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Poppy campaign underway in lead-up to Remembrance Day
The Poppy Campaign is now on around Osoyoos in the lead-up to the Nov. 11 Remembrance Day ceremony.
Osoyoos Mayor Stu Wells recently issued a proclamation declaring the period from Nov. 4 to 11 as Remembrance Week.
Terry Cameron, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 173 and Bruce Davies, poppy chair, joined Wells at town hall to announce the proclamation.
Cameron said this year’s Remembrance Day service will follow a similar format to last year’s. The main service will be in the gymnasium at the Sonora Community Centre and people are encouraged to arrive by about 10:30 a.m.
A colour party leads off and is followed by servicemen veterans marching in after them. Then the high school band plays the national anthem. The traditional Last Post, one minute of silence at 11 a.m., follows this. A lament is played on pipes and followed by Reveille.
A reading of the poem In Flanders Fields, written by World War I Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae follows. This is followed by placing of wreaths, Cameron said.
Last year about 50 wreaths were placed by organizations and individuals, notably a wreath placed by the RCMP on behalf of the Queen, wreaths from the different levels of government, the Royal Canadian Legion, the American Legion and a number of local organizations, Cameron said.
Following the main service, a smaller number of wreaths will be laid at the cenotaph outside the town hall at a smaller service.
Many people come to the Legion to socialize after the services.
“We expect probably 500 people,” said Cameron, basing his estimate on last year’s attendance at the Sonora Centre. “There’s a good turnout from the community.”
Poppies are available from trays at a number of businesses around the community and volunteers from the Legion and the cadets have also been tagging poppies in person.
When the campaign kicked off Friday morning, World War II veteran Paul Lautard, 91, stood with a tray inside Buy Low Foods. Lautard, who was in uniform and wore his medals, participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy when the Canadians landed at Juno Beach.