Sunday November 11: Remembrance Day at Springwater Park, by AWARE SIMCOE

November 7, 2018

By Aware SIMCOE and Ontario Parks.

Ontario Parks is honoured to have this WW1 cenotaph in Springwater.

Originally erected in honour of “The Vespra Boys” from Vespra Township who sacrificed so much in the First World War.

Springwater Park was the location of Remembrance Day ceremonies from the 1920’s to the 1950’s.

In 2012 community volunteer groups came forward in a significant way.

Wayne Cameron organized the first Remembrance Day ceremony in the park in over 50 years and continues to do so annually.

Remembrance Day Ceremony – All Welcome!

Sunday – November 11

This year is the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and signing of the Armistice on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour.

Springwater Provincial Park provides the most peaceful, serene, and natural backdrop for a solemn ceremony of this kind.

No parking admission required.

Assembling at 10:00 a.m.

We welcome veterans and community groups or individuals to join us as we honour the Springwater Park Cenotaph for the Vespra Boys.

Please contact MC Wayne Cameron at 416-948-5637 or if you would like to play a role in the day.


Remembrance Day at Springwater Park

November 1, 2017

From Springwater Park’s facebook page:

Remembrance Day Ceremony All Welcome!
Saturday November 11

No parking admission required.
Assembling at 10
We welcome veterans and community groups or individuals to join us as we honour the Springwater Park Cenotaph for the Vespra Boys.
Please contact MC Wayne Cameron at 416.948.5637 or if you would like to play a role in the day.

Remembrance Day at Springwater Park

October 16, 2016

November 11, 2016, Springwater Provincial Park


Thank you for your support.

Methven A. “Matt” Adamson overcame many obstacles to found, nurture and defend Springwater Park.

May 4, 2016

A fellow forester told me recently that Major Adamson had to fight like hell with his superiors about the park’s very existence.

19490627 Adamson photo

From the Barrie Examiner June 27, 1949:

METHVEN A. “MATT” ADAMSON is superintendent of the Ontario Forestry Station at Midhurst. He is one of those responsible for the beautiful development at Springwater Park, picnic and recreational centre for thousands of Simcoe County folk and visitors from all over Canada and the United States.

Plaque Adamson

Plaque reads:

Springwater Park:  An everlasting tribute to the foresight, ingenuity and resourcefulness of Methven A. Adamson Superintendent Provincial Forest Station Midhurst during the period 1929 – 1956.

Plaque Adamson distance

Across from the Vespra Boys cairn, the main maintenance building in the back.


For more details, please see:

Charlie Day was a model Midhurst resident.

April 26, 2016

Charlie and Jean Day were my next-door neighbours on Bayfield Street when I was growing up.

19510222 Charles Day photo

From The Barrie Examiner, Thursday February 22, 1951:

Charles E. Day was recently elected president of the Barrie and District Civil Service Association. Previous experience with the association includes two years on the executive and six years with the sub-committee of the Department Council.

He is presently work foreman at the Midhurst Forestry Station, having been with the reforestry since 1928.

Born in Cambridge, England, Mr. Day received his education in that country. Upon finishing continuation school, he came to Canada and took up farming in Flos Township from 1920 to 1922. He farmed in the West the following year, returning east in 1924 to begin four years with the CPR.

Mr. Day left the employ of the CPR in 1928 and joined the staff of the Midhurst Reforestry as accountant.

He married the former L. Anne McGinnis of Midhurst in 1929 and they have one son, William. A member of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Midhurst, Mr. Day has been warden of that church since 1929, with the exception of the war years.

He is a past master of Kerr Lodge AF&AM, Barrie, a member of the Lodge of Perfection, Scottish Rite, and Spry Sovereign Rose Croix Lodge, Barrie. A member of the Canadian Legion, Vespra Branch [149]. Mr. Day was president from 1936 to 1945. He saw war service in both World Wars. In the first war he served in the British Army with the 12th division, Kitchener’s Army. He joined the Grey and Simcoe Foresters  in 1940 and served with the A&T Staff till his discharge in 1945.

Mr. Day is an ardent hunter, and was connected with the Midhurst Athletic Club as secretary-treasurer from 1929 to 1934.

Mr. Robert Peacock was the only other Midhurst resident to serve in both World Wars.

Remembrance Day ceremonies at Springwater Park for 2015

October 26, 2015

November 11th at 10 am.

Remembrance Day Invitation 2015

All welcome to this very special place. pdf

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and the Vespra Boys cenotaph at Springwater Park

October 26, 2014

A friend sent this along to me.

War memorial cartoon

I thought I’d just republish it.

After his powerful artistic response to tragic events in Ottawa, it seemed everyone wanted a piece of Herald cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon on Thursday.

His cartoon was not only trending on Twitter but requests for use of the cartoon came in from CNN, Fox News and The Independent, the UK publication which ran an online editorial below the cartoon.

Even the Canadian War Museum came calling.

Water cooler conversations throughout Nova Scotia seemed to be all about the cartoon and the feelings it evoked about the cold-blooded murder of a 24-year-old reservist in front of Canada’s National War Memorial.

Simply stated, for the few who may not have seen it, the cartoon suggests the coming to life of the bronzed First World War soldiers that sit atop the memorial. One soldier is bent over, supporting Cpl. Nathan Cirillo’s body. Others are reaching down as if to help, while still others stare stoically forward.

His feet, complete with Argyle and Sutherland Highland hose and white spats, are the only part of the young soldier showing.

“That’s the part that touched me – the feet,” said Ian Thompson, associate publisher of The Chronicle Herald.

“(And) I guess it’s the notion of those folks in the statue coming to the aid of that young soldier.”

Thompson was not surprised by the sheer volume of requests from news agencies around the world for MacKinnon’s piece.

“Those of us who work here know Bruce is a world-class cartoonist,” Thompson said.

“Some of the world’s largest news outlets – they want his stuff!”

The cartoon made it to the top of and the image-sharing site

Perhaps most impressive of all was a telephone call from an elderly man in Saskatoon who saw MacKinnon’s work online.

“Quite frankly, what he did brought tears to my eyes,” George Whitter said. “It was absolutely magnificent and I don’t use that word very often,” he added.

Whitter even went so far as to say the cartoon should be made into a bronze plaque and placed on the War Memorial.

“It is a powerful depiction of how these are not just soldiers from the past but they are of present and, sadly, the future,” he said.

And what of the man who has an uncanny knack for hitting nerves and opening tear ducts? Of drawing thought-provoking cartoons that jam up news servers and cause readers to drip tears onto newsprint?

By noontime, MacKinnon had done a number of interviews with local news outlets and with CNN.

“It’s the symbolism that is so important in cartooning … this one was a particularly emotional and disturbing one,” said the legendarily humble cartoonist.

“I’m glad it came through clearly.”

One woman emailed MacKinnon to say she was comforted by the thought that what he depicted is maybe what happened – the old soldiers really did help the young man as he lay dying.

“I can’t really take credit for what the cartoon has evoked in people because I think it’s the emotion attached to the story that triggers the response,” MacKinnon said.

This from the man who, after 28 years with the Herald, still can’t believe he gets paid for drawing.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A portion of all sales of Bruce MacKinnon’s cartoon about the shooting in Ottawa will be donated to the family of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.
If you would like to order a reprint, please visit or call our customer care line at 1-800-565-3339 ext 0.

The gates to Springwater Park will be opened from 8:00 am to 2:00 if you choose to celebrate Remembrance Day with us.

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