Two weeks until Return to Vimy Tour attends Commemoration: April 9th, 2017

Walter Seymour Allward, the sculptor of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, was all ready famous when his design was picked for the Vimy construction.  This project took fourteen years from his start to unveiling, 1921-1936.  When I stand on the path leading to the monument I am struck by the whiteness of the stone.  It gleams, even on the days when the skies are grey.  The process of selecting the stone took Allward two years of travel.  It was obviously an undertaking of great passion.  The stone he selected comes from an old Roman quarry in Croatia, at Seget.  I wonder at that task – quarrying and then transporting the stone to France for the stone carvers to transform it into this massive work of art.  My first experience standing at Vimy, made me recall back the narrative in the novel by Jane Urquhart, The Stone Carvers.  She explores the power of art to transform lives and loss and Allward’s commitment to complete this monumental work of art.  I can hear the sound of the chisels of stonemasons ringing around me as I gaze upon the twenty faces of the monument’s human figures and the 11,000 names of fallen Canadians engraved on this luminous limestone.