Like countless schools and other public institutions across Saskatchewan and the rest of Canada, the geology department and the Ore Gangue (OG) geology club of the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) lost fellow students and graduates on the European theatre of World War II, between September 1939 and May 1945, when Germany surrendered. World War II has the dubious distinction of having been the bloodiest conflict humanity has even known, with the death toll alone reaching the tens of millions.
The geology department and the Ore Gangue lost eight students and graduates, aged 26 years on average. All, it seems, were active members of the Ore Gangue and were from Saskatchewan communities large and small (as a whole, U of S lost 202 students). These eight, forever young men, were just beginning to make their mark on their surroundings and their communities. But all eight, from diverse backgrounds and unified in conflict, left the ultimate, indelible mark on this earth: they gave their lives so that their contemporaries and subsequent generations could be free from the tyranny of fascism. Today, more than in the last several decades since the end of WW II, democracy is in peril and we must not forget that they died, but perhaps more important, why they died. For those who ignore or forget history are destined to repeat its mistakes.
The 85th Concentrates, to be released at the Ore Gangue Reunion (May 2-4, 2019, has the complete story about these eight students.