Two stories in this edition of your Oak Bay News remind us that while we are 70 years removed, historically speaking, from the Holocaust, its legacy remains with us.
Like the dwindling number of Second World War veterans attending Remembrance Day services, the number of Holocaust survivors still with us today is smaller, but their story remains with us, as it must.
Peter Gary was just 21 when he was liberated from the last of several concentration camps he survived during the course of the war. The unspeakable atrocities remain with him still, but he has found a way to share some of those experiences with generations of young people since.
More than 66,000 young people over the years, by his estimation.
Assuming each of those students likely shared some of what they heard with even one or two other people, what a remarkable impact one man has had.
Now, at 91 years of age, this man who has given so much to so many hopes to see a dream fulfilled – a 500-plus page oratorio he wrote 44 years ago, performed in Jerusalem.
To that end, Oak Bay High students, under the direction of drama teacher Steven Price, will tonight read sections of A Twentieth Century Passion on stage at the school’s Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. The event also marks Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27, and while admission is free, donations will be accepted toward the Jerusalem performance.
Earlier this afternoon, the University of Victoria also hosts a free special event at University Centre, with speakers, musicians and special guests reminding us both of the terror evil wrought upon the world, and why today, it remains essential that we never forget.