Due to the current Covid 19 Pandemic, it was not possible to offer the annual Spelling Bee competition this past November to the elementary students living in Zorra Township. In its place, the Heroes of Zorra Committee was able to offer an opportunity to Grades 4, 5 and 6 students at AJ Baker, Thamesford Public and Zorra Highland Park.

Students were all invited to go to the web site, select a World War 11 hero who also died overseas during the war. They were to then create a flyer/poster depicting this particular hero and then mail their work to the HOZ Committee. As poet Robert Burns said, “ the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry;"  .

Three individuals with no ties to any of the schools in Zorra were invited to judge this competition. They very kindly agreed to do so. Well, the first challenge faced was that none of the entries submitted followed all of the rules! Much discussion ensued and the judges finally agreed (with support from Shirley and Roy of the Committee) that the best thing to do was to throw all of the rules out the window and judge them all. Our sincere appreciation is extended to John Markle, Bev Neeb and Maureen Ralph. Your work as judges was truly appreciated.

The results are:

AJ Baker – no entries

Thamesford Public – Winner . Kingston Davis; Runner-up Finleigh Howe

Zorra Highland Park – Winner . Ella McGann; tied for Runner-up Emerson Berg and Ryan Watling

Winners each received $50 and runners-up each received $30. Our sincere CONGRATULATIONS to all of you.

Shirley McCall-Hanlon, Chair

Heroes of Zorra Committee


Due to Covid 19 challenges there will NOT be a Spelling Bee this year, BUT, Zorra students will still have the opportunity to participate in a little friendly competition. Students in Grades 4/5/6 are invited to create a flyer/poster on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. Here are the requirements: go to the Heroes of Zorra web site; select a WW 11 soldier who died overseas; use your creative abilities to make this flyer/poster a tribute to your chosen hero; please print your name, grade and school you attend on the back of your entry; please ensure your envelope is addressed clearly to enable Canada Post to read it correctly. All entries are to be mailed to Heroes Of Zorra, 19 – 53 Roth St., Tavistock, ON N0B 2R0. All entries must be postmarked by Friday October 23rd to be eligible.

This competition is open to any grade 4/5/6 student at AJ Baker, Thamesford Public or Zorra Highland Park. A winner and runner-up will be chosen from each school. The winner at each school will receive $50 cash and the runner-up $30 cash. If you require further clarification you can reach us through the ‘Contact Us’ on the HOZ web site. We are excited to be able to offer this opportunity and look forward to seeing the results of your creative talents.

Your Heroes Of Zorra Committee



By Laura Green

The fourth “Heroes of Zorra” Spelling Bee was held on Sunday November 17th at the Embro Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion beginning at 1:30 p.m.

This year there were 4 students in the Grades 6, 7, & 8 division and 7 students in the Grades 5 and under division. Each contestant must live in Zorra Township. All the words used were taken from the Heroes of Zorra website which contains 1143 different individuals. All the other rules are written on the website. Prize money 1st place - $100 and runner up $75.

Volunteers for the event were Master of Ceremonies - Shirley Hanlon-McCall, Bee Master- Matt Roberts, Audio equipment tech- John Hiuser, Time Keeper- John Minler, Judges- Roy Youngs and Pauline Hanlon and Presenter of Awards- Scott Naisbitt.

Mayor of Zorra Marcus Ryan brought greetings from the Township of Zorra and congratulated all the contestants for entering the spelling bee.

In the Grade 6, 7 & 8 division, the winner was Madeline Roddick and runner -up was Monica Payne. Other participants were Paige Borman and Hannah Houston

 In the Grade 5 and under division, the winner was Leah Lockhart and runner up was Macey Taylor. Other participants were Jorja Borman, Peter Langford, Fiona Ryan, Lilli Taylor and Brody Wilks

Military Historian Steven Smith brought a display about Benjamin Franklin Youngs who was born and raised in Brooksdale. He joined the First Michigan Volunteer Sharpshooters and served in 1863 and 1864 during the American Civil War as a Corporal. On June 17th 1864 at Petersburg, Virginia he captured the enemy flag and for this earned the Medal of Honor which is the highest award giving to any American soldier. He received the original one in 1864, but his name was misspelled, so 1914 he received the new version of the medal with the correct spelling of Youngs. Both of these medals were on display in a window box.

 Refreshments were provided by the Grade 8 class of Zorra Highland Park School with proceeds for their Grade 8 graduation trip.

IMG 2870

The fourth “Heroes of Zorra” Spelling Bee was held on Sunday November 17th at the Embro Legion beginning at 1:30 p.m. There were 4 participants in the Grade 6, 7 & 8 division and 7 participants in the Grades 5 and under division.

Front row winners Grade 5 and under 1st Leah Lockhart (Thamesford PS) runner up Macey Taylor (Zorra HPS), Grades 6 to 8 1st place Madeline Roddick (Thamesford PS) and runner up Monica Payne (Thamesford PS).

Back Row: Brody Wilks (Zorra HPS), Hannah Houston (Zorra HPS), Jorja Borman (Zorra HPS), Paige Borman (Zorra HPS), Fiona Ryan (A.J. Baker), Lilli Taylor (Zorra HPS) and Peter Langford (Holy Family French Immersion Catholic School).




 For the 2nd year Mr. Matthew Robert’s Grade 5/6 class at Zorra Highland Public School created a slideshow presentation of 24 of our “Heroes”.

Please watch and enjoy their great work on this project.


When the Heroes of Zorra Committee chose to create this web site our desire was to provide a format that young people were comfortable with, engaged in and could access.  We wanted them to have an opportunity to learn about the many individuals (who were either born in or lived a significant part of their life) from the Township of Zorra who served or are serving in Canada’s Armed Forces.   Our congratulations to each of the Grade 4/5 students at Zorra Highland Park Public School and their teach Mr. Matthew Roberts.  Well done!

Slideshow - 2017/18 - Grade 4/5 students at Zorra Highland Park Public School

Shirley McCall-Hanlon, Chair, Heroes Of Zorra Committee


Elementary Schools in Zorra Township were invited to enter a contest offered by the Heroes of Zorra committee in 2014.  Grade 4 students were asked to produce a media text; Grade 5 a flyer/poster: Grade 6 a pamphlet; and Grades 7/8 a 1 minute video.

Samples of video created by grade 7/8 students

By Madisson, AJ Baker PS

Click here to watch the video.

Samples of pamphlets created by grade 6 students

By Owen Fraser, ZHPPS

HOZ Gr. 6 pamphlet front Owen Fraser revHOZ Gr. 6 pamphlet back Owen Fraser rev


By Caleb Whetstone, ZHPPS

whetstonewhetstone flyer

Samples of flyer/poster created by grade 5 students

By Jessica Hatch, AJ Baker PS


Samples of newspaper article created by grade 4 students

By Claire Rutledge, AJ Baker PS



Veterans Affairs Canada Youth and Educators

This is the section for Youth and Educators on the Government of Canada, Veterans website   As well there is other information which is always changing.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

This is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site where records of the war dead for WW1 and WW11 are kept so that graves or names on memorials can be located.

Collections Canada

This allows you to search the over 600,000 man and women enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the First World War (1914 -1918 ) as soldiers, nurses and chaplains. Here you can see the completed Attestation Papers completed when enlistment occurred. It includes, among other things, where and when they enlisted, birth date, their actual signature as well as height, eye color etc.


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