Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Passchendaele Letters: Congratulations to Shobha Mehta

In association with the Passchendale movie, the Dominion Institute recently organized a contest among high school students: to write a letter, either from a soldier at the front or to a soldier from someone on the home front, at the time of the Passchendaele battle in the autumn of 1917.

I had the pleasure of being part of the jury for this contest, along with Paul Gross, R.H. Thomson, Adrienne Clarkson, Charlotte Gray, Margaret Conrad, Paul Franklin, and jury member extraordinaire the 108 year old war veteran John Babcock. I' m sorry to say we were a "virtual" jury and did our work online without ever assembling.

The Dominion Institute has just announced the winner here and additional details here. Their remarkable varied and imaginative letters are posted for reading.

The top prize winner is Shobha Mehta of Unionville, Ontario, who wins -- no small prize -- a trip to the battlefields in Belgium. But I might add I was greatly moved and impressed by all the top ten entrants from all over the country (listed in the second link above) -- and the schools and teachers who encouraged and supported them.
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