"Garden of Memories"
The "Garden of Memories"
The "Garden of Memories" was created to commemorate the participation of the province of Manitoba in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP). To a larger scale, it is intended to perpetuate the glorious tradition of the Royal Canadian Air Force and its allies during the years of the Second World War (1939-1945).
The project was started in 1996 by 500 (City of Winnipeg)Wing of the Air Force Association of Canada. The idea was to create a park where Veterans, friends and family members could place display stones engraved with the name of people associated with the BCATP or the Air Force community.
The "Garden of Memories" Poster
The idea gradually gained strong support from 17 Wing Winnipeg and 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters. Through the dedicated work of members of the parent organisation, the three levels of government got involved as well as many other public and non-public organisations. The response from the community was also extraordinary. The project became international when veterans organisations from New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain, the other three major contributing countries in the BCATP, committed to dedicate many stones and chose to attend the Unveiling Ceremony.
This ceremony was held on D-Day, June 6th 1999 and was attended by more than 1500 people including the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba and many other distinguished guests. A fly-past of a Harvard and a Tiger Moth was certainly the high point of the ceremony.
The Roundel is the symbol used to identify an aircraft as friend or foe. The Roundel presented at the Garden of Memories uses the Royal Flying Corp (RFC) colours: a blue ring on the outside with a white ring inside and a red center.
The Garden of Memories is divided into four quadrants each named after an aircraft used during the BCATP: Tiger Moth, Anson, Crane and Harvard.
The four major countries involved in the BCATP are honoured at the Garden of Memories: England, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Each flag flies 24 hours a day and is illuminated at dusk.
The pathways form a circular path around the Roundel and extend in the direction of each point of the compass: North, South, East and West. Four other walkways are laid out outside the Roundel. This design represents the propeller of an aircraft.
The Memorial is made out of granite and is cut in the shape of the province of Manitoba. On the Memorial is engraved the location of each British Commonwealth Air Training Plan station in Manitoba.
The Memory Stones
The memory stones are made of red granite. Each stone can display a variety of information from name and origins to dates of birth and death. The stones are laid so that each stone will appear individually rather than as a group.