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Local Legion, schools, libraries offer support for book of remembrance

by Chris Daponte

CENTRE WELLINGTON - Schools, Legions and libraries seem to be embracing We’ll Never Forget, a book featuring a local veteran and aimed at promoting the importance of remembrance among youths.

“I just think it’s a terrific book,” said Fred Hiller, youth education chairman at Legion Branch 275 in Fergus.

The hardcover book was written by Toronto teacher Jean Miso and features the stories of 20 veterans from WWI and WWII as well as Korea, peace keeping missions and Afghanistan. It also includes illustrations and a song.

“I think it’s a powerful tool to help children not to forget there were a lot of sacrifices made so they can live the life they do and so we can have the country we have,” Miso told the Advertiser.

“I never had to deal with what [veterans] had to face. I am very lucky - and I think kids are getting it now, too.”

And while the target audience may be primary school children, the book has been a hit with young and old alike, she explained.

Hiller was impressed with the book from the outset and brought it to the Fergus Legion’s executive committee, which agreed it should be made available in local schools and libraries.

So they agreed to purchase several books and tasked Hiller with visiting school and library officials to explain the idea and gauge their interest.

“It was tremendous,” he said of the feedback he received at each and every location.

So in addition to the Fergus Legion, We’ll Never Forget is also available for reading at nine schools in the branch’s catchment area, as well as Wellington County libraries in Fergus and Aboyne.

The Fergus Legion also recently presented a copy to Paige Marie Lovella Hough, a provincial finalist in the Royal Canadian Legion’s annual essay and poetry contest.

Hiller credits Mervin Fisher, a Second World War veteran living in Pine Meadows near Belwood, with much of the local success of the book.

Fisher, who moved to the area last year from Etobicoke, is one of the veterans featured in Miso’s book. Along with his wife, Doreen Flockhart, Fisher has helped Miso spread word about the book and even to sell copies.

“We’ve sold over 100 for her,” said Fisher.

He said the book is an invaluable tool to help teach students about veterans and remembrance - and particularly those who gave their lives in service of their country.

“It’s important not to forget the ones that didn’t make it,” Fisher said.

Hiller said he hopes the book catches on with other Legions. He want to take the idea to Mount Forest and specifically to Wellington Heights Secondary School.

He also noted the Elora Legion was discussing the book (Branch 229 president Ashley Woods was unavailable for comment by press time).

To date, Miso has sold about 2,250 of 3,000 books. She must sell the remainder in order to raise enough money for a Canadian WWI memorial at Hill 70 in France. A proceed from the sales also goes to support the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command Poppy Trust Fund.

Miso is currently working on another book and says she would consider a second printing of We’ll Never Forget once the first 3,000 are sold.

For more information on Miso and her book, visit www.jeanmiso.ca. To purchase a copy locally (for $22), contact Fisher and Flockhart at 519-787-5111.

 

November 4, 2011

 
 

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