Effort to send D-Day veterans back to France
An effort to send D-Day veterans to Normandy for the 70th anniversary celebrations is having difficulty raising the money required.
Filmmaker and Nova Scotia native Allan Cameron is continuing to raise funds to send surviving North Nova Scotia Highlanders to the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy in June. Cameron, shown talking to re-enactors in Authie, France in 2012, said fundraising has only come up with $3,000 of the $27,000 needed.
AMHERST – A fundraising effort to send surviving members of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders back to Normandy after 70 years is falling well short of its $27,000 goal.
Filmmaker Allan Cameron, who operates Veterans Voices of Canada, has been working since last July to raise the money required to send a group of veterans to France for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in June 1944.
Cameron has been collecting donations on his Return to Normandy 2014 page at gofundme.com/normandy2014 and has been selling copies of a DVD, The Fighting North Novies: Into the Fire, he made about the North Nova Scotia Highlanders to raise the money.
Unfortunately, donations and sales haven’t been what he expected and the efforts seems to have stalled around the $3,000 mark.
“A year goes by really quickly. When we started this last summer I knew the time would go by fast. I was just hoping we’d get good funding coming in and I figured by this point we’d have most of it would be taken care of,” Cameron said. “We were sort of hoping we’d be in a position where we were just waiting to go.”
Cameron said Return to Normandy 2014 hopes to take to France members who served with the North Novies or family members of the original members of one of Nova Scotia’s most famed regiments.
He said the tour will include visiting areas significant to the North Novies in the Normandy area as well as laying wreaths at ceremonial tributes and dedications.
Joining him on the trip will be North Nova Scotia Highlanders Regimental Museum curator Ray Coulson, Scott Moore and George Manthorne of the First Battalion Nova Scotia Highlanders as well as piper and a nurse.
They’ll be joined by D-Day veterans Earl Jewers and Ralph McCallum of the Truro area.
Cameron said the federal government is putting money toward the travel of 180 veterans across Canada who are going and his campaign will benefit from that. He’s not sure what the final federal funding will be, but understands there’s going to be a “significant” gap.
Copies of the North Novies’ DVD are still being sold and there will be a canvass of local companies to help send the group to France. He said he will send DVDs to the companies that make donations.
Cameron said five of the eight veterans featured on the DVD have died since it was produced.
“We’re all Nova Scotians and this documentary is about the North Nova Scotia Highlanders. We should all know who the North Nova Scotia Highlander were and what they sacrificed so long ago,” he said.
Cameron said tax receipts will be issued upon request for donations of $100 or more.
He said he has also been attending gun shows near his Sylvan Lake, Alberta home to raise donations and sell DVDs.
DVDs are $27.20 each including shipping.
Donations can also be made to Moore or Manthorne or at the regimental museum.
Cameron plans to photograph and film the ceremonies.
“Once we get over there it’s a pretty big deal for the North Novies. It’s probably going to be the last time anything like this will happen while we have the veterans who were there with us on the ground,” Cameron said. “I can’t think of a better way of saying thanks to those who are still living than to do what we’re doing over there in June. If I were a millionaire I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing, it would be all taken care of. This is so important and we don’t do it we’re going to have some disappointed guys. We have to see this through to the end.”
Donations can also be sent to Return to Normandy 2014, c/o Allan Cameron, 94 Wildrose Dr., Sylvan Lake, Alta. T4S 2L8