Not since 1945 has Deloro seen a street scene like this. Despite the inclement weather, a large crowd assembled in Deloro to share the excitement of this unique ceremony. The Obelisk unveiled celebrates the role of both Deloro soldiers and workers of Deloro Smelting and Refining Company that played such a major role in the wars. But the Memorial is also unique in that it is the world's first digital cenotaph that can be scanned to reveal its story.
“The Deloro War Memorial will be the first digital cenotaph,” said Laura Forth, one of the project leads behind the creation of video and text content which will be accessible through a Quick Response Code (QRC), so people can walk up to it with their iPhone or iPad and scan the code and that will take them directly to a YouTube documentary.”
The biographical video will touch on the contribution of Canadian Forces, World War II and Korea War personnel, along with Deloro's mining operation on the war effort.
Click on the photo below to see Sean McIntosh's video of the opening parade.
Belleville Intelligencer - October 25, 2015 By Emily Mountney-Lessard, The Intelligencer
The village of Deloro is remembering history in a new way.
On Saturday afternoon, residents and visitors gathered to celebrate the Deloro war memorial, which honours not only those who fought for freedom but the highly important materials mined from the area that were needed during wars.
The 11-ft-high black granite obelisk is being touted as the first digital, interactive monument. It has a QR code which can be scanned with a smartphone or tablet to take users to the online historical film called Lest We Forget.
It also highlights the contributions of the Deloro Mine in WWI, WWII, Korea and The Cold War.
“We're here to honour the members of the armed forces who sacrificed it all and also the workers of the Deloro Smelting and Refining Company who made such a huge contribution to the war effort,” said Marmora and Lake Reeve Terry Clemens.
“I personally have been a member of this community for seventy years plus, and I've always been proud of my heritage. But never have I felt that pride as I do today,” he said. “We will be forever grateful.”
The Deloro Memorial was unveiled on the front lawn of the Deloro Village Community Centre, a site which overlooks the Deloro Mine. The Deloro Mine contributed in significant ways to Allied Forces’ successes in WWI and WWII providing the stellite and cobalt used for all the munitions, ammunition equipment, precision instruments and medical equipment used by sailors, soldiers and airmen in both world wars.
Dave and Joanne Loveless laid a wreath at the end of the ceremony to honour. Dave's father Jim, and uncle Floyd, both served in WW11 and spent the entire term – 1939 though 1945 – overseas.
“Floyd was actually held captive by the German army,” said Dave, adding a great uncle of his died in WW1 and his grandfathers both worked at the Deloro mine.
“Our family all lived here, we're lifelong citizens,” he said, adding he was honoured to be part of the ceremony.
Deloro Mine materials were used in both the Spitfire and the Avro Arrow. In 1939, The Deloro Mine was awarded the contract to provide the stellite needed to build the Spitfire fighter, an airplane which was instrumental to Allied air campaigns against the Nazis in Europe. The Spitfire was an “exceptionally strong and resilient aircraft” due to its all-metal construction utilizing stellite alloys from the Deloro Mine. The Spitfire fighter helped to distinguish No. 1 (401) Squadron as one of the most successful RCAF units in WWII.
The biggest push for the Deloro Mine came in 1944 with lead-up to D-Day when a massive amount of cobalt was refined to produce over 450,000 tonnes of munitions needed by Canada’s Armed Forces and the Allies for the assault on Normandy and Juno Beach.
In 1958, the RCAF launched its fighter-interceptor the CF-105 Avro Arrow utilizing alloy materials refined at Deloro for the Arrow’s supersonic jet engines.
The Deloro Memorial tribute film features currently serving service members who participated in the filming of ‘heritage moment’ recreation war scenes. Army Cpl. Dan Dudenhoffer, Cpl. Michael Jordan and Pipe Drummer Kaitlin Landry are the on-camera stars of the film which had its premier at the dedication event.
Film producer James Aubrey Smith, said the role of Deloro in the world wars has not previously been acknowledged.
“Without Deloro we might have had a very different outcome to WW2. And the mining and refining that occurred at Deloro left a terrible environmental devastation on the village. In fact, Deloro has been called the worst environmental disaster in Canada but that was the price, the price of our freedom.”