The Royal Canadian Legion Branch #241 held their annual candlelight tribute ceremony at the Veteran’s Corner Cenotaph at 6:30 p.m. on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 9. Attendance was down somewhat for this ninth-annual ceremony, but certainly not due to the weather or the work of organizers. The evening was warm, but with a bit of a wind, collars were turned up. With use of the branch’s new sound system, the ceremony was easily heard and the cenotaph and area around it was clear of snow and easily accessed.
Leader of the assembly, Legion president Sharon Stubbs, opened the service at the appointed time and began, “In recognition of veterans, we welcome you to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #241 annual candlelight tribute service. During this week, hundreds of commemorative ceremonies and events will take place across Canada to recognize the achievements of our veterans and to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Above all, we must vow never to forget. However you choose to remember, be sure to share with everyone you know. Together, it is our duty to pass on the legacy and keep the memories of Canadian veterans alive.”
President Stubbs then called Taiya Korchinski, great granddaughter of Second World War veteran Joe Strecki, forward to recite the “Commitment to Remember.”
When Miss Korchinski receded back to the assembly, comrade Cheryl Turnbull read “The Veterans’ Prayer.” Following this, Mrs. Turnbull lit a candle for and acknowledged the following veterans who no longer have family living in Snow Lake: Herb Halverson, Gordon Kitchen, John Dutka, Hanley Dahle, Harry Graham, Joan Graham, Peter Tataryn, Albert Schweitzer, Peter Smadella, Gordon Rupp, Clayton Robinson, Jim Kjalgaard, Norm Lindsey, Stan Major, Paul Neilson, Lorne Porter, George Gamble, Joe Walters, Jack Goodall, Wilf Lipton, Fred Burr and Eileen Burr.
Subsequently, comrades Stubbs and Turnbull began calling forward those who wished to lay candles, but first president Stubbs laid a candle in memory of her husband Gerry Stubbs, father Edward Deslauriers and five uncles; brothers – Horace, Joe, Don, Dennis, and Leo Deslauriers – WWII. Comrade Turnbull placed a candle for: William Hopkins Farr – World War I, Thomas Farr - WWII, Megan Farr - WWII, John Bitzer, and Elsie Bitzer. Others followed. They were: Taiya Korchinski in memory of WWII vet Joe Strecki, Julie Kramer in memory of her grandfather Navy vet Bill Denby, WWII vet Leslie Kramer, and WWI vet Alex Denby, Emmy and Eva Turnbull in memory of their great grandfather WWII vet Jacob Bitzer, and WWII vet Sarah Elizabeth Farr, Sadie Stabback in memory of her grandfather WWII vet Eric Stoltz, Ron Stoltz in memory of WWII vet Bob Roberts, Riley Eastman in memory of WWII vet Alf Roberts, Merle Cheyne in memory of WWI vet Joe Kerr, Gail Eastman in memory of her uncle WWII vet Edwin Stoltz, Merle Cheyne/Gail Eastman in memory of their uncle WWII vet Peter Roberts, Sylvia Zamzow in memory of WWII vet Bucky Bone, Gary Zamzow in memory of his friend Navy vet Bill Denby, Darlene Pleasance in memory of WWII vets Bob, George, Jim, John, Fred and Helen Wanamaker and Doreen and Covert Armsworthy, Bill Pleasance in memory of the veterans in the Pleasance and McLean families, Lois Charron in memory of WWII vet John (Jack) Campbell, Grace Chrapun in memory of WWI vet George Murray, Herb Cook in memory of WWII vet Bruce Cook, John Humeniuk and Jodi Wilson in memory of WWI vet Art Wilson and Jodi’s father WWII vet Ted Wilson, Marc Jackson in memory of his father WWII vet Ian Jackson, Leone Jackson in memory of her friend WWII vet Joan Currie, Jackie Jones in memory of WWII vets Dave and George Carriere and Boer War vet Edward Jones,
Iona Johnston in memory of her husband vet Neil Johnston, Bev and Sharon Meuse in memory of WWI and WWII vet Ed Meuse Sr., WWII vet Eddy Meuse Jr., WWII vet Jim Gray, and her husband and Sharon’s father Korean War vet Roger Meuse, Fran Saskowski in memory of WWI vets Andrew Hudak, Frank Yurkemik, and Paul Soven, Deputy Mayor Jodi Wilson in memory of all veterans on behalf of the Town of Snow Lake, and Tammy Leaman in memory of WWII vet Dave Carriere.
After all candles had been placed, comrade Cheryl Turnbull led the gathering in prayer prior to calling forward Grace Chrapun to recite “It is the Veteran.”
To end the ceremony, president Stubbs called Navy veteran GarryZamzow forward to recite the “Act of Remembrance,” which is the fourth stanza of Lawrence Binyon’s poem, “For the Fallen.” He stated: “They shall grow not old, as we who are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them…”
After some closing remarks, Mrs. Stubbs thanked people for attending, and taking part in the service, advising that the candles would remain lit until Nov. 11.
Attendees then gathered in the Legion for cake, coffee and camaraderie.