The three local legions will be hosting their Poppy Flag raising ceremonies on Oct. 27. — NEWS file photo

Poppy campaign begins Friday

Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Bowser legions hosting flag-raising ceremony

The Royal Canadian Legion begins its Annual Poppy Campaign with the raising of the Poppy Flag on Friday, Oct. 27. The Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Bowser legions will be taking part.

The Royal Canadian Legion encourages everyone to wear a poppy to pay respect and give thanks for the sacrifice made by many in previous wars and countless peacekeeping and other operations. Donations for the poppies help the legion assist veterans and their families.

Mount Arrowsmith Branch 49

The Royal Canadian Legion Mount Arrowsmith Branch 49 Parksville will be launching its Poppy Campaign with the flag raising at the branch (146 Hirst Ave.) on Oct. 27 at 10 a.m.

Branch 49 president Sue Hodges will pin the Poppy Flag beneath the Canadian Flag after it has been lowered, then the two flags will be raised together.

Qualicum Beach Legion Branch 76

The Qualicum Beach Legion branch will kick off its campaign Friday, Oct. 27, with a ceremony beginning at 9:30 at the legion cenotaph. The ceremony will include the raising of the poppy flag, pinning of the first poppy on the mayor, and a benediction by the chaplain.

The poppy canvas begins immediately following the flag-raising and will continue through Nov. 4. Also starting Oct. 27 and continuing through Nov. 6 will be candle sales for the annual Nov. 10 candlelight tribute at the cenotaph. Candles may be ordered at a cost of $3.50 each at the legion bar, and the public is welcome to purchase candles and place them during the Nov. 10 ceremony.

On Nov. 5, the branch will partner with St. Stephen’s United Church in a church parade, service and wreath-laying event. Parade participants will gather at the legion at 10:30 a.m. and march to nearby St. Stephen’s, where a church service will be held at 11 a.m. Following the service, a wreath will be layed at the beachfront cenotaph, at 12:30 p.m., and another will be placed at the cemetary on Jones Street at 1 p.m.

Bowser Legion Branch 211

The Bowser Legion Branch 211 will be starting its campaign with the Poppy Flag raising on Oct. 27 at 9:30 a.m. at the legion, located at 7035 Island Hwy. W. A number of businesses will have poppies available from Friday until Remembrance Day, Nov. 11.

As part of the Poppy Campaign, the legion holds a national Poster and Literary Contest. At Bowser Legion, they are encouraging all schools to participate in the annual contest. Youth living in Qualicum Bay to Buckley Bay, Denman Island or Hornby Island or anywhere in between can enter the contest by dropping off your entry to the Bowser Legion Branch #211 prior to Nov. 11.

The schools within the area are encouraged to contact the Bowser branch at rcl211@shaw.ca or by calling 250-757-9222 and leaving a message for the poppy chair.

The contest is divided into four divisions: colour or black and white for the poster contest and essay or poems for the literary contest.

The contests are divided into four categories: senior (Grades 10-12), intermediate (Grades 7-9), junior (Grades 4-6) and primary (Grades 1-3, poster contest only).

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