Leadership student McKenzie Ricard pins a poppy on Joraver Gill. Both Princess Margaret students helped organize the school’s Remembrance Day ceremony

Leadership student McKenzie Ricard pins a poppy on Joraver Gill. Both Princess Margaret students helped organize the school’s Remembrance Day ceremony

Maggie students remember

Veterans’ Memorial Park in Penticton is going to see a bigger crowd for a Remembrance Day ceremony today than it has in a few years.

Veterans’ Memorial Park in Penticton is going to see a bigger crowd for a Remembrance Day ceremony today than it has in a few years.

The park will be filled with students from Princess Margaret Secondary, for the school’s own Remembrance Day, in advance of the official service on Nov. 11, which was moved indoors  to  the Trade and Convention Centre several years ago.

The location was chosen by students, who also planned the ceremony.

“We wanted to get going on it earlier this year so we could make it better,” said McKenzie Ricard adding that instructor Don Grant helped a lot, suggesting they continue taking it to an out of school location, as they did last year, when the Maggie assembly was held on the beach.

They went through a number of possibilities and settled on a most traditional spot, the cenotaph in Veterans’ Park.

The cenotaph, with its lists of names of the fallen, will highlight the importance of why they are assembled,  said Joravar (Joe) Gill, another of the organizers. A member of the cadets, Gill said he often reads about the sacrifices soldiers have made in wartime and wanted to help other people remember.

The traditions of a Remembrance Day ceremony are included, like the prayers and minute of silence, but the students are also incorporating music and stories, drawn from histories stored at the Penticton Museum, which they researched with the help of curator Peter Ord.

“It makes it hit home more that they were people just like us that went away,” said Ricard. One story involved Sid Kenyon, who made a sweater out of spare socks while in a POW camp during the First World War.

Once the sweater was finished, Gill said, Kenyon used it as a disguise to escape. That sweater is on display at the museum, which is also where Gill found letters soldiers wrote home from the First World War.

The letters he said, didn’t deal much with the war.

Not only were they censored, but the men in the trenches seemed to want to talk more about home.

“The impression I got was it was a hard life, but they tried to keep everything on the positive side and just tell the family back home, I am fine, everything is going well. They didn’t really talk about the war itself all that much,” said Gill.

“They never really got on the topic unless it was about someone who had fallen.”

There were other stories. Some about the great battle, Vimy Ridge, and others about people who weren’t soldiers, like Edith Hancock, a Penticton woman who served as a “Bluebird,”  as the soldiers nicknamed Canada’s military nurses on account of their blue dresses and white aprons.

“When she came back, she started the Penticton Regional Hospital. She started the hospital here, if we hadn’t had her, we might not have had the hospital,” said Ricard. There will be many other stories, woven together with music, which Ricard hopes will share their realization these soldiers are very real people, not just names on a cenotaph.

Grant said the public is encouraged, to come join the school ceremony, which begins shortly after 9 a.m.

“I think a lot of people will be pleasantly surprised to see the quality of work these guys are doing,” said Grant.

Just Posted

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

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

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

(Drive BC photo)
Vehicle incident closes Highway 3 east of Osoyoos

Drive BC says to avoid the area until the road is clear

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

Chef Murray McDonald was at home and ready to doze off to sleep when he got a text from his wife

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

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

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

Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

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

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Most Read