Simpcw erect cenotaph for band veterans

The white marble slabs are most impressive, especially due to the unique petroglyph drawings that have been transposed onto them

Members of the Simpcw Elders Council

Barriere Star/Journal

Monday, Nov. 11, was a special day for Simpcw First Nation.

Not only did they hold their first Remembrance Day ceremony in Chu Chua to commemorate Simpcw World War II veterans as well as those who served in peacetime, but they also unveiled the impressive results of their Simpcw Cenotaph Project.

The Cenotaph Project has been created by hard work and effort put in by the Simpcw Elders Council, under the blessings of the Band’s chief and Council, and with project proposal assistance from Diana Hallam of Urban Systems.

Obtaining a grant of $50,000 from Veterans Affairs, which is to be matched by the same commitment from the Band was the first step; then the planning, design, and eventually the creation of marble slabs that will comprise the core of the cenotaph.

The marble slab was ordered from Classic Shuswap Monuments in Tappen, B.C., with three of the four slabs recently arriving in Chu Chua.

The fourth slab is awaiting a few more names to be inscribed on it before it will  be shipped to the Band.

The white marble slabs are most impressive, especially due to the unique petroglyph drawings that have been transposed onto them from photographs taken of ancient drawings carved into rocks throughout the Simpcw traditional territory, covering an area from Vinsulla to Blue River.

Once all the pieces are completed, a 10 – 14 foot circular concrete pad will be poured in a designated cenotaph area, just north of the community hall in Chu Chua. Over the erected cenotaph will be two timber arches of approximately 12 feet in height that will be built by Tyler Salle.

On top of the arches will be a cast or carved eagle in flying position, and around the circle will be seating areas as well as natural plantings.

The Elders Council members say they plan to have the cenotaph up by next spring, and they are all eagerly looking forward to seeing it in place.

During the Remembrance Day ceremony held on Monday, Chief Rita Matthew thanked the Elders group who worked so hard to get the cenotaph project underway.

“It was time for this to happen,” said the chief.

She commented that while all the names of Simpcw veterans were being read, she was thinking about “What that would look like if they were all standing here in front of us today?”

“They were all strong independent people,” said Matthew, “They gained skills while they were away, and then they came back and raised families, and they were the backbones of the community. They were strong community members. One of my best memories of them was seeing them all sitting around a fire and laughing. And that’s what they have given to us.”

Matthews went on to talk about the hardships that were felt by those who were left behind while members of the Band went off to fight in the war.

“Women left behind did the haying, and men who couldn’t go were called on to do more in the community, having a roll to play as well. It was tough times for awhile, but after they came back they made us stronger for what we are today.

“I think we are fortunate that we live in a peaceful country. We have homes to live in and we are fortunate people.”

The chief once again congratulated the people working on the Simpcw Cenotaph Project.


“I want to speak of the immense gratitude we have for the Elder people who are working on this. Congratulations to the group for bringing the recognition for the families that have never been forgotten, and the gratitude to those men who are the backbone of our community.”



Just Posted

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

The story of Rotary Richard

People have until April 6 to make their guess

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

Local contribution to a global issue

Global Climate Strike for Future

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read