Remembrance Day message important to pass along: Sooke veteran

Poppy campaign runs Oct. 27 to Nov. 11

The importance of reminding young people of the sacrifices made by veterans forms an integral part of the focus for the Sooke Legion’s annual poppy campaign.

Tom Lott, chair of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 54’s poppy campaign, said engaging students in understanding the role veterans played in enabling Canadians to enjoy the freedoms is of paramount importance.

Lott, who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force for 23 years, has a strong personal connection to Remembrance Day. His father served in the Second World War, and his grandfather fought at Vimy Ridge

“Remembrance Day is ingrained in our family,” said Lott, the branch’s vice-president.

“In today’s world, we have generations that grow up without that personal connection. It’s a good thing that there hasn’t been any major world wars, but it’s important to remind everyone, especially young people, that the freedom we enjoy is because many people gave up all of their tomorrows so we can have freedom today. We need to give credit where credit’s due.”

Lott said it’s fortunate the Sooke Legion has a dedcate group of volunteers eager to step up not only during the annual poppy campaign, which runs from Oct. 27 until Nov. 10, but throughout the year.

Retired teachers Ron and Doris Gulmans and veterans from the community visit schools to explain the significance of Remembrance Day to students of all ages, Lott explained. An annual essay, poetry and poster initiative through the local library for students in elementary, middle and high schools is another way the Legion reaches a younger generation, Lott added. “Part of the oath for being a Legionnaire means that you will support the poppy campaign.”

More than 20 volunteers at the Sooke Legion have been busy mailing out envelopes for the Poppy Fund, which raised $25,000 last year.

“The town is growing, so we had 400 more mail-outs this year,” said Lott, a member of the branch’s executive since 1993, serving as chair of the poppy campaign for the past eight. “The amount we raise goes up about $1,000 a year, on average.” Another 20 will be involved in selling poppies and collecting donations at Shoppers Drug Mart, Western Foods, Home Hardware, Coast Capital, Village Foods and the Evergreen Mall provincial liquor store.

The money raised is earmarked for a variety of services to assist veterans. Some of those include providing service dogs for people dealing with PTSD, and Cockrell House in Colwood, which assists veterans facing difficulties adapting to civilian life. Funding also provides housing at Broadmead Lodge, a long-term care facility for veterans, medical support and equipment, and educational programs at BCIT.

Just Posted

Check out what’s happening in Greater Victoria this weekend

From swimming championships to Oak Bay Light Up, there’s plenty to keep you busy this weekend

VicPD chief rescues lost $10 bill in downtown Victoria

The note was promptly returned to its owner unharmed

Port Renfrew gets $89,000 grant to build staircase, trail

Rural Dividend grant awarded by province

Island champion volleyball team heads for provincials Wednesday

What Oak Bay High lacks in volleyball experience the make up for in athleticism and competitiveness

Duncan man faces numerous charges following Sooke Rd. crash

RCMP found alcohol and a loaded hand gun at the scene

Victoria Royals giving a boost to fund inspired by Tragically Hip singer

Downie Wenjack Fund recipient of funds raised starting at tonight’s WHL game vs. Seattle

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Stay safe on B.C. roads this holiday season

RCMP warn drivers to plan a safe ride home or suffer the consequences this holiday season

Trudeau apologizes to excluded residential school students

PM makes statement to former students in Nfld who were left out of previous compensation, apology

Most Read