Late in the afternoon of Memorial Day (July 1) 1928 the Caribou monument was unveiled in Bowring Park by Mayor Tasker Cook. Earlier that day the Great War Veterans Association (forerunner to the Royal Canadian Legion) held official ceremonies of remembrance at the Sergeants’ Memorial and the National War Memorial. Members of the Bowring Park Committee and representatives of the Great War Veterans’ Association respected Major Greene’s wish that the unveiling have little publicity and formality, but the event was well-attended according to a report in The Daily News on July 3.
“...in the presence of what must have been two thousand people. Busses were kept occupied all the afternoon as well as the steam coach whilst a special train was filled to capacity and taxi-men were also engaged.”
LCol. Nangle sent greetings to the unveiling ceremony:
“Please convey to all ex-members of the Regiment on behalf of Major Greene and myself that this caribou is not a memorial to our glorious dead, as that duty has been fulfilled by the monument on King’s Beach [National War Memorial] , but as an everlasting tribute to the esprit de corps and loyal comradeship during these stirring years when they so gallantly and honourably wore the regimental badge; and as an expression of the hope that the spirit of comradeship then formed shall remain unto the last.”
Since July 1, 2009 the bronze caribou overlooks replicas of the Beaumont-Hamel plaques listing 820 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who died during WW1 and have no known graves. Thus, the Bowring Park caribou site has indeed become a local memorial, giving those unable to travel and make the pilgrimage to France and Belguim the opportunity to remember their loved ones on home soil. Most who visit Bowring Park are emotionally moved, awestruck and humbled as they remember those known as “Better Than the Best.”