Roy Empey

What remembrance day means to me

A message from Roy Empey, President of Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 171

As a young student, I remember attending class and finding a bowl of poppies on the teacher’s desk. Every student would put one on, and at exactly 11 o’clock, we would stand for a two minute silence. Then we would go back to our school work.

In later years, as a sea cadet, we would march  to the cenotaph, and learned more about the war and what it was about. My father, three of my uncles, and an older cousin served in World War II. Fortunately, they all came home, but my cousin was wounded with shrapnel in his back and neck. I was mesmerized by his scars, and how they had come to be.

A lot of my good friends had joined the services, and were serving in Korea. Just before hostilities ended, I joined the Royal Canadian Navy.  While in the service, I met and worked with a lot of World War II veterans. Today, I am in my 75th year, and still have a lot of good friends from that time.

I have run the poppy campaign at our Legion Branch for the past two years, and it is very rewarding to work with the people who undertake the task of canvassing and distributing poppies.  At this time, we are busy getting wreaths ready for placement on the cenotaph on Remembrance Day.

Last year, approximately two thousand attended the service at the cenotaph – the largest turnout in years, and a real show of respect for all of our veterans.

When you are walking along First Avenue, take a look at Salamander Books window for a great display of memorabilia from the Korean conflict. The 49th Parallel flower shop also decorates their window, and the Legion has the façade filled with articles to remind us what Remembrance Day means.

On November 12, another event is taking place – the Veteran’s Dinner. It will be at the Eagles Hall this year. The Rotary Club of Ladysmith has been hosting this ceremonial dinner for a number of years.  This year the empty chair will honour two Veterans – one from WWII and one from the conflict in Afghanistan.

This is what Remembrance means to me, and I hope to see another large crowd at the cenotaph this year.

Just Posted

ILWU Local 508 organized toy drive to support families impacted by WFP strike

The toy drive raised over $2,500 in cash, over $1,000 in gift cards, and a big pile of toys

Local family invites the community to enjoy their Christmas light display

Kelly, Carrie, and Vincent Giesbrecht spent the last month decorating their home for the holidays

The Russell Troupe finds a comfort zone in Chemainus

Family gathering with two parents and five kids a common scene around town

Japanese students visit LSS for cultural exchange

Ladysmith families hosted 35 students from Furukawa Gakuen High School

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

B.C. woman charged in connection to stolen vehicle smash-up in Kamloops

Kersten Ina Peters was arrested in the Fraser Valley on Friday, Dec. 6

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

Dogs and cat rescued in house fire in Nanaimo

Section of Old Victoria Road was closed to traffic Tuesday afternoon

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Toronto Raptors, Don Cherry top the list of Canadians’ Google searches in 2019

‘Champions’ was the theme of the last year, Google said

Most Read