Plaza to honour 7 vets who lived on same Winnipeg street
A new park plaza will be dedicated to seven men who all lived on the same Winnipeg street, and who all fought and were captured during the Battle of Hong Kong in 1941.
The plaza, to be located in Jules Mager Park, at the corner of St. Michael Road and River Road, was announced Friday by Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz and Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger.
The men were all from Arden Avenue, in the city's St. Vital neighbourhood, and served in the Winnipeg Grenadiers during the Second World War.
The Arden Seven, as they were known, include Fred Abrahams (also known as Fred Harting), Bill Lancaster, twin brothers George and Morris Peterson, and brothers Alfred, Edward and Harry Shayler.
All survived the Battle of Hong Kong, which was a gruelling 17-day stretch of intense fighting. When it was over, 290 Canadians were killed and another 493 wounded.
Those who survived were taken prisoner and endured nearly four years of captivity in Japanese prisoner-of-war and work camps.
"The story of the Arden Seven is one that all Winnipeggers should know," said Mayor Sam Katz.
"The Arden Seven Interpretive Plaza will honour these seven friends and brothers who fought so bravely and endured terrible conditions during their service in Hong Kong, and will serve as a permanent reminder of their courage and service."
The plaza will feature seven chairs symbolizing the seven friends who served together, as well as landscaped berms and retaining walls, pathways and commemorative plaques in both official languages telling their story.
"The peace and tranquility of this new interpretive plaza will be an appropriate place to reflect and remind all those who visit of the courage and dedication of these men. We will remember them," Premier Greg Selinger said.