February 22, 2016

World War Soldiers Commemorated Through Government's GeoMemorial Program

Through its GeoMemorial Commemorative Naming Program, the Government of Saskatchewan is recognizing the sacrifices of three First and Second World War soldiers who paid the ultimate price for their province and country. 

“Our government is honoured to recognize the heroic actions of our newest GeoMemorial nominees,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Mark Docherty said.  “Like the natural features named in their honour, these veterans are a part of our provincial identity and have helped shape our province into the safe, wonderful place it is today.  The GeoMemorial Program is a small way of thanking them for all they have done for Saskatchewan.” 

Administered by the Government of Saskatchewan through the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport, the GeoMemorial Program honours individuals born or raised in Saskatchewan who have given their lives in service of their province and country by naming geographic features in their memory.  The program also recognizes Saskatchewan persons of prominence who have made significant contributions to the province’s history and development.
The most recent individuals being commemorated through the program include:  

Gordon Lake – Named after Private First Class Lawrence Samuel Gordon (born in Eastend), who served with the US Army.  Killed in France in 1944, Private Lawrence’s remains were misidentified as German, and he was interred in a German cemetery.  Recent investigations, including DNA testing, positively identified him.  His remains were subsequently flown to Eastend, where he was reinterred in August of 2014.
Machan Island – Named after Private James Clyde Machan (born in Hopetown, Ontario and raised in Rosetown) who was killed in action while fighting at Passchendaele on November 9, 1917 when he was hit during an artillery bombardment. 

Dreveny Lake – Named after Sargent Pavel (Paul) Dreveny (born in Dolni, Bojanovice, Czechoslovakia and raised in Margo) who served with the Royal Air Force.  After he enlisted in the air force, Sgt. Dreveny was incorporated into a Czech squadron of the RAF as an air gunner.  He was killed on July 13, 1944 when the Liberator aircraft he was in crashed in heavy fog. 
“This GeoMemorial is not only very important to me, but to my children as well,” nephew of Sargent Pavel (Paul) Dreveny, Scott Dreveny said.  “It brings the events of the past closer to home, knowing our great uncle will forever be remembered in this way.  Hopefully, they will pass this appreciation on to their children in the future.” 

“Having grown up in Saskatchewan, Lawrence Samuel Gordon served with the U.S. Army, fought in France, and was mistakenly buried as a German solider before being returned to his home province 70 years later,” nephew of Lawrence Gordon, Larry Nelson said.  “Our family is very pleased to have a lake named in his honour.”  

Since its inception in 1947, the GeoMemorial Program has named approximately 4,000 geographic features across Saskatchewan. 

For more information about the GeoMemorial Commemorative Naming Program, including how to nominate a new geographic place name, please visit www.pcs.gov.sk.ca/geographicnames