More than 60 members of the Qualicum Beach Royal Canadian Legion fanned out Friday morning as they kicked off their 2011 poppy campaign.
The campaign, said Legion poppy chair Jack MacLean, runs Fridays and Saturdays for just two weekends, the one just past and the one coming up.
The veterans and their supporters will be on hand with their trademark poppy trays at seven different venues around town from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In a brief speech prior to the raising of the poppy campaign flag, Legion president John Humphrey said it’s vital for veterans and their supporters to make sure Canadians never forget.
“As Legion members, we all know it is our sacred duty to perpetuate remembrance,” he said. “By doing this every year, we are certainly doing that, but I would suggest it is also our duty, not just for November 11, but throughout the year.”
Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek echoed Humphrey’s comments.
“Qualicum Beach is a very generous community and we trust they will receive these poppies with gratitude for the people they represent and their families,” he said.
“I’m sure they will show their usual generosity and maybe a little bit extra to show appreciation for the families of the men and women who served.”
Humphries then pinned the ceremonial first poppy on Westbroek’s lapel and, ceremony over, the Legion members took their trays and began their latest tour of duty — but this time outside liquor stores and banks, rather than on the beaches of Normandy or the skies above Germany.