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The Dufferin Gang honoured in Selkirk

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A special group of veterans is being honoured with a new memorial in Selkirk the day before Remembrance Day.

When the call came to defend Canada during the Second World War, Selkirk’s John Sinclair answered.  Although legally, the 17-year-old shouldn’t have.

"My dad lied to get in to go where they were going.  He knew everyone on the block and he didn’t want to be left behind,” said Mae Gulwich, Sinclair's daughter.

She said her dad wanted to join all the other young men and women on Dufferin Avenue where he lived, who were enlisting in big numbers.

“Thirty one men and women from the same block leading regular lives, and then World War II broke out.  And they all enlisted.  All 31 enlisted,” said Selkirk Mayor Larry Johannson.

The group became known as the Dufferin gang, and now the community is honouring their service in a very visible way. Banners with pictures of the 31 veterans line the street. And a new interpretive sign has been installed across the street from a mural honouring the soldiers.

“It’s so that we can learn about these heroes, and feel like we’re with them and learn their stories,” said Riley Malinowski, who helped make the sign.

Glen Laye, who’s father Jack was part of the D-Day invasion, never liked to talk about his military service. Laye believes his father likely wouldn’t have thought the sign and mural to be necessary. But for him, it means the world.

“It’s something that’s very dear to my heart. Having my dad, my uncle, and another uncle on there, who never made it back," said Laye. "It’s just something that’s very dear to me."

The sign honouring the Dufferin gang is now up at the corner of Dufferin Avenue and Main Street in Selkirk.

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