Vital People: Vic High student’s sacrifice at Vimy honoured

The Island String Players Society will offer a musical tribute honouring Victoria High School students who fought in the Battle of Vimy Ridge and served during the First World War, on April 12 at the school.

The performance, Vimy Ridge 100/Canada 150, seeks to remember the approximately one in four Victoria High School students and staff who enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force to fight in the War to End All Wars. Of those who fought in the war, 497 never returned.

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The Island String Players Society will evoke the history of the period by playing music of the era.

“We shall be playing five Canadian songs that were discovered in the archives of McMaster University,” said Don Kissinger, president of the Island String Players Society. “They speak of patriotism, sacrifice, hope and loss.”

The five songs in the program are: I Love You Canada; When Your Boy Comes Back to You; The Hearts of The World Love Canada; His Name Is on the Roll of Honour and Sacrifice. The songs were all written and published in Canada after Vimy Ridge.

The performers will include members of the Victoria’s music community, the Songbirds of Brentwood Bay and music students from the University of Victoria.

The concert both honours those who fell in battle and celebrates the youth of the school during the 150th anniversary of Canada.

The performance will be followed by a presentation by author Barry Gough, military historian, former student, teacher and chairman of the Victoria High School Alumni Association.

His book, From Classroom to Battlefield: Victoria High School and the First World War, chronicles the lives of some of the Victoria High School students and teachers who died in the war.

The remembrance program is free to attend. It runs 2 p.m. for students and 7 p.m. for the public, April 12 in the auditorium of Victoria High School, 1260 Grant St.

The event is funded by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between the Government of Canada and the Victoria Foundation. The Island String Players Society is the umbrella organization for the Victoria Chamber Orchestra.

For more information, go to victoriachamberorchestra.org.

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