Holy Roller set to return to Victoria Park

The ‘Holy Roller’ — one of two Canadian tanks to fight in World War II from D-Day to the end of the war — will have an unveiling ceremony Monday morning at Fanshawe College.

“We’ve been at this for two years and this is the culmination,” said Lt. Col. Ian Haley (Ret), of the Holy Roller Memorial Project.

In 2021, there was a fundraising effort to restore the tank, which had sat in Victoria park since 1956 and was suffering deterioration.

There was a global effort to rebuild the tank.

“We have the new track on it which came from France,” Haley added. “We have new road wheels which came from Belgium. So there's been all sorts of parts that have come from all over the world to go on this tank”

The reveal on Monday morning is the first of several activities that will focus on the Holy Rollers.

Starting on Tuesday, Central Avenue between Wellington Road and Richmond Street will be closed to facilitate the return of the tank to its resting place at Victoria Park. On the weekend of June 4 and 5, special events are planned including its official welcome back.

“Sunday [June 4] will be the actual rededication and annual D-Day Parade in the streets of London,” Haley said.

The 78th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy is June 6.