By KAREN WELLS
LEWISPORTE - There is a group of men honoured on a plaque at the local library. In fact, the Lewisporte Memorial Public Library was named in honour of these nine great men.
They are men who died in World War I and II. Included from WWI are Joseph Russell, James B. Freak, Joseph Osbourne, Chesley Bennett, Jabez W. King, Lewis Woolfrey, George Small and George Howse. Sgt. D George Northcott fought and died in WWII.
The plaque was erected on Nov. 11, 1959. During a public function held at the library about seven weeks ago, Library board chairperson John Sutherland made note of the plaque located at the entrance to the building. While he read off the names, what he realized then was that he didn't know much more than that about these men who died fighting in the World Wars.
Mr. Sutherland approached the Library board with the idea of researching the names of each man and compiling whatever details were available about their military careers. With this information the goal is to make it part of a display at the library so people can learn just who these men were.
The board quickly agreed to Mr. Sutherland proceeding with the research project. For about a month now he has been seeking out the pertinent details. He is following many avenues of potential sources of information. One of those had been the Royal Canadian Legion, which closed a few years ago in Lewisporte.
"I was hoping the Legion would be able to provide assistance," he said. "Unfortunately all the Legion records were stored in the basement. They got wet and all those papers were destroyed."
Mr. Sutherland is hoping Town council minutes from the time when the plaque was first placed at the library in 1959 still exist and will produce some information.
So far he has had great success with finding information with the assistance of Emily Gushue from the Provincial Archives at The Rooms.