Westside Legion plans a small Remembrance Day ceremony

Due to the pandemic, the Westside Legion will host a small ceremony

The Westside Legion joins other branches in the Central Okanagan that are planning for a smaller Remembrance Day ceremony.

Jutta Harapnuk, public relations officer for the branch, said that previously, they held a big service at the Royal LePage arena, inviting veterans, residents, cadets, and a colour guard parade.

“This year, of course, we cannot do that… which is why we’ll have a smaller event instead,” she said.

This year, the service will be held at the Westside Legion’s hall, with some members of the fire department as well as some first responders serving as the colour guard.

Harapnuk said depending on the weather, the service might be held indoors or just outside the hall.

“All we’re doing is we’re having a very small ceremony with a wreath-laying at the Legion. Nobody else is involved, just the branch executives.”

“We would’ve liked to invite veterans, but this year we might not because they’re more susceptible to getting COVID than other people. Of course, the few of us at the service will be wearing masks and distancing,” she said.

She added the branch is still working on having the service filmed and aired at a later date.

Harapnuk did confirm that Westside Legion volunteers will still participate in the annual poppy campaign. She said they will set up tables outside several West Kelowna stores to sell poppies, with one volunteer monitoring the table at a safe distance.

The Peachland Legion is holding its Remembrance Day ceremony at the community centre, with a limit of 50 people. A viewing room will be set up at the 50+ Centre, where the service will be live-streamed into so others can watch it in real-time. In Kelowna, a ceremony will be held at the Cenotaph in City Park but will be closed to the public. Those who want to participate will have to watch the live stream.

READ: Small Remembrance Day gathering a go in Peachland

Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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