Veterans and active members of the Canadian Forces enjoy a light afternoon luncheon with students before a performance of “Solider Boy” an original G.W. Graham play written to honour their military service. For video from the event, find this story online at www.theprogress.com (Sarah Gawdin/The Progress)

WATCH: Chilliwack veterans honoured by local high school students with longstanding tradition

For the first time in 18 years, the Remembrance Project was hosted at G.W. Graham

As Remembrance Day approaches, a group of students at G.W. Graham are using theatrics to ensure local Chilliwack veterans are honoured for their service in the Canadian Forces

“It’s really such a wonderful day,” said Jim Harris, former president of the CFB Chilliwack Historical Society. “Every year there’s a different theme and this year it’s the 100-year anniversary of the World War One armistice.”

For nearly two decades, students at G.W. Graham, led by teacher Damon Fultz, have organized a tea to honour local veteran and acting members of the Canadian Forces for their service. But it’s not just about the food; students also perform an original play created by their teacher.

“Fultz has been with us since the beginning,” explained Harris. “He does the whole package: he does the research, writes (the play), and does the music. He did story interviews (with vets) within days of their dying.”

READ MORE: Chilliwack military museum has two months to find a new home

Since beginning the Remembrance Project in 2000, Fultz has interviewed more than 80 veterans and their families. Using the information collected, he’s produced more than a dozen scripts about the experiences of Canadian soldiers on the war front, with stories spanning the First and Second World Wars, Korea, Peace Keeping assignments, and missions in Afghanistan.

“Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, and to honour the survivors, those (who) fell, and the families who mourned them, Graham Theatre is premiering (its) newest production: Soldier Boys,” said Fultz.

“The first show I did was a World War One show, and so is this one, (so it’s like coming full circle),” continued the experienced teacher.

However, Harris says he wasn’t sure if this year was going to happen after the CFB Historical Society got word they’d have to leave the Masonic Hall, where they’d been for 20 years, as it was being torn down.

“We have to be out by December first,” said Harris, who admitted the impromptu need to move made this year’s event more difficult. “But then G.W. Graham offered immediately to (have it here for free) … so maybe it will become an annual thing at the school,” as this is the first time the school’s ever physically hosted the event.

Although the CFB Chilliwack Historical Society has found a new place to house its 30,000-plus artifacts, its new 1,700 square-foot home won’t have enough room to support performances such as this.

That said, Harris says the Society will continue to support projects like this for as long as it can through member support and donations. “There’s a costume in this play that was worn by Paul Gross in Passchendaele: a member’s daughter did wardrobe for the movie (and saved the costumes for us).”

It’s great to know people, he joked, but even better are events like this, which he says are good for maintaining a connection between our past and present.

“Kids are a long way from understanding (what we went through during our service),” said Harris, who spent years as a bomb disposal technician. “But I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful they haven’t had to go through the (stuff) we’ve gone through.”

And “it’s really cool to see the younger and older (generations mixing),” added Fultz.

To learn more about the CFB Chilliwack Historical Society, visit its website at cfbchs.com. To learn more about G.W. Graham’s Remembrance Project, email Damon Fultz at damon_fultz@sd33.bc.ca.

Just Posted

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Agassiz teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

AESS students say they had the experience of a life time

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Gas price drop expected to hit Fraser Valley today

Analyst says to take advantage, warns slight increase may follow

Players Guild challenges Chilliwack residents to solve classic Agatha Christie whodunit mystery

The Chilliwack Players Guild is performing Murder on the Nile from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

1 woman dead, man in hospital after ‘suspicious’ crash: police

Homicide investigators and Burnaby RCMP are investigating the fatal collision

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Most Read