Remembrance Day ceremonies take place in communities across Manitoulin Island

Manitoulin Sea Cadets, Royal Canadian Legion members join uniformed veterans to march behind flags through the main streets of Gore Bay. photo by Steph Burt-Hillyard

Manitoulin Secondary School honours veterans with school-wide Remembrance Day ceremony

by Robin Burridge

M’CHIGEENG—Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) held a school-wide Remembrance Day ceremony to commemorate the veterans who served in WWI, WWII, the Korean War and war in Afghanistan.

MSS Vice Principal Dave Wiwchar shared with the school that his great uncle died in WWI.

“James left for France at age 22 and died at age 25,” said Mr. Wiwchar. “He died on April 9, 1918 from wounds from action. He was part of the Fort Garry Horse Regiment. It was sad that he never got to finish his life. His last letter home to his mom he was just able to check boxes—he was doing well, he missed home. On Remembrance Day I think of James and what he gave for our country.”

As part of the ceremony, the MSS band played and the MSS Vocal Group sang a version of the poem In Flanders Fields. There was also a video that highlighted Canada’s participation in war.

Student council co-presidents Kayla Greenman and Bryce Mastelko laid a wreath on the stage for veterans. 

The service also recognized all Manitoulin residents who served in both WWI and WWII.

The ceremony concluded with the Act of Remembrance, the Last Post, two-minutes of silence and the singing of O’Canada.

Little Current Royal Canadian Legion members hold five linked ceremonies across the community

by Michael Erskine

LITTLE CURRENT—Members of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 177 Little Current had a full day laid out for them on November 11. A hardy troop of Legion members, colour guard, executive and accompanying members of the Manitoulin Sea Cadet Corps travelled first to Little Current Public School, where Legion President Debbie Menard explained the significance of Remembrance Day to the assembled students, students watched videos on the importance of the day, sang songs in tribute to the sacrifices made and hopes for the future.

The main Remembrance Day observances took place at the Legion Hall on Van Koughnet Street to a packed hall, with the laying of dozens of wreaths before taking part in a second ceremony outside at the Legion Cenotaph. The Golden rifle team fired a salute into the brisk morning air to accentuate the event.

In the early afternoon, the Legion members and cadets headed to Manitoulin Centennial Manor, where wreaths were laid by resident veterans.

In the final ceremony of the day, the colour guard, veterans and cadets met at the Little Current Cenotaph downtown, where the rifle party once again fired a salute and emcee Roy Eaton gave a brief history of the cenotaph courtesy of Alexander McGillivray’s local history.