The drone of bagpipes preceded Port Alberni’s veterans into the Alberni District Secondary School Auditorium and the sound of applause from the hundreds of people gathered to honour those same veterans followed them out during Remembrance Day services, Friday morning.
Representatives from the Navy League, sea and army cadets stood guard for the small cenotaph at the front of the auditorium as Royal Canadian Legion Br. 293 service officer Barry Ward MC’d the ceremony.
Members of the West Coast Highlanders Pipe Band started the parade of veterans to their seats, and the ADSS band provided musical accompaniment throughout the ceremony. Two members of the band also played the Last Post on bugles before two minutes of silence were observed.
This was the first Remembrance Day ceremony for the newly amalgamated Legion Br. 293 in the community, and Ward acknowledged the change during his speech.
Once the laying of the wreaths was finished, the ceremony switched to both the merchant marines’ cenotaph on the waterfront at Harbour Quay, as well as the Field of Honour in Greenwood Cemetery.
At least 50 people braved the threatening skies for the outdoor ceremony at the Field of Honour cenotaph.
The rain held off long enough for ceremonies to take place there as well as the First Nations cemetery, also on Josephine Street.
—With files from Wawmeesh G. Hamilton