On July 30, 2020, a number of executives from Royal Canadian Legion Branch 270 Coldwater gathered at the Cenotaph to take part in the unveiling of a plaque by the flower bed where a special rose bush was transplanted last year. The plaque, donated by Township of Severn Councillor Judith Cox, explains the significance of the rose bush. "I was contacted by Coldwater Branch member George Collins about maybe getting some plaque done to tell the story of those roses," Judith said. "I told George I'd get something done." And she did. On her own.
Indeed, the story of that rose bush deserves to be told. As members of the Legion move on, information doesn't always get passed on, and few of the current active members knew the story. But thanks to Comrade George Collins, a Navy Veteran who was there for the original planting, the mystery surrounding our rose bush at the Cenotaph has been solved. And now thanks to Judith, the story will be safeguarded and available for everyone to see.
The special roses are called "AC Navy Lady" and were named after the thousands of women who served with the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS), better known as Wrens, and their successors in the post-war era. Developed by Agriculture Canada, the rose received a special place in history in 2010, just in time for the Canadian Naval Centennial. Our own rose bush, here, in Coldwater, was planted on July 1st 2010 to mark that anniversary.
"I'm a big supporter of the Legion," says Judith. "My dad was a Veteran and long-time member of this branch. I was just happy to help out with this project."
Thank you Judith and George!
PHOTO CAPTION - TOP: Posing by the new plaque, left to right: Comrade Maggie Murphy; Judith Cox; Norm Marion; Betty-Jean Murray; and Randy Rice.
PHOTO CAPTION - RIGHT: Although Navy Lady rose bushes were planted at several locations around the country, our own rose bush, here, in Coldwater, was planted on July 1st 2010 to both honour the ladies from the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS) and mark the Canadian Naval Centennial.