Communities recognize Remembrance Day in different, safe, ways this year

MANITOULIN – There are a number of Remembrance Day services taking place in communities across Manitoulin Island this year.

This Sunday, November 8 marks National Aboriginal Veterans Day and the Holy Cross Church in Wiikwemkoong will be hosting a special service to commemorate this community’s many warriors Sunday morning. The church will again host the Remembrance Day service on Wednesday, November 11 at the cenotaph outside Holy Cross, beginning at 10:30 am. Please dress for the weather.

Also on November 11, there will be a Remembrance Day service at the Manitoulin District Cenotaph at 11 am. The cenotaph is located at the intersection of Highway 551 and Monument Road near Providence Bay.

There will also be a service on Wednesday morning, Remembrance Day, at the Four Directions Complex in Aundeck Omni Kaning at 11 am. The Sergeant Charles Golden Silver Star Rifle Team will be on hand to perform a special salute to AOK warriors.

Whitefish River First Nation (WRFN) will also be holding its annual Remembrance Day service outside at the cenotaph, located on the grounds of the community centre. To respect physical distancing rules, there will be no wreath placement this year. Following remarks from Ogimaa Franklin Paibomsai and a prayer from Esther Osche, a roll call of Birch Island veterans will be given followed by a minute of silence, a raising of the flag, veterans’ song, a reading of John McRae’s ‘In Flanders Fields’ and closing remarks, including the Act of Remembrance. Personal protective equipment will be available.

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 177 in Little Current will also have a Remembrance Day service at 1 pm on Wednesday at the downtown Little Current cenotaph in Soldiers Park. There will be a limited number of wreaths laid this year and no escorts provided in the interest of physical distancing. (The Little Current Legion executive encourages people to watch or listen to the national service in Ottawa at 11 am and then join them for the local ceremony at 1 pm.)

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 514 in Gore Bay will holding a limited service this year with a small attendance.

Billings’ Kagawong Cenotaph Board will not be hosting a Remembrance Day service this year, but Billings Mayor Ian Anderson and veteran Bud Dearing will be laying wreaths at 11 am that morning at the cenotaph. Instead of a regular Remembrance Day speech, Cenotaph Board Chairman Rick Nelson will be doing a condensed “online” alternative presentation available November 11th over the kagawongmuseum.ca website or at the Old Mill Heritage Centre Facebook page. 

If you are unable to attend an Island service this year, tune in to CBC television or radio for live coverage of the national service in Ottawa, which will begin Wednesday morning, before 11 am.

Whichever way you choose to remember this year, please wear a poppy, bring a mask and maintain a physical distance of two metres.

Lest we forget.