Poppy campaign supports veterans

The Summerland Legion would like to take the opportunity to thank the people of Summerland

With Nov. 11 just passed, the Summerland Legion would like to take the opportunity to thank the people of Summerland for their attendance and support for both the Remembrance Day ceremony as well as contributions to our poppy campaign. This year, despite the struggling economy, the people and businesses of Summerland contributed $8,120.34 to the local poppy fund. This money does not stay within the Legion, but is used locally in support of our veterans, with a small portion used to fund provincial projects for veterans.

To facilitate both these initiatives requires countless volunteers of the branch and the ladies auxiliary, who work hard not just this time of year, but behind the scenes all year long to ensure our success. The Legion, on behalf of our veterans and the fallen, would like to thank the all of the volunteers, the great people of Summerland, as well as businesses and the District of Summerland for all their efforts and contributions.  It is so greatly appreciated.

It was gratifying to see an even larger crowd this year honour our fallen, with our oldest veteran, 102-year-old George Ferguson, lowering and raising the flag. Lt. Col. Harry Quarton, Summerland’s most decorated veteran, took the parade salute. The Summerland Secondary School Band and the Summerland Pipes and Drums provided the music, as they do every year. And of course Legion Padre, Reverend Rick Gay conducted the ceremony and brought us the good weather.

The Summerland Legion also has its own needs. Our branch does not receive any government funding. We are a non-profit service organization that is supported solely by membership dues and our own fundraising. We would like to publicly thank the District of Summerland for granting a partial tax exemption for next year. In the past few years, our branch has suffered from financial difficulties as a result of a sadly declining membership and tough economic times.

A recent community project is the “Banners of Remembrance” that are displayed downtown during November. Currently there are five banners with pictures that honour a fallen Summerland serviceman. There are 35 pictures available of those listed on the Memorial Park Cenotaph. We are asking the community to provide any pictures that we do not have, to the attention of David Gregory through the summerlandbanners.com website.

Legion members are not just veterans of the world wars and their families. We support soldiers involved in Afghanistan, other modern conflicts and peace keeping roles. Legion members can be men and women, 19 years of age and older. You need not have served in the military or be related to someone who has, in order to join us.

Whether you become a Legion member, come to our community events or attend our fundraisers, please help us to continue the work we do for veterans and the community, as all support is welcomed.

For more information on the Summerland Legion, contact Elke Bewick at 250-494-9781.

John Dorn, past-president

Summerland Legion #22