The rainstorms held off for Pender Harbour’s 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony, Nov. 11.
The one-hour ceremony began with a procession to the cenotaph site, led by a colour guard and the Pender Harbour Pipe Band. Representatives of Legion Branch 112, the community’s first responders and others marched to the site to join the approximately 200 observers and community group participants gathered in the Legion’s parking lot. In compliance with COVID-19 protocols, the outdoor event saw most attendees wearing facemasks and respecting physical distancing.
The first wreath was laid at the cenotaph by local Member of Parliament, Patrick Weiler, on behalf of the federal government. A total of 44 wreaths were placed at the monument on behalf of government, organizations, individuals, and families to show respect and remembrance for the day and the fallen. Included was Coast Reporter’s community columnist for the area, Dilys Williams, who placed a wreath on behalf of the Pender Harbour Fall Fair organization, which she volunteers with.
The pipe band, the Pender Harbour community choir and soloist Ginny Byrnes-McKnight performed during the gathering. A reading of the poem “In Flanders Fields” was shared by Pender Harbour Secondary School student Annie Vassev.
Retired RCMP chaplain Andrew Barker delivered the blessing and provided a message to those assembled. He highlighted Canada’s history of involvement in war and peacetime military operations and the importance of the sacrifices made by every individual who was part of those efforts.
The ceremony closed with an expression of thanks to community volunteers Lyn and Bill Charlton for their work in organizing the day’s program. That was followed by an opportunity for all in attendance to place their poppies on the memorial in individual acts of remembrance.