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Penticton ceremony will honour veterans

Fly-over will coincide with the start of Sunday’s Remembrance Day services in Penticton
Naval veteran Norm Bone pins a poppy on his wife Lois at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre this week. Volunteers and boxes are set up a number of city locations distributing the poppies in honour of those who have served their country. Remembrance Day services will take place Sunday beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre following the parade from the curling club.

If you look up into the skies on Remembrance Day this year, just as the parade members are preparing to enter the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, you should see a group of small planes flying overhead.

That will be members of the Penticton Flying Club doing their bit to honour veterans with a fly-over.

“People got killed doing what we are going to do. That’s our contribution,” said Larry Taylor, president of the Flying Club.

He will be flying his own Miranda, alongside a Kitfox and a Cessna 150.

“There should be three airplanes appearing at their event. We’re due to be overhead Penticton at about 10:30 a.m., just as they are getting organized to go into the building,” said Taylor, who said the club has been organizing the fly-over for at least 10 years. “Ten or probably longer. Sometimes we only have one airplane, but we always put one up.”

According to Penticton Legion member Ron Bannister, the parade falls in at 10 a.m. at the Penticton Curling Club, and marches over to the trade and convention centre for 10:30 a.m. when the services begin.

He expects to have participants from many services and organizations participating: veterans from the Legion with contingents from the airforce and naval associations, army and air force cadets, Scouts Canada, the RCMP and the pipe bands.

The Penticton service is always well attended, he said, with about 1,300 turning out to show their respect last year. One of his duties in the service is to oversee the reading of the names of the fallen. It’s a long list, Bannister said, with the Second World War comprising a larger part, though it continues on right through to the present day.

“We definitely think of those that didn’t come back from Afghanistan,” he said, adding that he is not sure how many names are on the long list.  “I haven’t counted up how many are on our list of the fallen.”

After the ceremonies are finished at about 11:30 a.m. the parade will reform outside the convention centre to march back to the curling rink for dismissal. Then, he said, the public is invited to join the veterans at the Penticton Legion on Martin Street.

Bannister will also be taking care of the cairns in Veterans Memorial Park, on Main Street.

“Bill Wood and I will be lowering the flags at the Veterans Memorial Park and placing some wreathes there,” he said.