In Flanders Fields struck in metal

By Geoff Lee

November 8, 2016 12:00 AM

POETIC ART Welder and artist Filipa Borges is auctioning this Remembrance Day metal sculpture she made to raise money for Royal Canadian Legion Branch 39. Holding his end of the piece is Rick Mallett, sergeant-at-arms for the Legion. The highest bid so far is $300 with bids closing on Nov. 11. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

She’s a red seal welder with a passion for helping raise money for our veterans.
Filipa Borges, owner of Scorpion Steel Ltd. has put her welding creativity to work to make her second annual original piece of Remembrance Day artwork for auction.
It’s a stunning metal work featuring a line from the poem,  In Flanders Fields.
“That marks our place; and in the sky,” said Borges.
All funds from this auction will be donated to the Lloydminster Royal Canadian Legion Branch 39 with bidding to close on Nov. 11 at the branch.
“I did it last year and it raised a bunch for them, so I decided to do it again this year and I’ll just keep doing it because why not raise money for the vets,” explained Borges.
Her plan is to make one every year until she’s used up all the lines in the poem written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae in the First World War.
Bids for her latest work can be posted on Facebook under Scorpion Steel with the highest bid being $300 on Nov. 1, with time left to raise that number before the cutoff.
Last year, Legion members bought the piece for about $325 and donated it to the Legion where both pieces are on display.
“I think they are remarkable, they really are,” said Randy Mallett, sergeant-at-arms at the Legion.
He said last year, Borges’ art was actually donated twice for Legion causes.
It was a silent auction for the Wounded Warriors fundraising weekend in Nipawin, Sask. for veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“The Legion members bought it and then we donated it to this year’s Wounded Warriors auction when somebody else bought it and donated it back to the Legion,” said Mallett, laughing.
The unique custom artwork is a sideline for Borges who owns a 24-hour mobile welding rig and a welding shop doing repairs and fabrication work for a variety of clients.
“I’ve built gates and signs for acreages and fire pits and stuff to go on walls—custom chairs and benches,” said Borges.
Some of her work is also at Two Hills at the Wayside Fallen Rider memorial site that opened this year.
Borges talked a bit about the creative process behind her new Remembrance Day creation.
“I drew it out and then I manually cut it out with my plasma cutter and then painted it—it took about seven hours,” she said.
The hardest part, she said, was coming up with a design that she liked while including a line of text from In Flanders Fields.
Borges also draws some inspiration from friends or relatives that have fought in wars.
Her husband Randy Rechlo is a member of the Legion.
Borges’ 2015 Remembrance Day piece helped to raise about $25,000 during the 2016 Wounded Warriors weekend.
“We also purchase a (service) dog every year with the proceeds,” said Mallett.
“The veterans are suffering from the PTSD; they get the dogs and it’s just remarkable the difference it makes in their lives—it just brings them totally out of their shells.
“They get out in the community.”

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