Laying of wreaths at the Houston cenotaph, above, takes place Nov. 11 after a service at the community hall. (Houston Today photo)

Laying of wreaths at the Houston cenotaph, above, takes place Nov. 11 after a service at the community hall. (Houston Today photo)

After a COVID-caused absence, Remembrance Day cermonies will take place once again

Service begins at 10 a.m. at the community hall

The first full in-person Remembrance Day ceremonies since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in spring 2020 begin with a service at 10 a.m. Nov. 11 at the community hall.

“That’s right. The last one we had was November 2019,” said Royal Canadian Legion Pleasant Valley Branch 249 treasurer Joanne Woodbeck.

“We were all ready last year, but you’ll remember it was cancelled at the last minute,” she said of increased COVID restrictions of last fall that prompted the Legion’s Vancouver-based headquarters to shelve plans at the last minute for gatherings.

But this fall, after months now of eased restrictions, Woodbeck said the Legion is satisfied it can once again hold ceremonies to remember Canada’s dead in two world wars and other conflicts.

“We want everyone to know that everyone is welcome,” said Woodbeck.

Following the service at the community hall, the Legion’s colour party and others will marshall outside the hall.

“The parade will gather at 10:45 a.m. and then begin,” said Woodbeck of the short trip to the cenotaph at Steelhead Park.

That’s where wreaths will be placed and where the silence at 11 a.m. will be observed.

Aside from Legion members and the branch’s colour party, there will be representation from the local army cadets corps and various emergency services.

Woodbeck said people attending will remember something of specific local significance — the reading of the names of local families who suffered losses.

After the cenotaph ceremony and wreath-laying, people are invited to the Legion where the lounge upstairs will be open and where a luncheon is available.

Aside from the Nov. 11 activities, Legion members will be at Houston Secondary School Nov. 10 at 10:30 a.m. where that school will hold a Remembrancy Day assembly.

The Houston Christian School will also recognize and remember the importance of Nov. 11.

On Nov. 11, the Branch 240 colour party, and the flags they will carry, will consist of:

* Ladies Auxiliary Flag, Erna McCaw

* Union Jack, Vice President Brian Timms

* Canada Flag, Margaret Murphy

* Legion Flag, President Don Woodbeck

* Province of BC, Past President Ambrose Kelly

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