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Date 05/16/2011

Canada Provides Material For Royal Canadian Air Force World War II Memorial In The UK


Toronto, ON

Lafarge Canada Inc.


Lafarge Canada is donating Canadian granite for a monument commemorating the Canadian airmen and airwomen who served alongside Great Britain during the World Wars, and specifically the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). The monument is being constructed at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, England, the United Kingdom's 150 acre sanctuary and centre of remembrance of those who gave their lives in service to their country, and all other men and women who served. 


Lafarge was approached for help finding granite for the monument in February 2011 by Captain Jean Houde, Deputy Flight Commander of 426 Squadron of the Canadian Forces. "It is an honour and a pleasure to have been asked to participate in this small way to the construction of a memorial to Canadian airmen and airwomen," says Vice President of Aggregates for Lafarge Canada Bruce Semkowski. "On behalf of Lafarge Canada and all of its employees, we thank Captain Houde for this opportunity."


Inspiration for the Canadian memorial came when British Royal Air Force Flight Lieutenant Alfie Hall visited the National Memorial Arboretum in May 2010, and noticed the absence of a memorial dedicated to the various Canadian air forces that have served in the UK. Lt. Halls' own 609 (West Riding) Squadron had twenty-one Canadian pilots serving alongside his own countrymen during WWII.  As a result, Lt. Hall decided to spearhead a fundraising campaign for a monument commemorating the dedication and sacrifice of so many Canadians. 


The memorial consists of a circular ring comprised of thirteen equal pieces of granite representing each of the ten Canadian Provinces and three territories. Within the circle is an upright monolith inscribed with a history of the various Canadian air forces set atop a maple leaf, Canada's national emblem, also in granite. The monument's design is based on the modern Canadian Forces roundel, which is painted on all CF aircraft.


Lafarge sourced the Sturgeon Falls granite from one of its distributors, Gott Natural Stone of Feversham, Ontario, who is fabricating the granite for the perimeter circle, the maple leaf and the base of the centre monolith. The cut and honed granite will be delivered to the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton during the second week of May.


On May 13th, Lafarge visited CFB Trenton in Astra, Ontario for a tour of the base and lunch with the Commanding Officer of 426 Squadron, Lieutenant-Colonel Christian Roy, and the 8 Wing Commander, Colonel Dave Cochrane. The granite is scheduled to leave CFB Trenton on May 23rd on a Lockheed C130J Hercules aircraft bound for the United Kingdom, where it will then be transported to the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas for installation at the memorial site. 



Lafarge's granite donation demonstrates its ongoing support of the RCAF. In 2007, Lafarge donated 300 meters of concrete toward the expansion of the RCAF Memorial Museum at CFB Trenton.


Dedication of the Canadian memorial at England's National Memorial Arboretum is slated for July 8, 2011. For more information, pictures and the history of this project please visit:


Serene Jweied
Director of Communications

Pictured in front of the unprocessed granite, from left to right: Captain Jean Houde, Manager of Specialty Products Nick Morcinelli, General Manager Jamie Kleven and Ian Maxwell from Gott Natural Stone.


Lafarge S.A., together with its subsidiaries (the "Lafarge Group" or the "Group"), is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete and Gypsum. With 76,000 employees in 78 countries, the Group posted sales of 16.2 billion Euros in 2010.  Lafarge North America Inc. and its subsidiaries, including Lafarge Canada Inc., ("Lafarge"), are Lafarge Group companies, and together constitute the largest diversified supplier of construction materials in the United States and Canada. 


The Lafarge Group entered the global "Dow Jones Sustainability Index" in 2010 in recognition of its sustainable development actions. The Group places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity.           

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