Shining new light upon service men and women

Legion members update Project 2000 Wall of Remembrance


Failing glue and a falling picture is all it took to galvanize a local team of volunteers into action.

The campaign, which involved updating and alphabetizing the local Legion’s Wall of Remembrance, was led by Legion member Dan Rozander, who said it was high time to put things into better order.

“Last summer, in 2019, I was down here in the clubhouse, and a couple of the pictures were falling down, because of the old glue,” said Rozander in early September. “I asked Jack Garabed, the Legion president, if I could fix them. Marlene Chandler, our vice president, also got involved, and the project grew from there. We thought it was time to do something about the Wall of Remembrance.”

The evocative collection of images on the Legion Clubroom’s Wall of Remembrance includes around 500 photographs of past service men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, and dates back to the First World War.  

And the pictures were first hung there thanks to members that included Rozander’s late father, Roy Rozander, who served in the military during World War II as a basic training instructor in Dundurn, Saskatchewan.

“It was back in 2000 that Dad came up with the idea of a wall of remembrance, and he eventually chaired the Project 2000 Committee,” said Dan Rozander. “Everyone was looking for a millennium project back in 1999, and during that year they had already started to collect the pictures. They put out a call to all the Legions in the area – Killarney, Holmfield, Ninette, Cartwright, and Boissevain. People just brought them in. They were kind of overwhelmed with the response. They expected half a wall of pictures, and they ended up with hundreds of photos right at the start. They just put them where they could. There are currently around 500 pictures of service men and women on the wall, plus a display of 13 war brides, the Men of Holmfield, and other memorabilia.”

A great amount of research had already begun by World War II veteran Bob Middleton, who flew Stirling aircraft during the war, pulling gliders, and also Mitchell bombers, in which he was tasked in supplying the underground French resistance through clandestine moonlight drops.

“Bob did a lot of research on the men who were killed in action,” said Rozander. “It was one of his big things.”

In a Killarney Guide news report, dated January 18, 1999, Betty Storie interviewed Middleton on his efforts to find out more about these soldiers.

“This should have been done a lot sooner,” he told Storie. “Gathering information on these men more than 50 years later has proved to be a daunting task.”

More than 40 servicemen from the Killarney area died during WWII, and Middleton had set out to find a photograph of each one, and where they were buried. He also interviewed family, to find out more about the men who gave the ‘supreme sacrifice,’ and to include their stories with their photographs.

“He never talked about the war, never mentioned it,” said his daughter Karen Roy, who is currently staying in Killarney. “I know he lost his best friend, Herg, from B.C., in the war. He joined up right after high school and he flew a Stirling aircraft and pulled gliders. He dropped paratroopers over France, and he received the Distinguished Flying Cross medal because he once came back on fire. I think he first started his research for the Wall of Remembrance back in 1998.”

The task of rejuvenating the Wall of Remembrance began earlier this summer, with the volunteers carefully taking down the precious photos, many of which were discovered to have the historical records and tales of the men and women written in pen or pencil on the back.

“On June 29 we came down here for five hours, and took everything off the wall,” said Marlene Chandler. “It was amazing to see the stories, like the one of five brothers going to war. They were the Cantlon brothers. One was a prisoner of war, but they all came back alive. And three of the Yakes sons went to war.”

Clubroom manager Colleen Skrypnyk took care of creating new name labels for each picture, while bartender Tana Beaurivage handled the laminating of the photos, added Chandler.

What followed next was organizing them into alphabetical order, placing them back up on the wall, and adding poppy-red ribbon below the rows of young faces to highlight the displays.

“One cross on the lower right corner of the picture means they were killed in action,” said Chandler. “Two crosses means they were murdered. That is on just one picture, the photo we have of a husband and wife who both served. The husband was shot by the Germans while he was enroute by train to a prisoner of war camp. And a poppy in the corner denotes that they were a P.O.W.” 

Rozander said back in September that the job wasn’t quite finished yet, as the group was still searching for just one more 4’x4’ sheet of Plexiglas to cover a final section of the wall. “It’s hard to find right now during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. 

Chandler added that the group working on the Wall of Remembrance project was linked, in that while they had never worn a uniform themselves, all of them had had parents or family who had served in the military. 

It felt like a way to honour both those family members, and all the other young veterans, whose fresh faces will continue on through the years to look out into the clubroom, she said. 

They will not be forgotten.

“We are committed to carrying on what they started,” said Chandler. “We’re not changing anything. We are just putting it in order. And we are very happy to do it.”

The Wall of Remembrance Team and Millennium Project 2000

The Millennium Project 2000 included a great team of volunteers and Legion members, who dedicated countless hours to complete the massive task, said Dan Rozander.

The main players were: Roy Rozander, Bob Middleton, Steve Linnell, and Bill Vanderstel, and also members Alice Rozander and Lloyd Nelson. Helpers included Robin Pawich, Delores Mason, and Danny Dagg. 

“It was a group effort, and the volunteers worked endless hours,” said Dan Rozander. “Roy Rozander, my dad, was chair of the Project 2000 Committee, Bill Vanderstel was the treasurer, and Lee Bartley was secretary.”

WALL OF REMEMBRANCE SHINES ANEW FOR VETERANS – Killarney Legion’s Wall of Remembrance is now in wonderful shape, thanks to the dedication and craft of a group of local members and staff. Pictured are some of the group who carried out the careful facelift this past year, and helped make the veterans shine again. From left are: Marlene Chandler, Tana Beaurivage, Dan Rozander, and Dana Stimpson.


WE REMEMBER – Twenty years ago the late war veteran Roy Rozander chaired Project 2000, which involved collecting photographs and stories of service men and women (many of whose information had been researched and compiled in the late 1990s by WWII veteran Bob Middleton), and which now adorn the Memory Wall of the Royal Canadian Legion #25 Killarney Clubroom. You can now read the Second World War histories of both these men at, as they were reported in the newspaper in past years.