2017 will forever be known as the year our missing plaque was rediscovered in the basement of the Manitoba Legislative Building. 50 years ago it had been given a place of honour on a wall at the Manitoba Legislative Building. It mysteriously vanished from its prominent location about 5 years ago when there had been a major rearrangement of plaques within the building.
Our members searched the hallways and the plaque was nowhere to be found. We enlisted the help of the Chief of Protocol for the Manitoba Government who assured us that it was somewhere in the building.
The government staff began a thorough search of the building. The loss of an organization’s valuable plaque, entrusted to the province, would be unthinkable. Finally on March 29, 2017, we received a picture of our UEL plaque sitting on a rough shelf supported by some large paint cans. It was rather dusty and lack lustre and was missing the UEL crest which was found in a nearby drawer.
The crest was reattached, the plaque cleaned and polished and on April 12, 2017 it was once again placed on the wall across the hall from the Legislative Library/Reading Room. We felt that after its absence it should now be rededicated.
The private reception at Government House in honour of the 85th anniversary of our branch was scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Sept. 19. We coordinated events and planned the rededication of our “found” plaque for 4:15 p.m. the same day. That way we could simply walk from the rededication ceremony at the Legislative Building to the reception at Government House.
We were honoured to be joined by our Dominion President Barb Andrew. She provided her president’s ribbons and banner for piper and branch member Corinne Stuart MacGregor who, at the completion of the rededication ceremony, did a splendid job piping the procession through the Legislative Building and across the lawn to Government House. We were also pleased to have with us Assiniboine Branch President James Adair and Prairie Regional Director Gerry Adair. Branch President Robert Campbell gave two powerful speeches – one for the rededication ceremony and the other his address at Government House. Margaret Carter’s words on behalf of the plaque’s patron, her father Major W. H. Hunt, vividly transported us back in time. His granddaughter Dianne Nerbas was also in attendance, along with her son Michael Nerbas - Major Hunt’s great grandson.
What better time to hold a rededication ceremony for the plaque than during Canada 150, exactly 50 years after its dedication?