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Crystal View student lands Langford’s highest-ever finish in B.C. Legion contest

Xyrena Medrano, 8, was inspired by her father’s role in the Canadian military

A Crystal View Elementary student’s art inspired by her father’s role in the Canadian military earned her third place in the British Columbia Legion’s primary-aged Remembrance Contest; the furthest a Langford entry has ever gone in the provincial competition.

Third-grade student Xyrena Medrano’s pencil drawing depicts the well-known Belgian battlefield of the First World War and titular inspiration of veteran John McCrea’s poem, Flanders Fields. The eight-year-old said she was inspired by the Canadian military, for whom her father is enlisted as a material management technician.

For her submission to the Legion contest’s provincial category, the Langford Legion’s president Norm Scott and ways and means chair Bea LeBlanc awarded Medrano a certificate and cheque of $150 on Wednesday (March 16). The provincial finalists of the Remembrance Day competition have since been put forward to a national competition, for which judging is currently underway.

The provincial award was laboriously scrutinized for its sentiment and the visuals used to convey it, Scott said. In Medrano’s third-grade class taught by Sarah Laughton, a show of hands showed eight students out of about 30 had a parent in the military.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Langford Remembrance Day ceremony welcomes back in-person service

Medrano’s father, Josh Ofiaza, has been with the Canadian military for two-and-a-half years. Since arriving in Canada from the Philippines, Ofiaza said he’s been grateful for his position for the camaraderie and benefits offered to him and his family.

Wednesday morning was the first time Ofiaza saw his daughter’s homage to the armed forces. “I was so happy, and proud,” he said.

The Legion’s Poster and Literary Contests are put on Canadawide to support youth education while promoting remembrance, which Scott told the class is especially important today. “The onus is on teachers to promote it,” said LeBlanc.

READ ALSO: ‘A new vision’: Langford legion looks to the future with upcoming renovations

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