
Assistant Historian
(819) 776-8682

Jane Naisbitt
Head, Military History Research Centre
(819) 776-8674

Lara Andrews
(819) 776-8680

Carol Reid
Collections Manager, Archives
(819) 776-8661

Maggie Arbour-Doucette
Collections Manager, Image Archives and Reproduction Service
(819) 776-8655

Dennis Fletcher
Image Archives Technician
(819) 776-8651

Susan Ross
Image Reproduction Service Technician
(819) 776-8686

Dalton Campbell
(819) 776-8678


Jim Whitham
Manager, Collections
(819) 776-8646

Et van Lingen
Chief, Registration
(819) 776-8663

George Barnhill
Loans Officer
(819) 776-8641

April Tessier
Cataloguer and Systems Application Administrator
(819) 776-8669

Bill Kent
Collections Photographer
(819) 776-8642

Andrew Iarocci
Collections Manager, Transportation and Artillery
(819) 776-8645

Jason Ginn
Collections Manager, Arms and Armour
(819) 776-8665

Eric Fernberg
Collections Manager, Dress and Insignia
(819) 776-8653

Martin Skeen
Exhibit Display Preparator
(819) 776-8691
580 CFRA and Lowell Green may also be willing to help get the word out.


580 CFRA
87 George Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 9H7
"...we always gave them everything they needed: room, food, drinks, drives, fun,... for NO charge”.

My family can not speak highly enough of the French families and their hospitality. There are only five Canadian graves, and two RAF, ( all from the same seven-man aircrew )  in the cemetery, but the people - while under enemy occupation - buried them "front-row centre".
They took photographs of the funeral - which are published in the book "Massacre Over the Marne" - ( and of my uncle who died about an hour after the crash ), and after the Liberation by the Americans, they handed them to the RCAF Missing Research and Enquiry Service M.R.E.S. - Paris, for delivery to Next of Kin. They made a Cross of Lorraine out of part of the aircraft, they left the field where the aircraft crashed unplowed out of respect, made a little marker. Lots of nice things that my grandparents got to see on their pilgrimage in 1954. They also sent notes to MRES, but it was not until my father and I viewed the five personnel records in Ottawa, many years later, that we saw those.