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Remembering the Canadian Forces in Vanastra

A plaque was dedicated in Vanastra Sunday morning thanking residents of the community for their work in honouring the former Canadian Forces Base.

Lieutenant Colonel Tony Charters explains the base was opened in 1941 as a British Air Force Base and closed in 1971 as a Canadian Forces Base.

He points out it was the home of radar in Canada and in the early days, quite secret.

He says when the Canadian Forces Communications and Electronic Association and the Vimy Officers’ Mess, CFB Kingston heard about the tremendous work that was done by the local community to honour the station, they decided a plaque from them would be very appropriate.

The process actually started in 2019 but the pandemic paused any plans up until Sunday.

LCol. Charters says his first contact with the community was Huron East’s Economic Development Officer, Jan Hawley, who passed away in March of 2020.

“She was enthralled with the project, she was really, really enthusiastic and I worked with her for months setting this thing up, to the point where we actually had it constructed. I never met her, it was all by zoom and by telephone, but boy she was tremendous,” said LCol. Charters.

He also thanked the staff members who took on the project after Jan’s passing and made it possible to dedicate the plaque Sunday at the Vanastra Recreation Centre.

Lieutenant Colonel Tony Charters. (Photo by Bob Montgomery)

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