The SAR Bronze Plaque Tour - 1999

September 19
Prepared by James Stoness with
the Bronze Plaque Tour in Waarde

View from Belfry in Brugge

On Sunday and Monday the South Alberta Armoured Regiment (SAR) visited war memorials in Belgium and Holland. At Moerbrugge they unveiled a bronze plaque. Moerbrugge was the site of one of the top five European battles in which the Canadians were involved. Moerbrugge is one of the SAR's Battle Honours. Here is one of the more unusual memorials on the tour. It consists of pieces of wreckage of Sherman tanks welded into a pillar.

In Brugge, one of the oldest and most historic towns of Belgium, the SAR unveiled a bronze plaque which will be mounted in the future Home of Veterans. SAR veterans and their families later spent some free time walking among the stone walls of aged churches and other ancient buildings. The author and his wife Sylvia climbed the 365 steps of the Belfry to view the bells and to look across the city.

Jim driving jeepMonday morning the SARs drove to Moerkerke to place a wreath at a memorial to the great losses suffered by the Algonquins as they fought to cross the Leopold Lyse Canal. In Holland, at Hulst, the SARs unveiled another bronze plaque. Hulst was a major stop for the regiment for rest and maintenance of equipment.

In nearby Waarde, the veterans of the South Alberta Armoured Regiment received a warm welcome by students of the local schools waving Canadian flags. A large crowd of adults waved and applauded as the SAR veterans were escorted to the reception by a convoy of WWII army vehicles. The SAR took this opportunity to thank the Gould brothers for making the day such a success.