From Tuesday, Oct. 5 through November, commemorative banners to honour veterans who gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars will be displayed in Parksville, along Island Highway East between McMillan and McVickers Streets.
Approved by Parksville council in 2020, the program honours the 60 veterans whose names are listed on the Parksville Cenotaph.
“Despite challenging and extensive research to find photos and veteran information, we are pleased to expand the program in 2021 by adding four more banners as well as a new section on the city’s website which tells the incredible and heartwarming stories of the veterans,” said Deb Tardiff, the city’s manager of communications. “Please take a few minutes to read these individual stories, we know you won’t be disappointed. Our sincere thanks to researcher, Valda Stefani, who pursued the stories through archives worldwide, establishing relationships with military museums and other researchers and conducting interviews to ensure we were able to learn about as many veterans as possible.”
Tardiff said many of the area’s young men who enlisted, especially in the First World War, were recent arrivals from such places as the United Kingdom and Australia and were too young to have started families, adding to the challenge of finding photographs and details.
“We thank the many residents for sharing their personal stories and valuable information about family members, information not otherwise obtainable through archives or museums,” said Tardiff. “This process of gathering information and stories to personalize the lives of these veterans has been rewarding for the city.”
2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the iconic poppy symbol of remembrance in Canada. This year’s poppy campaign begins Oct. 29, with the annual flag-raising ceremony. Legion Week (Oct. 11-17) will be recognized at the Royal Canadian Legion Mt Arrowsmith Branch No. 49 (146 Hirst Avenue W) with a series of events.
— NEWS Staff, submitted