Poppy campaign starts on Friday

Flag-raising ceremonies set for Parksville and Qualicum Beach

Royal Canadian Legion branches in Parksville and Qualicum Beach will kick off their annual Remembrance Day poppy drives tomorrow in separate flag-raising ceremonies.

At Parksville Legion Branch 49, 146 Hirst Ave., members will muster at 9:30 a.m. for a

10 o’clock ceremony. Speakers and guests include Mayor Marc Lefebvre, branch president Suzette Hodges, poppy chair Shona Rowe and both Commander Darren Rich and Lt. Commander Trent Nicols of the Canadian Forces base in Nanoose Bay. Piper Mel Williams will play Last Post and a two-minute silence will fall between prayers by Major Norm Hamelin and Sergeant-at-arms John Hodgson.

At Qualicum Beach Legion Branch 76 cenotaph, 180 Veterans Way, festivities begin at

9:30 a.m. Friday. The flag-raising will include the pinning of the first poppy on Mayor Teunis Wesbroek and a benediction from branch chaplain Rev. Phil Spencer.

Poppy canvassing will begin in both communities immediately following the flag-raising ceremonies. In Parksville, the Ladies Auxiliary will commence a poppy “blitz” while canvassing 15 area businesses. Additional blitzes will feature Navy League and Sea Cadets Saturday and the Air Cadets the following Saturday,

Nov. 7.

The remainder of the week Legion and Legion Auxiliary members will staff a poppy table at SaveOn Foods.

In Qualicum Beach, canvassers will fan out from the flag-raising and set up station at Pharmasave, Quality Foods, Coastal Community Credit Union, the BC Liquor Store, Royal Bank of Canada, Dolly’s Home Hardware, Shell Convenience Store and the Home Hardware Building Centre on the Island Highway.

— NEWS Staff

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