Observing Remembrance Day 2023 in Prince Edward County
This Remembrance Day, we remember the generations of brave Canadians who have put their lives on the line in the cause of peace and freedom.
Base31 will pay tribute to those who served by sharing stories of personal connection to our site, a former World War II air training base known as the No. 31 Bombing and Gunnery School before it was decommissioned in 1969. Check our social media through the week – Facebook, Instagram and TikTok – to learn the stories that touched our hearts last year.
The Origins of Base31
The Base31 site was built in 1940 as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan that trained aircrews from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand during World War II. This herculean wartime effort established more than 230 facilities across the country and is regarded as one of the nation’s largest contributions to the Allied campaign of WWII.
After the war, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) took over command. In 1946, the Royal School of Artillery (Anti-Aircraft) used it as a training base and renamed it Camp Picton. In 1962, the First Battalion of the Canadian Guards utilized the base and the site was again renamed Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Picton.
From 1970 onwards, the site operated as the Loch Sloy business park, though many of the original structures remain intact thanks to the wide-ranging preservation efforts of Jacqui Burley, Steve Everall and others.
Today, the site is being revitalized as a cultural destination and is open to the public while revitalization is in progress. There are not many historical sites in the world that offer a glimpse into the immense scope of the WWII effort in the way Base31 does. This setting, paired with beautiful art and placemaking make the base a truly unique place. Base31 is planning for the future while working to honour the rich history of this place.
How to observe Remembrance Day in Prince Edward County
There are several observances taking place across Prince Edward County in the lead up to November 11.
Take part in any of the three ceremonies at the Picton, Wellington or Consecon Legions.
Until the end of November, drop into the church building at Macaulay Heritage Park to see a special addition to the “A Path Forward” exhibit – a tribute to veteran Austin Fuller. Austin Fuller was a member of the decorated Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment from 1939-45, enlisting at the age of 18. He was the last surviving member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte to have served in WWII and passed away in December of 2022 at the age of 101. His daughter Marilyn Maracle has graciously loaned a number of items to the Museum so that visitors can learn more about his life and legacy. On Remembrance Day, The County Museums will share more of Austin’s story.
Free transportation is available through County Transit (for senior residents age 55+) to Remembrance Day Ceremonies in Consecon, Wellington and Picton. Call 613-392-9641 to book your ride.