Madame Guérin and the Poppy Campaign: July 4, 1921

Poppy_PrinceArthurHotel_PortArthur_Plaque_Canada_Copyright OfLindaRymaPhotography

Prince Arthur Hotel Plaque
© Linda Ryma Photography

Earlier this week I was contacted by Heather Johnson who kindly provided me with a photograph (©/courtesy of Linda Ryma Photography) and description of a plaque that commemorates a significant date for the Royal Canadian Legion and in our history of Remembrance:

“The plaque, displayed in the historic Prince Arthur Hotel in what is now Thunder Bay, celebrates the historic meeting of Madame Anna Guérin of France and Canada’s 1917 G.W.V.A. on 04 July 1921. On this day, she introduced them to her concept of a Poppy Day donor-recognition replica to be worn nationwide for Armistice Day. Thus Canada became the first Empire country to accept this.”

Heather is researching Madame Anna Guérin and has recently created a Facebook page Poppy Lady of France: Madame Anna Guérin that I encourage you to visit.

5 replies

  1. Thanks for the heads up. Group pictures so interesting, fun if one can find an ancestor
    who was involved in Guerin’s Canadian “poppy in your buttonhole” campaign.
    Much of the boots on the ground distribution of the replicas was the work of women for
    decades, not the images of an old man in that Legion club blazer and beret outfit. so
    common today.

  2. If you know any of the G.W.V.A. men, Nell, it would be good to put a name to them all. I wonder if the gentleman off to Madame Guérin’s right (standing on step) is one Mr. R.B. Maxwell, the head of the G.W.V.A. You are right …. the women were “the boots on the ground”. Thanks for your interest.

  3. Steve – See you refer us to Marika Pirie. This lady is a major contributor to the Virtual War Memorial of Canada, and is worthy of some kind of Volunteerism Award for her work.
    Maybe someone with clout should suggest it to GG David Johnston, who enthuses on voluntarism but sadly did not continue as VWM Patron as the 2 lady GG before him did.
    Not that they supported it by telling Canadians about it – and media are really weird in
    avoiding it.

  4. There is a second Poppy Plaque now. It was unveiled last year on 4 July 2021, to commemorate the Poppy Day Centenary. It has now been installed at the same hotel as the first one – Prince Arthur Hotel, Thunder Bay (ex-Port Arthur). The same Royal Canadian Legion branch initiated it – the Port Arthur Branch No.5.

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