Ray Travers, chair of the Memorial Avenue Committee, stands near the memorial trees on Shelbourne Street commemorating Canadian war deaths during the First World War. A ceremony Saturday will mark its transformation into a commemorative space in time for the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. (Black Press File)

Lieutenant governor to re-dedicate Saanich’s Shelbourne Street

Ceremony comes just weeks before the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

B.C.’s lieutenant-governor will help mark the re-dedication of a Saanich road in honour of local soldiers, who lost their lives during the First World War.

Janet Austin will join local MP Murray Rankin, local MLA Andrew Weaver, Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell, and Saanich Coun. Susan Brice on Saturday, Sept. 29 during the re-dedication of Shelbourne Street as Memorial Avenue. Access to the event scheduled to take place on Shelbourne Street near San Juan opens at 10:30 a.m. with the official ceremony scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m.

The ceremony scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 29 marks a major milestone for plans to turn Shelbourne Street into a commemorative space in time for the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Other measures are planned in future years.

Shelbourne Street became Canada’s first Road of Remembrance in Oct. 2, 1921 following the end of the First World War. These roads commemorated Canadian war deaths during the First World War by planting trees along major suburban roads like Shelbourne Street, and a local group calling itself Memorial Avenue Committee under the leadership of Ray Travers has been working with Saanich to complete the project under the project heading “Street of Unfinished Dreams.”

Saanich staff earlier this week installed 30 new streets signs identifying Shelbourne Street as Memorial Avenue between North Dairy Road and the entrance Mount Douglas Park.

These signs – which show a stylized Canadian maple leaf framed by two poppies, courtesy of the Royal Canadian Legion — complement without replacing existing street signage.

Staff also plan to install four World War One Interpretive Panels in three locations along Shelbourne Street.

Saanich authorities are reminding residents that police will close Shelbourne Street between San Juan and Mount Douglas Park between 10:30 a.m. to about noon.The intersection at San Juan Avenue and Shelbourne Street will remain open.

Public parking lots will be available at Gordon Head Middle School (1671 Kenmore), Lambrick Park School (4139 Torquay Drive), and the Gordon Head Recreation Centre (4100 Lambrick Park Way).

B.C. Transit will also increase service on Sept. 29.

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