Early in the morning of Nov. 11, people will be assembling at the cenotaph for the Remembrance Day program, which will also be shown live on the Facebook page of the Walkerton Legion. Later in the day, the Legion and its Colour Guard will be in Mildmay for another Remembrance ceremony there, beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Two minutes of silence occurs at 11 a.m. and for those brief moments, people all across the country will have stopped to honour those who died in the name of freedom.
It has been 100 years since the Walkerton cenotaph was first erected. Our cenotaph was funded by donations from the ordinary citizens of Walkerton and surrounding area. At the Remembrance Dinner on Saturday, guest speaker Clarence Kieffer read his research on the history of the cenotaph. This speech was originally intended to form part of the celebration in July, but pouring rain forced the last-minute cancellation of the event. MC for the Remembrance Dinner was Tim Mancell, who led the applause to recognize the veterans present. Head table dignitaries seated with President Rose Austin included Huron-Bruce MP Ben Lobb; John McPhee, representing Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson, Mayor Chris Peabody and their spouses. After the roast beef dinner, baskets were passed around to thank the Walkerton and District Optimists, who served the meal. They refused to accept the donation and in the true spirit of community cooperation, directed the contents to go to the Branch 102 Poppy Fund.
During the awards section of the program, Ruth Critchfield was given the 30 Years of Service pin and Jim Bester for 40 Years of Service. This is quite a significant milestone for both these members, who are still active volunteers with our branch. Jim is the House Chair and does every kind of repair around the Legion. Ruth has a 102 Christmas Cards ready to be sent to Canadian Armed Forces members serving overseas, and also recruits volunteers for our meat draws.
Speaking of meat draws, our next meat draw is this Saturday. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.
The winner of the early bird membership renewal draw for September was Blanche Ruys, another very dedicated member.
Jan Briggs-McGowan is a member of the Walkerton Legion. Her column appears here weekly.