An image from the Darren Williams commemorative motorcycle ride from 2016. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 2. Participants ride from Digby to Hebron, Yarmouth County, where a ceremony is held at the Afghanistan war monument at Maple Grove.
YARMOUTH -- Again this year, on the weekend of Digby’s Wharf Rat Rally, a group of motorcyclists will ride from Digby to Maple Grove Education Centre in Hebron, Yarmouth County, where they will remember fallen soldiers at a ceremony to be held at Maple Grove’s Afghanistan war monument.
The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 2, with the group scheduled to leave Digby at 11 a.m. and arrive at Maple Grove at 12:15 p.m. or so.
This is the fifth year for the event, an initiative involving the Wharf Rat Rally and the Canadian Army Veterans Motorcycle Unit.
The ride commemorates Master Cpl. Darren Williams, who founded the Digby-to-Hebron memorial ride and who was killed in a motorcycle accident a couple of years ago in Trenton, Ontario.
“It’s a nice event for the members who ride down,” said Joe Paquette, a spokesman for the memorial ride. “They really have a strong tie to the military.”
It’s also a chance for them to see the Maple Grove monument and to recognize the school’s Memorial Club. The club is well-known for its efforts to remember Canada’s fallen soldiers and to honour veterans. Putting up a monument to remember Canadians killed in Afghanistan was a Memorial Club project.
Referring to the annual memorial ride, Paquette said, “It started, really, by wanting them (ride participants) to appreciate what the kids of the Memorial Club had done, and to bring some recognition to the marvelous effort they made in creating that particular monument.”
Paquette said he was very impressed when he saw the monument for the first time.
As for the ride, he recalls Darren Williams approaching Wharf Rat Rally organizers with the idea.
“He was on the board at Wharf Rat,” Paquette said. “He brought it up to Wharf Rat and they agreed it would be one of the events in their weekend.”
Organizers invite people along the route to greet the riders as they make their way to Hebron. The public also is invited to attend the short remembrance ceremony at Maple Grove.