Community to remember at Oilfields

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Residents from across the region will pay tribute this weekend to those who served their country during times of war.

The Royal Canadian Legion Turner Valley Branch #78 is hosting its annual Remembrance Day ceremony in the Oilfields High School gymnasium in Black Diamond Nov. 11 at 10:30 a.m., followed by a short service at the cenotaph. A lunch in the Legion hall in Turner Valley will be held after the service.

“We always have standing room only,” said Linda Macaulay, first vice-president of the Royal Canadian Legion Turner Valley Branch. “I think it’s because the younger people have been educated more about how important our veterans are to us and what our veterans fought for and that was our freedom.

“We’ve done a lot of work in the area in educating people and they are recognizing that we have to thank our veterans and remember them.”

She said there will be seating for 700 at the service.

Awareness increased this year with it being the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge, a defining moment in history when all four divisions of Canada worked together for the first time and won the most complete offensive victory up to that point in the First World War.

Canada lost 3,598 soldiers and gained international stature and helped earn a separate signature on the Treaty of Versailles.

Macaulay’s grandfather Richard Evans was among the brave Canadians who defeated German forces at Vimy Ridge in an intense four-day battle a century ago, serving as a medic.

At 11 a.m. on Saturday, silence will fall upon those in attendance for two minutes, followed by the Last Post and laying of the wreaths by local dignitaries and cadet groups, said Macaulay.

“(The cadets) guard the cenotaph where they are posted at each corner,” she said. “It’s very good for them to experience being at the service.”

Among the groups is the Eden Valley Community Cadet Corporation, which has been involved in the Remembrance Day service the past three years, according to captain and Turner Valley RCMP Const. Larry McDonald.

He said the corporation meets once a week after school at Chief Jacob Bearspaw Memorial School and consists of more than a dozen members.

“It’s a pride thing for them because they have community members from Eden Valley who have served in the wars and fought for them for their freedom,” he said. “They look forward to it.”

After laying the wreaths, McDonald said the cadets help serve coffee and tea at the Legion hall and clear up the dishes.

“It’s a chance for them to open up and talk to different people not from their community and get out of their comfort zone,” he said.

“If they help out and participate in the ceremony we will do something with them like go swimming.”

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