Plaques complete Phase Two of Handley Page garden

Andrew Wagstaff
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Phase Two additions unveiled during annual review ceremony

Handley Page air cadets squadron commanding officer Keith Odlin (right) shows visiting reviewing officer Gerry Rempel the additions to the Handley Page Garden located behind the legion building. The Phase Two additions were unveiled during the cadets' annual review ceremony on June 16.

PARRSBORO - The Handley Page Garden is more than beautiful plants and flowers.

The area behind the local legion branch, which has been a labour of love for the 689 Handley Page Air Cadets Squadron and its commanding officer, Keith Odlin, recently unveiled the addition of three new plaques to its monument, completing Phase Two of the project.

Now adorning the monument are three bronze plaques, one depicting the crashing of the famed aircraft in Parrsboro in 1919, and the others bearing the designs of the air cadet squadron's commemorative coin.

"It 100 per cent adds to the monument because it gives you a visual reference," said Odlin. "It now ties the crashed aircraft to the town and gives a link between the aircraft and the Handley Page air cadet squadron, which links to the legion as well."

The plaques, which were unveiled to the public during the squadron's annual review ceremony on June 16, would not have been possible without the considerable efforts of Chris and Helen Edley of Landsharkz in Victoria, according to Odlin.

"They produced the coins, they took the artwork and created artwork, they found the forgers, they put it all together and they did so with considerable time and effort on their part to the absolute benefit of us," he said. "Absolute thanks to them and the guys that forged this absolutely unique piece of artwork."

Next up for the garden will be Phase Three, which will be the installation of interpretive panels at the site explaining the history of the Handley Page crash.

"Phase One was the creation of the garden and the monument, and Phase Two was the adding of the bronze plaques to the monument to make it mean something more," said Odlin. "Phase Three will tie it in so the average person who comes through will understand the history of the Handley Page and its relation to Parrsboro."


Organizations: Handley Page Air Cadets Squadron

Geographic location: Handley Page, PARRSBORO, Victoria

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