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UGDSB Remembers

November 11, 2020
(Updated November 12, 2020)

GUELPH, Ontario – On November 11, students and staff across the board remembered the Canadian Armed Forces members who served and sacrificed for our country.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Remembrance Day ceremonies were held differently this year at each school. The following are just a few of the remarkable ways that our students and staff honoured our veterans.

At Rockwood Centennial Public School, three classes stood socially distanced with masks, on the sidewalk and boulevard of the school’s centenarian veteran neighbour’s home, Mrs. Drijber.

In her early 20s, Drijber left her teaching job in Canada and contributed to the allied Dutch forces during WWII.

Now 100 years old, Drijber was unable to participate in Remembrance Day ceremony due to COVID-19 restrictions, but still wanted to be included in the school celebrations. Although the school held a virtual ceremony, they also decided to take part of the ceremony to Drijber. The three classes that lined the sidewalk near her home wrote her letters, created wreaths, read In Flanders Fields by John McCrae in French and English, and sang a song of peace.

Prior to safely visiting her home, students learned about Drijber’s life and contributions to the war and were happy they could show her respect from a distance.

To learn more about Drijber’s life, visit the Wellington Advertiser website.

Students in Sharon Jordan’s class at Laurelwoods Elementary School created a beautiful shadow play tribute as a way to remember our veterans.

UGDSB Audio Visual Technician Matt Knischewski leant his expertise to the class and his filming equipment so that the class could create this beautiful tribute.

This video was used at Laurelwoods ES as part of their virtual Remembrance Day ceremony.

To view the video, visit:

At Orangeville District Secondary School, despite being unable to gather in large groups, students and staff still commemorated Remembrance Day. 

The ceremony took place over the school’s PA system on November 11.  Several students who have been involved with local cadet troops volunteered to read various sections of the ceremony. 

Leading up to the moment of silence, poems were recited and the names of the fallen soldiers who were from the Orangeville area were read out.

In addition to commemorating local veterans, the ceremony honoured Indigenous veterans, as many First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people volunteered to serve during the Second World War despite the many challenges they faced, including racism.

The ceremony also acknowledged that many countries are currently at war and that staff and students in the ODSS community may have family members living in those regions. 

Although school looks different this year, it was important to staff and students at ODSS to find a creative way to deliver a Remembrance Day ceremony.

Students and staff at Centennial Collegiate Vocational Institute created a video tribute featuring speakers, singers, instrumental music and photos.

All of the speakers, singers, players, contributors and video editors are Centennial CVI Spartans. This collaborative tribute video included both in-school and remote learners.


Each year at Wellington Heights Secondary School, the school marks Remembrance Day by honouring the veterans in their community.

Outside of the school stand rows of white crosses, each with the name of a local veteran written on it.

This powerful display is organized each year by WHSS teacher Ken Kivell.

Row of crosses at Wellington Heights SS

At Ken Danby Public School, each class created a wreath that was then displayed in the school hall. 

Wreaths lining the hall at Ken Danby PS

At John McCrae PS, students and staff worked on a school-wide community rock garden initiative for ‘le Jour du Souvenir’. Class by class, students took a moment to display the handpainted rocks at the front of the school. 

The following is a look at some of the amazing art work and creativity that UGDSB students created to honour veterans on Remembrance Day 2020:

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