This year at convocation, Memorial paid special tribute to its unique origins by introducing First World War commemorations at each of the sessions.
At Grenfell Campus, the poem The Largess of 1917 by E.J. Pratt was read by fine arts graduate Ian Locke. And on the St. John’s campus, the Opera Roadshow Ensemble performed a musical version of the poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae.
The commemorations can be viewed below.
A living memorial
Memorial University College was established as a living memorial to those who lost their lives on active service during the First World War.
At a meeting of community leaders on Jan. 22, 1919, a proposal was put forward “…to take into consideration the advisability of erecting in St. John’s a memorial for our sailors and soldiers in the form of an educational building, which shall raise to a higher level the whole status of education in Newfoundland, and materially assist its young people to achieve success in life.”
The college was later rededicated to encompass the province’s war dead of the Second World War. In all, 310 former students of Memorial University College offered themselves for active service in the Second World War. Thirty of these students lost their lives.
A province united
The people of this province came together to fight and remained united for a common cause—to see future generations thrive, together. They were people who dreamed of a better world, to secure a future filled with peace, promise and prosperity.
The university has a responsibility to remember and commemorate those who died. Through the WW100 Commemoration Program, the university is undertaking a wide range of initiatives and activities that recognize its origin as a living memorial.
Memorial remembers all for whom the last post has sounded, lest we forget.