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  • Writer's pictureCraig Baird

When The Governor General Came To Vermilion

The Governor General inspecting the scouts in Vermilion. Photo submitted

During the Second World War, Vermilion went above and beyond when it came to offering assistance. As a reward, Viscount Alexander, the Governor General of Canada, made his only visit to an Alberta town when he came to Vermilion on May 25, 1948 to dedicate the new $16,000 Canadian Legion. While in the community, he also held an investiture of navy and army personnel, as well as the local Boy Scouts.

During his visit, which had started in Saskatoon earlier in the day where the Governor General flew in to that city. Soon after, he left on an RCAF DC 3 that landed at Vermilion airfield at 11 a.m. during a very hot day.

On hand with the Governor General was the Loyal Edmonton Regiment, reserve army supply company, as well as the aforementioned Boy Scouts, who were joined by the Sea Cadets and the Girl Guides.

The Governor General then took time to speak with veterans and with older men who had served in the first world war.

After this brief stop, the Governor General travelled by buckboard to the farm grounds along with four cowboys who escorted him throughout the community.

The Governor General would state that he was proud of the Vermilion area for its help during the war years. He also thanked the district for sending fine soldiers to the ranks of the Canadian army and other services. In addition, he thanked the citizens for their assistance to the war through the sending of wheat and grains for soldiers overseas. In all, the district had sent 3.225 million bushels of grain overseas to feed the British and Commonwealth forces.

The Governor General praised the residents for also purchasing war bonds to fund the war effort. In all, the residents of Vermilion purchased $1.3 million worth of war bonds.

A large reception was held for the Governor General in Vermilion, which included a visit from Premier Ernest Manning, who also praised the war effort and Vermilion for being a progressive community.

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