When Remembrance Day is observed by Legion veterans in West Vancouver’s Capilano View cemetery this year, the efforts of a younger generation to contribute will also be visible in the rows of simple white crosses.
Woodworking students at West Vancouver Secondary spent time beyond their regular projects to create 1,000 new crosses for the Legion over the past year that will help mark the sacrifice of Canadian war veterans.
About a year ago, high school woodworking teacher Benjamin Scoten got a message that the crosses the Legion installs in the cemetery on Remembrance Day were getting old. “They didn’t have enough manpower to make new ones,” he said.
Students from the woodworking classes agreed to help, starting on the cross project in February. From cutting, painting and gluing the wood, “It was quite an assembly line we had going,” said Scoten.
Students incorporated some modern technology into the process, using a computer manufacturing program to carve grooves into 20 pieces of wood at once.
Working on the crosses also provided a tangible reminder of what Remembrance Day is about. “There was one day when we were looking at the crosses as they were lined up and the paint was drying,” said Scoten. “We talked about how each of those crosses signified a person. Just to have that visual representation was quite something.”
As they worked, Scoten and the students also talked informally about the value in using their skills to help fill a need in the community, he said.
In preparation for Remembrance Day, 12 students who were involved in making the crosses also helped to install them in the cemetery last week.
Sunday’s cemetery service starts at 1:45 p.m.