Poppies have been blossoming on the lapels and collars of Powell River residents, standing as a symbol of remembrance. The poppies are a visual pledge to never forget all those Canadians who have fallen in war and military operations.
Representatives from Royal Canadian Legion Branch 164, Bill Demkiw, poppy chairman, Karen Crashley, secretary and president of the Ladies’ Auxiliary, Bob MacDonald, World War II veteran, and Harry Caton, sergeant-at-arms, attended the November 1 City of Powell River council meeting. They explained events that will be taking place during Veterans’ Week, November 5 to 11.
To launch the week, Legion representatives held a ceremony to dedicate the Memorial Wall in Powell River Town Centre Mall on Monday, November 5. “It just reminds people that we have lost soldiers in the last little while, in Afghanistan and other missions,” Demkiw said. “There are 900 or more, roughly, Canadian troops that are still in Afghanistan. They are not in a combat role, they’re in a training role and they’ve moved up into Kabul.”
The poppy campaign started on October 26. Funds raised assist veterans and veterans’ wives.
On Remembrance Day, November 11, veterans will have a breakfast in the morning at the Legion. A bus transports them to Dwight Hall. A parade forms near St. John Ambulance and participants march down to Dwight Hall. A service starts at 10 am in Dwight Hall and after it is over, participants march to the Cenotaph in front of the building, where there is two minutes of silence and laying of the wreaths. There is then a march past and salute to the veterans.
This year, Frank Greenwood, who was a Naval officer and served with the British Intelligence Corps, and his son, Rear-Admiral Nigel Greenwood, who recently retired as the Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific, will be attending.
Mayor Dave Formosa thanked the legion representatives, as well as “past, present and future veterans of the armed forces that keep our country what it is, safe and free. We really appreciate all you do and we look forward to this every year.”
Formosa also said he had been asked to attend a number of Remembrance Day ceremonies in local schools. “It’s alive and well,” he said.