SHEET HARBOUR – The Sheet Harbour Legion is planning a Remembrance Day service, despite COVID-19, but the public will not able to attend.
Susan Boutilier, poppy chairperson for the branch, says Courcelette Branch #58 will be holding a service on Nov.11 at the hospital grounds, at the usual time, weather permitting. But, as with other Legion services, public participation is not encouraged.
“All memorials will be read,” says Boutilier. “We will be having a shorter service than usual as all, but a few wreaths, will be pre-placed around the cenotaph.”
Organizers want continued community involvement in other ways and have arranged for the service to be broadcast live on Sheet Harbour Radio station 94.7 FM and on the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #58 Facebook page.
“We are asking everyone who has laid a wreath or cross at the cenotaph ahead of time to please remember they will have to be removed within the following week,” Boutilier advises.
Things are also different with poppy sales this year.
“The purpose of the poppy fund is to assist veterans and their dependents,” says Boutilier. “The poppy fund also supports all the women and men who have served or are still serving our country. Their commitment has and will continue to ensure our rights and freedoms are and will remain guaranteed for all Canadian citizens.”
In the past, the most common way to support the fund has been contributing a donation when a poppy is collected from a tray held by members of Cadet Corps 2610.
“This year cadets are not allowed to participate in the distribution of poppies,” explains Boutilier. “Community support can still be realized by obtaining a poppy from the many local business outlets that are making them available.”
Boutilier suggests purchasing a wreath or cross, and says making a donation to the Poppy Fund is appreciated and “… it is also of great help to our veterans.”
Government restrictions are in effect so the Legion will not host the usual noon luncheon following the ceremony or the evening dinner.
“Several of our attendees are of the vulnerable age group. Understandably, many have expressed they are not comfortable attending any public events at this time,” Boutilier said.