On Saturday, Aug. 31, the Canadian Army Veterans (C.A.V.) Motorcycle Unit will hold its national memorial ride, during the Wharf Rat Rally, to Maple Grove Education Centre to thank the Maple Grove and Yarmouth High Schools Memorial Club for erecting the Afghanistan Monument.
Motorcycles pour into Digby as the sixth annual Wharf Rat Rally got underway Wednesday. Leanne Delong photo
Up to 600 motorcycles will travel together from Digby to Yarmouth in what will be one of the largest memorial rides ever to be hosted in Nova Scotia.
The ride will start in Digby at 9:30 a.m., with arrival at Maple Grove scheduled for 11:30 a.m. The memorial service gets underway at noon.
“This ride is about honouring the many students who worked so hard to have this monument erected,” says Joe Paquette of the local C.A.V. chapter.
“As a veteran, it is very heartwarming to see what these students have done with this monument and all of the other work that the Memorial Club does throughout the year.”
The C.A.V. Motorcycle Unit’s national president and co-founder, Paul “Trapper” Cane, will also attend, which, according to Paquette, is very special considering he usually only attends the National Memorial ride.
“The CAV’s goal is to raise money for those in need, including integration into civilian life after the military and to assist solders who are returning from war get the required help that the government can’t provide,” said Paquette.
The C.A.V. consists of over 4,000 veterans and veteran supporters in 50 units across Canada and within units across the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. The local C.A.V unit is based in Greenwood and has always supported the Digby Wharf Rat Rally by providing guided tours of the area; this year, however, the National Memorial Ride is taking precedence.
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The C.A.V. invites those interested in joining the ride to meet at the Wal-Mart parking lot in Digby at 8 a.m. on Aug. 31. Those interested in attending the memorial service at Maple Grove Education Centre are asked to arrive before 11:30 a.m. and park in either the municipal building or soccer field parking lots.
The Maple Grove parking lot is reserved for those participating in the memorial ride and guests.