Emma Runnalls Special to The Standard
UXBRIDGE: On Saturday April 16th, the Vimy 100 students at Uxbridge Secondary School hosted The Samuel S. Sharpe Gala. The Gala served as a fundraiser for students travelling to France for the Vimy 100th Anniversary Commemoration and was a chance to recognize and highlight the outstanding contribution of Lt. Col. Sam Sharpe, other former Uxbridge High School students, and the 116th Battalion in the First World War. The students transformed the school into an authentic representation of the wartime era with burlap, recruitment posters, and other vintage decorations. The amount of preparation put into the event was very clear.
The night was a huge success and featured historic exhibits, both created by the Vimy travellers, and on loan from community supporters; a silent auction; live bands performing period songs; appetizers, and a delicious buffet dinner prepared by the USS Food School. The programme itself was incredible and featured videos, music, and of course stories about Sam Sharpe and the impact he had on Uxbridge. The programme featured students dressed First World War and nurses’ outfits who recounted the stories of local people involved in the Great War and Historian Ted Barris, Durham MP and local artist Wynn Walters also spoke. Tyler Briley, the sculptor who created the Sam Sharpe relief soon going to Parliament Hill had the relief on hand; and Wynn Walters unveiled his proposed sculpture of Sam Sharpe. The evening finished with dancing to the Big Band music of Hot Air.
Gala guests including the Honorary Colonel of the Ontario Regiment, and two active members of the Regiment (Sam’s former Regiment) were very impressed by the amount of work students had put into the Gala from the great silent auction items available (like lunch with actor Eugene Levy) to the décor created including an incredible 8 foot painting of Sam Sharpe painted by grade 12 student, Ethan Goldsmith; an amazing life size trench in the foyer of the school built by volunteers and students, and vintage cars.
The Samuel S. Sharpe Gala would not have been possible without our generous donors, sponsors, volunteers, those who provided items for the exhibits, our wonderful guests, and the school staff. Thanks so much for your many contributions to support the students of Uxbridge Secondary School.
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