Brad Edgett, executive director of the Memorial Park Society, stands near the permanent display that shows the history of Memorial Park as a place of remembrance. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Brad Edgett, executive director of the Memorial Park Society, stands near the permanent display that shows the history of Memorial Park as a place of remembrance. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Remembrance Day ceremonies in Sidney mark a home-coming for Mary Winspear Centre

Centre to host small indoor ceremony, live-stream

It is a sort of homecoming for Remembrance Day when Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre hosts scaled-back Remembrance Day celebrations to be live-streamed.

It was almost a century ago that the Memorial Park Society (then called the Sidney and North Saanich War Memorial Park Society) first formed in 1921 to assume title of a 12-acre parcel of land that the Sidney Athletic Association and Sidney Women’s Auxiliary had previously acquired for athletic and recreational purposes. A year later, the War Memorial Park named in memory of soldiers who had fallen the First World War opened. Two years after that, the land located at Beacon Avenue and Oakland Avenue became the site of a memorial cenotaph.

A second, larger cenotaph appeared in the northwest corner of the land in 1932 before its move to the current location in front of municipal hall in 1969 after the provincial government had expropriated it for highway construction.

The land on which the Mary Winspear Centre now sits is deeply rooted in the history of Remembrance Day – a connection that has continued into the present with the centre serving as the starting point for the traditional parade down Beacon Avenue.

“So from our perspective, it’s always have been very important for the Memorial Park Society to be involved with Remembrance Day,” said Brad Edgett, the society’s executive director. “This was our way of saying, ‘How can we still be involved and give back to all of our fallen soldiers of (the First World War), (Second World War), of the Korean War, and all of our veterans, and still provide a service where everybody can participate.”

RELATED: PHOTOS: Hundreds gather in Sidney for Remembrance Day ceremony

Public health regulations have grounded the parade. Also missing from this year’s ceremony is a public wreath-laying ceremony at the cenotaph. Local dignitaries will lay their respective wreaths earlier that day. A trio of local Legion members will also lay wreaths.

This year’s indoor ceremony will actually start outdoors with a small parade, featuring a colour guard flanked by two army vehicles, from Sidney’s nearby firehall to the centre, where the ceremony will feature familiar outdoor elements, including the roll call, two minutes of silence and the Last Post. Michael Kaeshammer on piano and singer Rachel Moss supply the musical accompaniment during the ceremony, with a veterans’ audience consisting of surviving Second World Wars in the area. A flyover will follow.

Organizers hope residents will tune in to the live-stream of the event and find ways to mark the occasion in their own way.

Kenny Podmore of the Royal Canadian Legion Saanich Peninsula Branch #37 encourages residents to stand outside their homes starting at about 10:58 to do their own two minutes of silence. He also hopes that parents will encourage their children to make poppies for display in windows, while also educating them about the larger significance of Remembrance Day.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Victoria police continue to look for missing man Tyrone Goertzen and are once again asking for the public’s assistance in locating him. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police put out another call for help finding missing man

Tyrone Goertzen, 33, was first reported missing June 4

Rachel Rivera (left) and Claire Ouchi are a dynamic art duo known as the WKNDRS. The two painted the new road mural at Uptown. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Artistic mural at Uptown brings creativity, fun to summer shoppers in Saanich

Road installation the largest of its kind in Greater Victoria

Kathy and Doug LaFortune stand next to the new welcome pole now gracing the front entrance of KELSET Elementary School in North Saanich. LaFortune completed the piece after suffering a stroke with the help of his wife and son Bear. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
KELSET school in North Saanich unveils welcome pole on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Carver Doug LaFortune completed pole with the help of his son, wife after suffering a stroke

Colwood council is looking at potential summer weekend closures to traffic of a section of Ocean Boulevard at Esquimalt Lagoon, to allow for more of a park-like setting during summer events such as the popular Eats & Beats event, shown here in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Mayor lobbying for summer weekend closures of beachfront Colwood roadway

Rob Martin to bring motion forward to June 28 council meeting

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

Bernadette Jordan addresses the media following a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on January 14, 2019. Jordan says the government will provide $2 million to allow First Nations to continue to strengthen the marine safety system across Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
First Nations receive federal funds to purchase marine rescue boats

Quatsino, Heiltsuk, and Kitasoo First Nation’s among eight across Canada to receive funding

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read