Royal Canadian Legion launches 2017 Poppy Campaign

Northeast Town Mayor Al MacNevin signs the Poppy Proclamation in the council chambers last Friday marking the beginning of the annual Poppy Campaign. Seated next to Mayor MacNevin is veteran Blair Sullivan. Back row, from left, are Comrade Tom Stephens, Little Current Legion President Debbie Menard and Comrade Paul Abbott. Little Current Legion poppy chairman Sue Morin pins a poppy to Mayor MacNevin.

MANITOULIN—Across Canada last Friday, the Royal Canadian Legion launched its annual Poppy Campaign. In Little Current, Northeast Town Mayor Al MacNevin signed the Poppy Proclamation with Branch #177, officially kicking off the campaign in his municipality.

Each year from the last Friday in October to Remembrance Day, Legions across Canada conduct the campaign to honour those who serve and to raise funds in support of veterans and their families.

“The person who first introduced the poppy to Canada and the Commonwealth was Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae of Guelph, a Canadian Medical Officer during the First World War,” states a press release from the Royal Canadian Legion. “John McCrae penned the Poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ on a scrap of paper in May 1915 on the day following the death of a fellow soldier. Little did he know then that those 13 lines would become enshrined in the hearts and minds of all who would wear them. McCrae’s poem was published in Punch Magazine in December of that same year, and the poem later served as inspiration three years later for Moina Michael, an American teacher. Moina Michael made a pledge to always wear a poppy as a sign of Remembrance.”

Veteran Blair Sullivan and Little Current Legion President Debbie Menard lay a wreath at the downtown Little Curent
Cenotaph at the launch of the annual Poppy Campaign.

The poppy was officially adopted by the Great War Veteran’s Association (the predecessor of the Royal Canadian Legion) as its Flower of Remembrance on July 5, 1921.

Money raised from the sale of poppies across Canada goes into the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Trust Fund, which directly supports Canada’s serving and retired veterans and their families.

Be sure to purchase your poppy, sold at various locations across Manitoulin Island, and show your support for our veterans.