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100 years later, Montreal’s Black Watch regiment returns to Wallers, France

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Soldiers from Montreal’s Black Watch regiment marched Saturday through the streets of Wallers, France, returning to the French village their regiment liberated a century ago.

The village issued an invitation to the regiment to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

In October 1918, German artillery was set up on the western part of the city to hold back Allied forces. The German troops were eventually pushed back, but not before setting several buildings on fire during their retreat.


READ MORE:
How Global News is marking Remembrance Day 2018

After four years of occupation, local residents greeted the Canadian soldiers as heroes.

To commemorate the anniversary, the Black Watch regiment sent a contingent of 100 past and serving members.

“To walk in the footsteps of those who came before us, whether in the Black Watch or other regiments, it’s moving,” said Eric Booth, a former Black Watch reservist. “It’s moving. The people have made us feel very welcome.”

Booth’s grandfather wasn’t in the same regiment, but did move through the same village in 1918. Private J.W. Thresh served with the 22nd Battery of the Royal Canadian Artillery.

WATCH: Canada’s 100 days: Key battles from the First World War






One of the stories Booth says his grandfather shared was how he found out the war had ended. The morning of November 11th, 1918, Thresh had climbed a hill of mining tailings to get a view of the area. When he came down, he ran into a young local woman.

“The miner’s daughter looked up at him and said ‘la guerre c’est fini’: the war is over,” Booth said.

The village was decked out in Canadian red and white for the occasion. Part of the parade route was under Canadian flag banners.


READ MORE:
Analysis: PM Trudeau is in France this Remembrance Day, just as he should be

About 200 local residents turned out, including a local hockey team that’s preparing for a trip to Quebec City’s upcoming PeeWee tournament.

The day’s events started with a wreath-laying at a monument dedicated to local soldiers, but then moved to the town square in front of a church for speeches about Canada’s role in the liberation.

Rene Gonnez says he attended to thank Canadians personally.

“It’s to honour Canadians,” said Gonnez. “That’s very important.”

WATCH: Trudeau pays respects to fallen soldiers in France






One member of the Black Watch regiment contingent was American Hugh Gemmell. The United States didn’t enter the First World War until 1917, and Gemmell’s grandfather turned to Canada for an opportunity to fight. Willam Gemmell joined the Canadian military and served with regiment. After the war, he returned to the US.

Gemmell never met his grandfather, who died in 1938 at just 45 years old.

“He was sick after he got back from the war,” Gemmell said. “He died young, like a lot of them did.”

There was also a dedication to a fallen Black Watch soldier. A street in Wallers has been named after Corporal Hugh Gray, killed by a German mortar shell just days before the signing of the Armistice that ended the war.

Gray made it through the village and was on a reconnaissance patrol alone. The street where he was killed is now called “Rue Caporal H. Gray.”



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A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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