BUCHANS, NL – Lakeside Academy in Buchans hosted its annual Remembrance Day Service Nov. 9 at the school gym.
Included in the event were veterans, members of the clergy, RCMP, Buchans council, Junior Canadian Rangers, students, schools staff and the public.
The Junior Canadian Rangers, Buchans Patrol marched in to open the ceremony, followed by the playing of the song “In Flanders Fields.”
Teacher Jeremy Chippett prepared the service again this year. He welcomed everyone to the morning event and noted one guest in particular, LSQMS Merrill Reid, who served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1950 to 1953 during the Korean War.
He encouraged everyone to give Comrade Reid a round of applause.
In his remarks, Chippett noted the importance of observing Remembrance Day every year.
“Every time I have prepared for this ceremony there’s always been a tragedy that had recently occurred … there are battles being fought and there’s always uneasiness throughout the world,” Chippett said.
“This our world now, but we still live in freedom and relative peace because of the sacrifices of men and women from across this country since before 1914 until this very moment in time and beyond.
“But there is something we can all do. For this one-hour ceremony we all sit and think of peace, we think of sacrifice and we think of the freedom we are so blessed to enjoy.”
Major Betty-Lou Toppings began the service with a prayer for those who had given their lives so that we may have peace and freedom today.
Mayor Derm Corbett brought greetings on behalf of fellow councillors and the Town of Buchans.
“I can’t think of any place where you could hold this (event) that would be more appropriate than in a school with young people,” he said. “The most difficult part of any Remembrance Day event, I believe, is to avoid looking at those who paid the ultimate sacrifice as just old pictures in a book, or numbers on a list.
“If we can remember that these men and women were living breathing dreaming human beings – young people. Old people don’t fight wars. Young people fight wars.”
Corbett talked of all the dreams those who died so young must have had – marriage, children, grandchildren – and all that was lost when they died in battle. “These were the dreams of young men and women who did not return home. And we have to remember that
Students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 were involved in the service, reciting poems with the themes of remembrance, freedom and peace.
The playing of “I Will Sing You Home” by the Ennis Sisters led into the slide display of those named on the Buchans Cenotaph, including:
Royal Air Force: Lal Michael Armstrong; F/Sgt. W. Earl Pike
Royal Canadian Air Force: F/O Roland W. J. Cuff; P/O A. H. K. Goodyear; P/O Anthony Gibbons; Sgt. A. Milton Monroe
Navy: A/B John G. Bennett; A/B Sydney Clouter; A/B Patrick J. Delaney; A/B Frederick Jesseau; A/B Sidney Rideout; and A/B Llewellyn White.
In honour of area residents who also have served or currently serve, Chippett had prepared a photo slide show.
Those listed in the 2017 roll call were:
Sgt. Jerry Squires, Chief Petty Officer Jerry Cole, Warrant Officer William Scott, Sgt. Darrell Dixon, Cpl. Melanie Dixon, Major Lance Hoffe, Master Corporal Gerald Brennan, Master Seaman Stephen Burke, Corporal Ryan Dyer, Corporal Adam Somers, Warrant Officer Jamie Walsh, Warrant Officer Walter Walsh, Master Corporal Robert Peckford, and Sgt. Hardy Rowsell.
Chippett continued the ceremony with a performance of song “Hallelujah” with lyrics altered to suit Remembrance Day.
Teacher Jennifer Perry invited everyone to come forward and place their poppies on a cross at the front of the gym, with Staff Sergeant Kelly Bryan and Constable Camille Bryan standing at attention.
The ceremony ended with a recording of “Pittance of Time” by Terry Kelly, followed by “The Last Post,” a moment of silence, and “Reveille.”