Actualitatea ambasadei

Discursul Dl. Bogdan Mănoiu, Însărcinat cu afaceri a.i. cu ocazia dezvelirii și sfințirii plăcii comemorative pentru omagierea soldaților români și canadieni care au pierit în Primul Război Mondial

Your Grace, Bishop Ioan Casian,

Very Reverend Father Petre Busuioc,

Distinguished members of the Romanian clergy,

Dear Mr Carter, mayor of the city of Oshawa,

Dear col. Chapman, deputy mayor of the city of Oshawa,

Dear Mrs. French, Member of the Provincial Parliament for Oshawa

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear friends,

 

I am deeply honoured to join you in commemorating the hundreds of thousands of Canadian and Romanian lives which perished during the Great War. Equally, we stand here today in solemn respect for those Romanians, politicians, men and women of culture, industrialists and workers, teachers and doctors, and especially the military, officers and soldiers alike, who worked, even at the expense of their lives, in order to turn to reality the secular dream of uniting within the same national boundaries. The political unification of all Romanians under the same national State, the then Kingdom of Romania, rests the most prominent historic act issued from a collective will forged relentlessly through centuries.

On December 1st each year and most specifically in 2018, Romania and Romanians honor the memory of these heroes who, exactly one hundred years ago, achieved the Great Union which embodied the quest of all Romanians to live in liberty, unity and national dignity.

We have the duty to remember and cultivate in the younger generations the moral obligation to never forget. We are indebted to so many figures, known or unknown, who made it possible for us to live the way most suited to achieve our individual or collective legitimate aspirations. Of these figures, I feel it is my duty to point to those exceptional individuals which made history both for Canada and Romania.

Canada and Romania share a long tradition of cooperation and it is my desire, on this special day, to emphasize particular moments of our common history related to the First World War, when Canada and Romania proved to be solid allies. And they are strong allies still today and for the days to come.

It is in remembrance of the Canadian Colonel Joseph Whiteside Boyle, also known as Klondike Joe – born on November 6, 1867, in Toronto, Canada, and deceased on April 14, 1923, in Hampton Hill, London, United Kingdom, that I wish to say a few words - about the often described as adventurer Canadian and his extraordinary exploits for Romania. His remains were repatriated to Canada in 1983 and reinterred in Woodstock, Ontario.

Arrived in Romania on September 12, 1917, Joe Boyle succeeds in December 1917 to obtain from the Bolshevik Government, on behalf of the Romanian Government, the restitution of archives belonging to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and bonds of the Central Bank of Romania, which had been sent to Moscow alongside the national reserves. The Central Bank shipped almost 94 tons of gold, jewelry, paintings, important documents and other treasures of the State, of the bank, of certain institutions and private persons, in 1916 and 1917. These assets were never returned in full, after the war. In February 1918, Joseph Boyle brokered, again on behalf of the Romanian Government, the cease-fire with the Bolshevik forces in Odessa. And in March-April 1918, he managed to free 92 Romanians kept under captivity in Odessa, Feodosia and Sevastopol.

A few days ago, we received at the Embassy an email sent by a family from Ontario which expressed the wish to donate to the Romanian State a box of more than 300 documents and photographs related to the period that Benjamin Young, a Canadian medical doctor, spent in the then Kingdom of Romania, between 1870 and 1911. Apparently, dr. Benjamin Young was a dentist of King Carol I, the first monarch of the Kingdom of Romania. You can imagine our delight when we heard about the existence of such a treasure.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear friends,

 

I bend in respect to all Romanian and Canadian heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and liberty and I express my heartfelt gratitude for the chance to be with you on this special day.

Thank you!  

 

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