Vernon military camp museum is now open in the Sun Valley Mall

100 years of military service

Vernon has a long and illustrious military history dating back more than 100 years.

The focal point is the Vernon military camp at the south end of town.

The camp also houses the military museum, but for the second year in a row, COVID restrictions have closed the camp, so museum officials brought a bit of that history to downtown Vernon.

A military museum has been set up in the Sun Valley Mall in 30th Avenue featuring numerous photographs and artifacts.

Mitch Steck, Vernon Military History Society president, said it is important people are aware of the military history of Vernon that started in 1908.

“There is over 100 years of local military history and there is very little on display or local knowledge of that fact so we decided to bring this down here,” said Steck from the museum which will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Military historian and local expert Francois Arseneault said some of the items are very rare and took years to collect.

“It's taken 20 years of research to collect them from all over Canada,” said Arseneault. “The main portion of this exhibit is from the estate of Col. J. Fred Scott, former Calgary Highlanders and the original commandant and the developer of the Canadian Battle Drill Centre here in Vernon.”

Set up in Coldstream the centre was the first of its kind in Canada.

Scott also has a school named after him in Calgary.

“We have extraordinarily rare 8mm footage of the training camp back then,” said Arseneault, adding it was almost unheard of to film such a facility.

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