Five Ways Canadians Acknowledge the Poignant 1940 Photograph “Wait For Me, Daddy”

This video presents “Stories from the Northwest: WWII – The Photo That Almost Wasen’t.”

  • The story behind, “Wait for Me Daddy.”

Wait for Me, Daddy, taken by Claude P. Dettloff, a Vancouver Daily Province photographer. British Columbia Regiment, (Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles), marching in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada, 1940.

Wait for Me, Daddy, taken by Claude P. Dettloff, a Vancouver Daily Province photographer. British Columbia Regiment, (Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles), marching in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada, 1940.

“On October 1, 1940, Dettloff was photographing The British Columbian Regiment march down 8th Street enroute to battle overseas. In a random moment, Dettloff snapped a young boy, Whitey Bernard, escape his mother’s grasp and run towards his father marching off to war. Wait for Me Daddy became an enduring symbol of Canada’s WWII effort. The photo appeared on the cover of Life Magazine, was displayed in every school in BC during the war, was showcased in the Canadian war bond fundraising campaign with Whitey Bernard on tour, is the 2nd most requested photograph in the National Archives and is amongst the 30 most popular photographs in the world.”

The City of New Westminster

More so in this year than in those past years, Canadians will acknowledge the historical significance of this world-famous photograph by partially reproducing Dettloff’s photograph in five ways as follows.

  1. A New Circulating Toonie, $2 coin, will be released by the Royal Canadian Mint.

    War Stories: Famous Canadian artists joined the war effort to paint and draw what they saw and to share with Canadians back home. These works of art continue to impress as they capture imagery and scenery in a manner that a photograph cannot.”

    First World War Themed Coins – Royal Canadian Mint

    • In keeping with the Royal Canadian Mint’s theme – A Call to Arms: A Call to Remember – the inscription “Remember” (and in French “Souvenir”) will accompany the image on the new version of the $2 coin.
  2. A war memorial sculpture is being created in the City of New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.
    • The City of New Westminster has commissioned internationally acclaimed sculptors Veronica and Edwin Dam De Nogales to create a war memorial sculpture, based on “Wait for Me, Daddy”, Canada’s iconic World War II photograph.
    • The sculpture is a permanent, two-ton bronze statue “recapturing that precise moment in time, erected at the exact spot that the photo was taken 73 years ago.”
    • Whitey Bernard will unveil the sculpture at a public unveiling ceremony on Saturday, October 4, 2014 at Hyack Square (location: foot of 8th Street at Columbia Street), near the “exact spot where Dettloff captured this timeless moment on film.”
    • Festivities on the street and inside the Anvil Centre, the City’s new conference and culture facility, will be developed in conjunction with community, cultural & heritage groups to offer engaging, family-friendly activities.
  3. Wait for Me Daddy Exhibit at the Anvil Centre.

    • “….The New Westminster Museum and Archives will launch the Wait for Me Daddy Exhibit using the photo as an entry point to a discussion that bridges the past and present experiences surrounding war and its effect on the diverse communities and families that make up New Westminster, BC and Canada.”

    • The City of New Westminster is also seeking out next of kin, soldiers pictured in the photo and wants to hear from their families, so they can interview them in preparations for the unveiling and an exhibit at the New Westminster Museum & Archives – Phone: 604.527.4640.
    • The City is planning to devote a wing of the New Westminster Museum to the city’s most famous photo, including memorabilia that’s being collected from far and wide.
  4. Wait For Me, Daddy” commemorative stamp will be issued by Canada Post in 2014
    • Canada Post will also unveil the “Wait for Me, Daddy” stamp at the above public unveiling ceremony,
  5. A National Historic Site designation will be sought by the City of New Westminster.

Whitey Bernard is now 78 years old, who is a former Tofino mayor and still active there as president of the Legion and secretary-treasurer of the Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society.

The following video presents “Wait for Me, Daddy sculpture underway.”

  • “Councillor Lorrie Williams and Whitey Bernard talk about Wait For Me, Daddy – the public art sculpture based on the iconic Second World War photo, coming to downtown New Westminster.
  • Reporter Theresa McManus talks to them about the public art project.”