Famous Canadian Photo “Wait for me Daddy” Memorial in New Westminster

One of the most famous images in Canadian history will be commemorated in New West's Hyack Square

Credit: Claude P. Dettloff

Claude P. Dettloff’s “Wait for Me Daddy”

A new war memorial celebrating one of the most famous photos in Canadian history will permanently transform New Westminster’s Hyack Square

On October 1st, 1940, the British Columbia Regiment marched through New Westminster on their way to fight in WWII. Claude P. Dettloff of The Province was set up to photograph the army marching down 8th Street, and with the click of a button he snapped one of the most famous war photos in Canadian history: “Wait for Me Daddy.”

In that captured moment, little Warren “Whitey” Bernard breaks free from him mother’s embrace to reach out to his father, a soldier marching off to war. This photo went “viral” for its time: it was featured on the October 21st cover of Life magazine in 1940, was displayed in every school throughout British Columbia during the war and is now the second most requested photo from the National Archives.

Wait for Me Daddy War Memorial

To commemorate this iconic photo and the soldiers who fought in WWII, the city of New Westminster will be unveiling a war memorial in their honor. Veronica and Edwin Dam De Nogales were commissioned to create the statue. (Together, the Dam De Nogales have 25 permanent works worldwide and have participated in over 70 exhibitions.)

It’s only fitting that Warren “Whitey” Bernard himself will return to Hyack Square to unveil the monument himself.

The unveiling will take place on October 4th, at 11a.m. in Hyack Square. WWII veterans and senior Canadian dignitaries, as well as Claude P. Dettloff’s family will also attend the unveiling. Afterwards, the public is invited to view the “Wait For Me Daddy” exhibit at the New Westminster museum. Art, literary and commemorative festivities will be held in the Anvil Centre, across from Hyack Square.

In addition Canada Mint also plans to reveal the “Wait For Me Daddy” commemorative toonie at the event, as well as a “Wait for Me Daddy” stamp available for sale.