Remembrance Day services to be held in Manitoulin municipalities, First Nations

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MANITOULIN – Manitoulin Island municipalities, First Nations and schools will all be participating in Remembrance Day services on Thursday, November 11.

Both the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) Branch 514 in Gore Bay and the RCL Branch 177 Little Current will be holding services on Thursday at 11 am at their downtown cenotaphs. Members of the public are welcome and all COVID-19 rules and regulations will be in affect.

Services will also take place at the Manitoulin Island District Cenotaph at the four corners in Spring Bay at 11 am. The services are being organized by Jim Corrigan and Keith Legge of Mindemoya. Several Manitoulin Island veterans will be participating, and the service will have Andy Atchison playing the bagpipes, followed by Jim Smith on the saxophone who will play the last post and Reveille. Pastor Dawn Dawson will be providing the opening and closing prayer. 

About 11-12 people will be taking part in laying wreaths at the ceremony.

And also participating will be students from Central Manitoulin Public School. Teacher Patti-Jo Woods will be bringing students from one or two classes who will be signing and taking part in the service. Mr. Atchison will be playing Amazing Grace to close out the ceremony.

All protocols will be followed including the provision that all participants wear a mask for the service.

A representative of the Billings cenotaph committee says that due to the continuing effects of the pandemic, Remembrance Day ceremonies in the Kagawong community are having to be scaled back again this year.

“In lieu of a formal service inside the Park Centre we are going to have a brief outdoor service at the Cenotaph (adjacent to the Park Centre),” said Rick Nelson,  a member of the cenotaph committee. “We’re heartbroken that we can’t hold the formal ceremonies inside this year, but we don’t feel we can take a chance, especially since so many of the many attendees that attend the formal services are senior and veterans. Safety comes first.”

Mr. Nelson explained that at the outdoor service at the cenotaph in Kagawong at 11 am, “Billings Mayor Ian Anderson will be laying a wreath on behalf of the township, and Bud Dearing will be laying a wreath on behalf of veterans. Dianne Fraser will be reading a poem, and then I will be reciting in Flanders Fields,” said Mr. Nelson. This will be followed by the taps, and the last post.

“Anyone who wants to be part of the service is welcome,” said Mr. Nelson. “We will be following all protocols, with everyone having to wear face masks and social distancing.”

The Assiginack volunteer fire department is organizing a Remembrance Day service for the township on November 11 at 11 am at the downtown cenotaph. 

The Aundeck Omni-Kaning First Nation will be holding a Remembrance Day service. The service will take place at the Four Directions Complex property. The grounds will be open at 10:30 am with the service to take place at 11:00 am and include the Sergeant Charles Golden Rifle team will be taking part. After the service a takeout lunch will be available. 

As a precaution, all those participating and attending will have to undergo contact tracing and be required to wear a mask and follow all COVID-19 protocols.

The Sheshegwaning First Nation community will be holding Remembrance Day ceremonies at the War Memorial in the community. The service will start at about 10:30 am, beginning with the grand entry eagle staff and flag, followed by the National anthem, the opening prayer and opening remarks, reading of the poem In Flanders Fields, last post, and two minutes of silence. At 11 am the Act of Remembrance will take place and wreath laying ceremony. The services will be followed by lunch for everyone.

Wiikwemkoong’s commemoration of Remembrance Day will begin at the Veteran’s cenotaph in the Holy Cross Church Cemetery at 10:30 am with the blessing of the graves and the wreaths and welcoming by Ogimaa Duke Peltier, followed by a service of prayers and reflection. Veterans and veterans’ families will be sharing a meal together at the Wiikwemkoong arena. All those who plan to attend are asked to please dress warmly according to the weather, and bring a lawn chair.

Schools on Manitoulin Island will also be holding Remembrance Day services on November 11.