The Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (HSA) is proud to announce that two of their Heritage Fair students have been selected to greet TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, and TRH The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, in France at the official commemoration ceremony for the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel. The two students will be paired with a veteran and join the receiving line to greet The Royals as they depart Beaumont Hamel Memorial Park on July 1st.
Ambassador Award Students to Greet Royals:
- Avalon Regional Heritage Fair: Claire Donnan (Age 12, Cowan Heights Elementary)
- Avalon Regional Heritage Fair: Cole Deering (Age 13, Amalgamated Academy)
The two students are in France as part of the Ambassador Award Program. The nineteen student delegates were selected from across the province at the HSA’s Regional Heritage Fairs. In addition to participating in the 100th Anniversary Ceremony, the will visit significant sights in France and Belgium where the Royal Newfoundland Regiment fought, visit monuments and cemeteries for the soldiers, spend time in the five communities that are home to the bronze caribou statues, and participate in many moving ceremonies of remembrance. The Ambassador Award delegates will be joined on their journey by youth selected by the Royal Canadian Legion and veterans representing Newfoundland and Labrador.
My name is Claire Donnan, I am twelve years old, and I live in St. John’s, Newfoundland. I have a mom, named Valerie, a dad, named Hugh, and a brother and sister, Anthony, who is six, and Emmajane, who is nine. I am a triple threat- I love dancing, singing and acting. I also play the piano, and sing with Shallaway youth choir. I am also in leadership group at my school and council in Shallaway. I enjoy acting in plays and musicals, and have upcoming roles in Honk, which is the story of the ugly duckling, and Billy Elliot.
I entered the Heritage Fair because I had recently discovered something very interesting about my great-great-grandpa, of whom I had previously done a project about the year prior. However, this project had nothing in common with last year’s project. My project was about Pleasantville, which was the training ground for the first 500, the iconic first group of Newfoundland soldiers. I also talked about my great-great-grandpa and his time at Pleasantville, because he had an important role there himself. I am most excited to see Beaumont-Hamel on this trip, because my great-great-grandpa fought there, got injured there, and bled there in the trenches for almost a whole day. I can’t wait to go there, see where he stood, where he fought for his country and Britain.
I plan to share what I see and learn by telling all my friend and family, taking countless pictures, keeping a journal, and documenting through various social media outlets.
Yes, I have a First World War connection, my great-great-grandpa was acting Quartermaster for Pleasantville (he organized and set up Pleasantville) was Regimental number 33, was a captain by the end of the war, and fought in battles such as the Gallipoli campaign, and the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel.
My name is Cole Deering. I am 13 years old, and I live in Bay Roberts, NL. There are five people in my family; my Mom, Deanne, my Dad, Sheldon, my younger sister, Jenna, and my little brother, Jax. I am in Grade 8 at Amalgamated Academy, Bay Roberts. My hobbies include playing ice hockey (Bay Arena Rovers), swimming, playing guitar, fishing and hunting, gardening, and collecting antique coins, and hockey cards. I especially like trouting, and salmon fishing. I caught my first salmon at Gambo River, NL when I was just nine years old!
I have always been very interested in the World Wars, especially the First World War since my great grandfather, James Samuel Dwyer, was involved in it. My great grandfather was involved in the Newfoundland Forestry Corps WW1. When my Social Studies teacher, Ms. Deanne Delahunty, told our class about the Heritage Fair, I jumped at the opportunity to be able to participate.
Having the opportunity to go on this trip is without question, the trip of a lifetime for me. I look forward to all aspects of this trip, but most importantly getting to see where the men and women of Newfoundland, including my great grandfather, made the ultimate sacrifice. It is because of these brave men and women that we have the freedom that we do today.