The Russian community of Toronto has launched a new tradition to start Victory Day celebrations in World War II with a spring auto and motor rally “I remember! I’m proud!”
For the third time this year, the Association of World War II veterans from the USSR, activists from various public organizations and members of the Russian Congress of Canada took part in the event.
The event took place on Sunday, April 23, 2017 and started off at Earl Bales Park in Toronto. The rally went through the nearby cities of Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington to its designated destination, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton.
The meeting at the park was especially festive. Sunny weather and war time tunes created an unforgettable joyous atmosphere and spring mood. Many participants brought their children and family members. The cars were decorated with Victory Day symbols and national flags of Canada and former Soviet Union.
The organizers had prepared meticulously for the event: the veterans were brought to the park by our volunteers; the activists distributed St. George ribbons, sold paraphernalia and coordinated the movement.
120 cars and 22 motorcycles from various groups across the province, H.O.G, Rusich and Free Riders, participated in the rally. In total, about 400 people rode all together for more than 100 km.
Local residents greeted the procession and took pictures of it along the way to the final destination. For many of them, it was the first time they saw such a colourful motorcade. It was joyful for us to be met and greeted by our compatriots from the Russian community upon arrival to the city of Hamilton, who then accompanied us to the local aviation museum.
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum located at the city’s airfield, was founded in 1972. The museum houses almost 50 aircrafts, dating back to the Second World War and used by the Canadian Air Force, as well as modern aircrafts of our time.
Participants of the rally had a very interesting and informative organized tour around the museum, and we thank the staff for the warm welcome!
We also thank everyone who participated in the rally, helped its organization and donated funds to make the celebration of the Victory Day in Toronto possible.