A hand-embroidered card

The stories of enduring love from a Colwood historic site

Fort Rodd Hill showcases love in online campaign leading up to Valentine's Day

If people find relationships challenging today, imagine what it was like through war.

Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historical Site highlights these relationships, challenged by time, geography and war with Love in Uniform, a two-week social media exhibit showcasing the extent our Canadian soldiers endured for love through the most challenging times in our country’s history.

“Many Canadians spent months away from Canada and many found love and marriage during that time. A lot of the soldiers (posted) in Europe even spent as much as five years (there),” Lauro said. “It’s almost like they had a second life, so it wasn’t uncommon to meet the love of their life (during their service) and it sometimes took months to reunite with their spouse.”

Accessing some of their older artifacts, the National Historic Site is showing off love letters, gifts from mothers to sons and old black-and-white photographs on its Twitter and Facebook pages. From now to Feb. 14, one new post is made every day at 7 a.m.

Among the posts are an old newspaper page with a hand-drawn ad for jewelry, next to ads for Kayser gloves and perfume for just over a dollar. Another post shows a chocolate wrapper for Cowan’s Burnt Almond Bar, a candy bar available at the Fort Rodd Hill canteen in the 20’s and 30’s. While Lauro wouldn’t spill the beans on future posts, she did hope others would follow and share their stories about enduring love through challenging times.

“(By) creating this interaction we can engage Canadians and learn about their history,” she said.

Lauro’s father and mother-in-law share a military love story, having met through war and being separated by it for years. But their love endured, as they married following the war and have been together ever since.

All posts feature local stories from the National Historic Site or from Greater Victoria, including one showing a hand-made card with the words “Kisses from France.”

“One image is of a hand-embroidered silk card. Some were made for Christmas or New Year’s, but a few were made special for Valentine’s Day,” Lauro said. “It shows a swallow, a symbol of everlasting love, because no matter how far it would fly, it would always return home.”

To follow the campaign go to @fortroddfisgard on Twitter, or visit Facebook.com/FortRoddFisgardNHS.

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

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