Reprinted from DCN News Services Archives
The All Sappers Memorial in Chilliwack, B.C. has received a $1 million facelift and was rededicated last weekend to all Canadian military combat engineers who have laid down their lives for their country.
“Military engineers are present everywhere the Canadian Forces go; building defence infrastructure, roads and waterways, and disarming IEDs (improvised explosive devices),” said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “The All Sappers Memorial is a truly fitting memorial that recognizes the work, dedication and sacrifices of Canada’s military engineers.”
“The work of Canada’s military engineers in the spring flood of 1948 is the stuff of legend,” said Chuck Strahl, MP for Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon. “It is only natural that our community would want to recognize their heroism and sacrifice by rededicating the All Sappers Memorial.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Coulson Norman Mitchell, VC, MC, RCE, Commander of Camp Chilliwack at the time, oversaw the original design and the construction of the park. The monument, which was originally unveiled by the Governor General Sir Harold Alexander, Field Marshal the Earl Alexander of Tunis, on July 14, 1946, is made of granite and weighs 42 tonnes. It was quarried by the Royal Canadian Engineers at nearby Harrison Lake, B.C., and transported to Chilliwack for cutting into the monument present today.
Canada Lands Company (CLC) Limited has been the custodian of the All Sappers Memorial since the closure of Canadian Forces Base Chilliwack in 1998. CLC has made a planned investment of close to $1-million to revitalize the memorial and enhance the surrounding grounds. The site will be turned over to the City of Chilliwack to be maintained in perpetuity as the All Sappers Memorial Park.