To mark Remembrance Day on Nov. 11, the Royal Canadian Legion in Abbotsford and Mission and the Army & Navy Vets invite the public to their memorial ceremonies.
The Abbotsford ceremonial parade begins at 10:30 a.m. with Royal Canadian Legion Br. 15 members along with army and air force cadets, from Veterans Way to the Cenotaph in Thunderbird Memorial Square behind city hall and adjacent to the Clearbrook Library.
Legion members, the Silver Cross mother, dignitaries and others will lay 50 wreaths during the service, followed by public members who wish to add their wreaths or poppies. After the event, there is an open house at The Reach Gallery and Museum for the younger parade members and the public.
The Abbotsford RCL branch is also open to the public during the afternoon at 2513 W. Railway St., Abbotsford. Call the branch at 604-853-0569.
In Mount Lehman, the Matsqui Army, Navy & Air Force vets, Unit 315, begins its Armistice Day ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. Colours will be brought in by vets and firefighters, and there will be a fly-past by the Fraser Blues of Langley in vintage Navion aircraft. They will also fly over the Abbotsford ceremony. Vets and families members will present wreaths.
The community event draws up to 200 people, said upcoming unit president Carol Taylor. They include local scouts and guides, Mount Lehman Elementary students and their families, and the local United Church minister and members. After the ceremonial event, there is a potluck lunch and time to visit, plus hot dogs for the kids.
The ANAVet hall is at 30394 McNeil Ave., off Mount Lehman Road just past the fire hall and credit union. Call Taylor at 604-856-3113.
In Mission, Royal Canadian Legion Br. 57 holds its Remembrance Day service at the Clarke Foundation Theatre, 33700 Prentis Ave.
The outdoor parade of Legion members musters at 9:45 a.m. at the L’ecole des Deux Rives, 7674 Stave Lake St., Mission.
At 10:15 a.m. the parade accompanied by the Mission Pipe Band marches to the Clarke Theatre, where a service of remembrance starts at 10:40 a.m.
Any Legion members are welcome to march in the parade, said Legion secretary treasurer Wendy Wenberg.
“As long as their memberships are paid up they can participate. It is their parade,” she said.
Mission Br. 57 president Dave Bryant will welcome guests and local dignitaries, the colours will be trouped in, Jane Heyhoe will sing O Canada and hymns, and Neville Cox will share some thoughts of remembrance. The emotional event usually fills the venue, so come early to get a good seat, Wenberg says.
After the service, first responders, businesses and individuals will lay wreaths at the Legion Cenotaph on 32627 Logan Ave., beside the MCC.
The public is invited to the Legion for a social gathering after the wreath laying to enjoy fellowship, live music and a hot lunch.
Minors are permitted in the Legion lounge on Remembrance Day this is an LCLB exemption for Remembrance Day only. Call the Legion at 604-826-2331.
The public is encouraged to attend these events to remember their loved ones and those who have served.
Remembrances, a reflective program of music and poetry from the two world wars, will be performed Fraser Valley Stage actors Nov. 11 at The Reach Gallery and Museum at 3 p.m.
The music of the era, written to keep spirits up and reflect the longing for home and peace, contrasts with the poetry of the time which brought home the ugly reality of war.
Actor Tony Roper was born in London and the impact of the war remains.
“Many of the songs of WW2 are ingrained in my memory from the time during and after the war when the “wireless” played them over and over, and my mother sang them to me when a lullaby was called for. The music in this show is very evocative of that time.”
The Reach program juxtaposes the two art forms: the ‘feel good' songs of the eras, but also the cost of war.
“The songs from the First World War are especially meaningful to me,” said performer Ruth Dallas Rich.
“My grandma, Mabel Benner Dallas, was an army nurse with the Royal Canadian Expeditionary Forces in 1918. Just recently, we discovered old photographs and her war diary, which included a harrowing account of The City of Marseilles merchant ship crossing the Atlantic [with] depth bombs exploded to ward off an enemy submarine,” said Rich.
Remembrances plays at The Reach, 32388 Veterans Way, Abbotsford, at 3 p.m. on Nov. 11. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available at The Reach for $15 and $12/seniors/students.