Volume 93, Issue 39

Tuesday, November 9, 1999


Maclean's rankings reveal Western makes the grade

New London web site to aid volunteers

Vandals deface Holy Roller in Victoria Park

Wong talks China and identity

D-Day Canada's top news event

Laptops, nudity top campus crime

Bass Ackwards

Vandals deface Holy Roller in Victoria Park

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

A recent memorial service held to commemorate Canada's fallen soldiers began in an unhappy manner when a tank in Victoria Park was found defaced early Sunday morning.

Tracey Frizzel, spokesperson for the London Police Department, said the tank, a monument which survived the second world war, was vandalized with disgraceful spray painted words.

She explained the tank, called "The Holy Roller," had the letters "un" painted in front of the word "Holy." The vandals also stencilled the message "homes, not bombs" around the tank.

Frizzel said the police have no suspect information. "We have officers who are working around Victoria Park who will be making extra checks from now to Remembrance Day," she said.

Frizzel said the police were not impressed with this act. "These are men who have laid down their lives for us and this is how we disrespect them. I think it's pathetic."

Lt. Col. Joe Murray of the First Hussars of the London armoured military regiment, said he was shocked when he arrived at the ceremony. "I felt it was a real slap in the face to the veterans," he said.

Murray said the vandalism was immediately painted over before the ceremony and although it was sufficient at the time, the entire tank must be professionally painted again. "It's happened in the past, but rarely. And never, never around Remembrance Day. This is the worst ever," he said.

"People went off not to conquer other countries, but to protect our country," said Jim Tuffin, president of the First Hussars Association, the regiment's veteran affiliate. "And whoever [vandalized the tank] enjoys the freedom which others have died for."

London mayor Dianne Haskett said she has no answers as to why anyone would deface a monument which honours those who have made the supreme sacrifice and died for our country. "What's important at this time is [that] the community rises up and shows respect," she said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999