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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Commemorative Banners in Port Elgin, Southampton

Saugeen Shores | by John Divinski  

Six new banners to be raised next week after unveiling at Legion

Six new commemorative banners of those who lost their lives while in uniform, will be flying proudly on the street posts in Southampton and Port Elgin, in the next week.

The six new ones, representing personnel from Port Elgin, Southampton and Saugeen First Nation, were unveiled in a ceremony at Branch 155, Royal Canadian Legion in Southampton.

With the new banners, the communities will now have 45 on its lamp posts.

Legion President John Willetts says the new ones remember local soldiers from World War One, since this November 11th, will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of what was called "the war to end all wars."

The banners go up immediately following Thanksgiving Weekend and will remain up until November 11th.   

The Southampton Legion has a week of special events leading up to Remembrance Day, including concerts and lectures and social gatherings based on information from World War One.

Willetts says a special time will be at sunset November 11th, just after 5pm, when a special ceremony will be held involving 100 soldiers from the Canadian Military, some of whom will be performing a 21-gun salute to the occasion and they hope to fire off a howitzer gun.

He says seeing a field gun go off while its dark can be quite spectacular.

The churches in Saugeen Shores, along with the Town Hall in Southampton have also been asked to ring their bells 100 times to mark the anniversary.

Willetts says WWI was a war where the area lost 50 young boys--some as young as 14 who lied about their age, in order to fight for their country.

The new banners that will join the 39 earlier ones include:  Melvin France, Daniel Nawash, Gordon Cummings (who fought in the Boer War), Charles Gilbert, Gordon Saunders and Albert Meyer.

It's hoped the banners will create curiosity in young people so that they ask questions about the veterans' pictures that they see and the history surrounding them.
 


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