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A Time to Remember" Set For Windsor Legion March 20 March 17, 2004 Article in the Hants Journal (Windsor NS) By Fred Lawrence Local veterans, Legion members and members of the public are in for some great musical entertainment from the WWII era. A “Time to Remember - Songs and Stories of the War Years” is a musical trip through time written and directed by George Egan. Egan is a Grade 12 teach at Yarmouth high school and with help from his drama students, has staged shows for veterans [and audiences] for the past 12 years. Glen Gaudet is the project coordinator and a former student of George Egan who has been helping with the productions since he graduated in 1993. “All of my good memories from Grade 12 came from being involved in the show, and it’s a really good cause. Every student who was ever in a production said it was the most memorable school experience they ever had.” Gaudet said a new play is written each year using material from old letters written to, and from, soldiers stationed overseas, diaries, and from interviewing veterans who fought in the war, and the brides many of the brought back to Canada. The shows have been very well received by the public, but especially so by veterans Gaudet explained. “At one show a couple stayed after the play was over and I asked if they enjoyed it, the elderly gentleman was rather emotional and told me it was like watching his own life during those times. It is really important, especially for the veterans to keep those memories alive.” Gaudet admits much of what happens on stage is centered around jovial camaraderie in war and the great music written during that era. “The show revolves around the basic training soldiers underwent, and takes in such things as the pub atmosphere soldiers experienced while in England, and usually between 40 to 50 sings are performed around the upright piano.” The cast is set to take the show to England in May where they will perform at several venues. “The Air Training Program in England brought a contingent of British pilots to train in Yarmouth”. The first Telegraphist Air Gunners (TAGs) arrived in Yarmouth Dec. 22, 1942. “Many pilots were trained here and hold annual re-unions and we would like to take the show to them”. The Dinner Theatre cast will perform one night in Gosport at Thorngate Theatre [at Thorngate Hall] and take part in the memorial service for naval airmen [and all Fleet Air Arm] crews lost at sea the following day. Another show is scheduled for the Astor Theatre near the coastal village of Dover, where the white cliffs were made famous by the classic Vera Lynn song. The Yarmouth Air Base was dismantled and some of it shipped to Germany after the war and was used as temporary shelters to house refuges. All that remains now of the former base are a few remnants and some old square head nails. The old nails would become useful again Gaudet explained, “We took students there in mid December to give them a feel for the place and we collected a bunch of the square head nails.” The nails will be taken to England and given to surviving TAGs who trained in Yarmouth. “Nails were used to keep the buildings together and they are a symbol of strength, we want to present them to the British veterans as a small symbol of the strength in the bond between Canada and England [after all this time].” The message on the card and nail package reads “This nail was retrieved from the site of East Camp in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, during a visit there on Dec. 22, 2003, by the 440 cast and crew. It symbolizes “strength” which held together the physical structures of East Camp during World War II just as Telegraphist Air Gunners are a symbol of “strength” in the historical bond between Canada and Britain. Thank you for allowing us to share your Memorial Weekend (May 15 and 16, 2004) The Cast and Crew 440 Productions Association.” “It’s not about glory or making stars [of the participants]” Gaudet explains, “the reason we cover the war years is because that generation went over, did their jobs, came back and got very little or no recognition for their efforts [and they don’t seek recognition]”. Gaudet said the show is performed to honour veterans and “we just want to sing some happy old songs to try and bring back some of the good memories of the war [were possible], and to show students they are involved in something much bigger than themselves.” A “Time to Remember - Songs and Stories of the War Years” will be performed at the Windsor Legion Branch #9 on Sat., March 20, at 7:30 p.m. Call 798-2031 for reservations.
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A Time to Remember" Set For Windsor Legion March 17, 2004
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Cast rehearsing "The Fall of Hong Kong"
Cast of Time to Remember