Plenty of ways to honour veterans

Round-up of activities planned for Ladysmith and Chemainus

Every November, there are a number of activities around Ladysmith to help local residents remember those fallen in the line of duty.

This year, the ceremonies were kicked off with the annual Church Service of Remembrance at the Bethel Tabernacle on November 6.

“We attend a different church every year,” said Roy Empey, president of Ladysmith’s Royal Canadian Legion branch, No. 171.

On November 10, local veterans will visit schools in the area, and  The Legion Band and Colour Party pay visits to La Rosa Gardens and the Lodge on 4th, to entertain the residents with songs they may remember from the war era.

Ladysmith’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony will take place at the cenotaph at Warren Street. More than 2000 residents are expected to partake in the ceremony, including veterans of the Second World War, the Korean and Afghanistan wars.

“We will all be down there at the cenotaph,” Empey said.

The ceremony begins with a march down First Avenue. At the cenotaph, local dignitaries Jean Crowder, a representative from Doug Routley’s office  and Rob Hutchins will speak, and a two minute silence will be observed precisely at 11 a.m.

Tents will be available for the elderly, however rain or shine, attendance is anticipated to be high.

“The weather doesn’t seem to hinder anybody, because it’s a time of remembrance,” Empey said. “We’re there for one reason, and that’s to honour everyone who has been affected by war.  We wear our poppies to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifce for our country.”

The day following the Remembrance Day gathering, a Veterans dinner will be held at the Eagles Hall.

In Chemainus, the Remembrance Day ceremony begins at 10:45 a.m. at the Willow Street cenotaph, followed by a two minute silence at 11 a.m.

At 11:15 a.m., there will be a parade from the cenotaph to the RCL #191 Hall on Chemainus Road, where an open house will take place. Children participating in the memorial service will be provided refreshments at the Chemainus Seniors Centre.