Manitoba Museum to honour vets
KEVIN RUSHWORTH HIGH RIVER TIMES/QMI AGENCY. On Tuesday, June 25, the Canadian Armed Forces allowed media on their light armoured vehicles for a tour of the community's northwest, especially that of Wallaceville.
In order to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War, the Manitoba Agricultural Museum will exhibit the country’s military heritage at this year’s Threshermen’s Reunion and Stampede.
“Because the anniversary dates coincided, we thought that it would be a good opportunity to not fantasize about the wars, but to show that they had an impact on agriculture, families, and communities in rural Manitoba,” said Georgette Hutlet, chief museum officer.
The First and Second World Wars saw a combined deployment to Europe of more than 1.6 million Canadian troops, of which, a good portion came from rural communities.
“A lot of young farm boys went off to war so that left farm families short handed. A lot of women had to work in the fields,” said Hutlet.
When Canadian soldiers returned home, things were different.
“A lot of them went to the farms, some of them went on to other areas to work. It all depended on their physical condition and their health after going through something like that,” said Hutlet.
Aside from those that returned, 112,000 failed to make it home from the two wars leading to the shuttering of some farms, especially after the Second World War as it followed the Depression.
“I think some of that was impacted,” said Hutlet. “In some families there were maybe three or four sons that may have gone to war. So that would be a real impact on the ability of the family to carry on farm work.”
In order to make history tangible, the museum will feature Manitoba’s largest public display of operating vintage military vehicles and the current capabilities of Canada’s armed forces.
“They will have personnel there who can interact with the public and explain the displays because we’re going to have equipment here that probably a lot of people have never seen before,” said Hutlet.
Presenting at the reunion will be the 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, the Royal Canadian Legion, the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Prairie Command Military Vehicle Association, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles Museum, the Fort Garry Horse Ghost Squadron, the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, and the Military History Society of Manitoba.
As always, the Thresherman’s Reunion will have a rodeo, musical entertainment, threshing, and interpretive rural displays.
“This is an opportunity to find out how agriculture was a 100 years ago, because a lot of the equipment we have here helped create this province,” said Hutlet.
The 60th annual Thresherman’s Reunion will run from July 24-27 in Austin.