Port Alberni will once again be holding a smaller, socially-distanced Remembrance Day ceremony to honour veterans.
Although the provincial government lifted COVID-19 capacity limits for indoor events in October, Royal Canadian Legion Br. 293 president Al Mooney said the decision came too late to plan an event at the Glenwood Centre.
“But we’re still going to have an outdoor service,” said Mooney.
The service will begin at the Field of Honour at Greenwood Cemetery at 10:45 a.m. with two minutes of silence at 11:00 a.m. Community members will lay wreaths and poppies at the cenotaph, before paying their respects at the Vietnam Veterans gravesite and the Hupacasath First Nation cemetery.
The service will be open to anyone, although Mooney warns that there will be limited space and parking.
“Please socially distance and wear masks when appropriate,” said Mooney. “And it is a graveyard, so please be aware of where the graves are, and don’t step on them.”
There are a few other changes this year. Owners of wreaths are asked to pick up their wreaths at the Legion office prior to Remembrance Day, so Legion volunteers don’t have to transport all the wreaths to the cemetery. To arrange to pick up for a wreath, either phone Roy Buchanan at 250-720-6164 or contact the branch office at 250-723-5042.
For the first time this year, said Mooney, the Legion will have a wreath for Afghanistan veterans.
The Legion’s lounge will also be open for visitation under COVID-19 rules (including vaccination passports and masks). The lounge will only be open for bar service once the ceremony delegation has returned from the Field of Honour. The lounge will close at 6 p.m. (last call at 5:30 p.m.).