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Amherst to receive new Vimy oak

Published on September 13, 2017

After having its Vimy oak sapling damaged beyond repair, the Town of Amherst will receive a replacement free of charge.

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After a community link to the past was destroyed, the organization responsible for providing oaks descended from a tree present at a pivotal World War 1 battle in France is replacing Amherst’s loss.

The Vimy Foundation has agreed to replace Amherst’s damaged Vimy oak, free of charge. The oaks are descendants from an oak present during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, long considered a defining moment for Canada’s military.

After the battle, many soldiers realized they were part of something great. Leslie Miller, born in 1889 in Milliken, ON, looked around for a souvenir on the ridge. He gathered up a handful of acorns, later planting them at his Scarborough home. Today’s Vimy oaks come from there.

Veteran and long-serving legion member Jack Perry received the call this week the organization will be replacing the damaged oak.

“I don’t know when I’m going to get it, but they said they’ll give it to us for free in light of everything that happened to us,” Perry said.

Amherst planted its initial Vimy oak on Aug. 10, but on Sept. 5th a Town of Amherst’s horticulturist discovered the tree ripped from its roots. Police were called and are seeking information on the act, but there was little that could be done to save the sapling.

Perry says the Vimy Foundation’s generosity has been matched by the New Brunswick Landscaping Association, who have offered to transport the new sapling from its Ontario nursery.