North Lakeshore Chorus reprises remembrance concert
Members of the North Lakeshore Chorus saw in the damp, chilly sunrise on Newfoundland's Signal Hill July 1, putting them in that province on the centennial of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel in France that took so many lives from their midst. They will reprise the remembrance concert they performed that day on Oct. 29 in neighbouring Prince Edward County. SUBMITTED PHOTO
July 1, 1916, was a bitter day for the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in the Battle of Beaumont Hamel, France.
Within 24 hours, 324 of them were dead or missing, and 386 were wounded. Only 68 unwounded men remained to answer roll call July 2.
In honour of the centennial of that day, the North Lakeshore Chorus travelled to Newfoundland to give a musical tribute called 'Till The Boys Come Home. On Oct. 29, they will reprise that show in Wellington.
Cobourg resident Carol Evans is one of nine Cobourg residents who make up the Chorus membership, along with 27 residents of Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Evans was part of the summer tour that put the group in St. John's, Newfoundland, on July 1 — the date that, in remembrance of its huge sacrifice for King and Country, the province took for its Memorial Day.
“We started our tour of the province in a sunrise ceremony July 1 on Signal Hill in St. John’s, exactly 100 years after the men went 'over the top.' It really was a moving experience,” she recalled.
It was a cold morning with a dawn wind off the Atlantic and a light rain. Along with poppies on their lapels, they wore the forget-me-not pins the Newfoundlanders have adopted as their symbol of remembrance.
“This was a huge toll for the Dominion of Newfoundland — they were not yet part of Canada,” Evans noted.
Led by their hard-working co-producers Michael Korn of Toronto and Claire Shragge of Kingston, along with their accomplished (and much-loved) director Ian Juby of Kingston, they performed with talented accompanist Jacqueline Mokizewski of Toronto. Evans reported that they found their audiences responsive and appreciative of the tribute to their ancestors.
Warned that they would need hats and gloves and coats in Newfoundland, even in July, they nevertheless made the most of the tour, with the opportunity to enjoy breath-taking view of the ocean, delicious seafood and visits with friends and extended-family members.
Their Oct. 29 concert will be far closer to home, in neighbouring Prince Edward County. The program begins at 2 p.m. at St. Andrew's Anglican Church, located at 244 Main St. in Wellington, featuring Juby, accompanist Clare Gordon and young piper Garrett Rodgers.
Tickets are $15, available at the door — or call Korn at 613-399-1892.