CC McLean goes red to support Canadian forces

GORE BAY—Students and staff at Charles. C. McLean Public School in Gore Bay wore all red this month. That is, they were all wearing red to recognize the national Red Friday campaign, showing support for the men and women of the Canadian Forces.

“Our Grade 4/5 class has adopted a large group of soldiers, and we had asked everyone in the school to help support them on Red Friday by wearing red,” said teacher Heather Jefkins. “It’s neat everyone in the school is wearing red to recognize the important job our forces do.”

Part of the recognition was for students to hold up letters spelling out ‘Peace on Earth.’ “If there was peace on Earth all of our Canadian Forces members would be at home with their family at Christmas. It is important that we all them support.”

The C.C. McLean Grade 4/5 class has been involved in working with the Canadian Forces this year. A picture taken of the students in red, along with the message ‘Peace on Earth,’ is being sent to every one of the soldiers the class is working with across Canada and in South Sudan.

Ms. Jefkins explained that she spearheaded the Red Fridays campaign at C.C. McLean in 2006, “when Canadian troops were in Afghanistan, which is the time we first got involved in working with the Canadian Forces. We are also involved with the Canadian Forces having sent out 12 Christmas treat boxes to the Canadian Forces based at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, known as UN Miss.” The 12 boxes are being sent to the 12 Canadians working that mission.

“We don’t have the individual email addresses for all soldiers of South Sudan that we sent out the boxes to, as part of Operation Troop Support, we sent them all to the commanding officer and the boxes were all sent last week,” said Ms. Jefkins. “Last year it took three weeks for the boxes to get to the Forces, and we hope that they will receive them prior to Christmas but if not they will have a New Year’s treat.”

As well, the 26 students had designed a ‘Flat Stanley” to forward to a pen pal at a Canadian Forces base in Canada, including Forces members Paul Demers of Manitowaning, Marla Haring of Kagawong and Stephen Barfoot of Nameless Lake.

Ms. Jefkins pointed out the Flat Stanley pals include Forces members from coast to coast in Canada. “We don’t have any in the Territories but we have people that fly in there,” said Ms. Jefkins. “We know all the Flat Stanleys have landed, and we have one fellow in Goose Bay that sends us a picture nearly every week of where the Flat Stanley has been; obviously he is the busiest Flat Stanley pen pal in the world.”

Tom Sasvari