Cenotaph Centennial celebration in 2024

February 6, 2023, 4:49 pm
Sierra D'Souza Butts


At the Moosomin Chamber of Commerce meeting on Jan. 24, Brian Beckett told members about the Cenotaph Centennial committee’s plan for arranging a huge anniversary event in June 2024, in celebration of 100 years for the town’s cenotaph.

“I’ve been elected as the chair for the Cenotaph Centennial committee. The committee had its first meeting in September 2022 to start planning the celebration for the cenotaph in Moosomin,” said Beckett.

“The focus of the committee at this point has been on selecting a list of dignitaries, designing the invitation, and getting addresses and emails.

“The dignitaries we are inviting, and hope they show up, is we’re starting at the royal family and working our way down to local level politicians. We’ve got some high ranking military officials we’re going to invite too. PPCLI from Shilo, Manitoba will show up, and of course some First Nations officials.

“The date we have picked is June 8, 2024. That’s a few months before the actual anniversary date, but the end of August is just not the best time to try and do anything, with the long weekend and everything else happening.

“Once we’ve done all the invitations, we’ll start to concentrate on the itinerary of events for the day. That will depend a lot on what dignitaries will come, as to what protocol and security issuers we’ll have to have.”

Moosomin’s Cenotaph was constructed in 1924 and dedicated to the memory of those in the Moosomin and District who died in the Great War 1914-1918. Later, names were added commemorating those who died in the Second World War and the Korean War.

“We’ve had some discussions about holding a grand event just like how the armoury centennial event was held, back in 2013 I believe,” Beckett said.

“On the committee we have about seven people sitting, but we want to get as many organizations, service clubs, and as many individuals as can be involved in this project.

“One thing about this town, is that most organizations have put on big events so this committee is really hoping that groups will come out and say, ‘we’ll look after supper,’ or ‘we’ll look after getting hotel rooms for dignitaries,’ whatever we need to do. Any help is greatly appreciated.

“When it comes to funding, we’re applying to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) and the Last Post Fund for grants, which can only be used at the cenotaph. I will be talking to Mike (Schwean) and see what else we can come up with.”

Beckett said he is proud to be working with the committee in preparation for this big event.

“I am a Legion member, but this is not a Legion thing, this is a town event. We should be very proud of the cenotaph we have, it’s one of the handful of cenotaphs in all of Canada to have a bronze statue, most of them are cast or just granite.

“Any assistance offered will not be turned down, and if we can accomplish half of the plans we had discussed, it will take a lot of help. If you would like more information you can talk to myself, Jack Thompson, Clay Leduc who is our protocol officer. As well as Garry Towler, Greg Nosterud or Kevin Weedmark.

“The next 18 months will be very busy and we’ll be looking forward to working with all of the volunteers. I just want to thank the Chamber for letting us tell you what’s happening.”

In 1924, about 3,000 people came out at the opening for the cenotaph at Moosomin.

Beckett said the committee would be happy if they received about 1,500 to 2,000 to come out next year for its celebration of 100 years.