Flag cam­paign cel­e­brates the found­ing of Canada

Cape Breton Post - - News - BY JULIE COLLINS jcollins@cb­post.com

Ev­ery home in Florence will be sport­ing a crisp, new Cana­dian flag in time for Canada’s of­fi­cial an­niver­sary, July 1.

A project of Royal Cana­dian Le­gion Branch 83 in Florence, the idea is the brain­child of Gary Collins, a re­tired ma­jor with the Princess Pa­tri­cia’s Cana­dian Light In­fantry with 42 years ser­vice.

“Our theme fo­cuses on com­mu­ni­ties’ strug­gles through­out those 150 years, the peo­ple that built these com­mu­ni­ties and re­mained af­ter dis­as­ters and wars,” said Collins. “By dis­play­ing the flag, they are cel­e­brat­ing gen­er­a­tions of their fam­i­lies that helped build Canada. It’s not so much the birth­day, but the found­ing of our coun­try rec­og­niz­ing the strug­gles of ev­ery­day life. These peo­ple built the roads, fed the peo­ple and sac­ri­ficed so much — that’s how a coun­try stays to­gether.”

Branch 83 asks that when peo­ple put the flag in a win­dow or hang it out­side their home, that the flag face the road.

“When you drive down any street in Florence, we want the flags to be vis­i­ble.”

Ac­cord­ing to records at the lo­cal post of­fice, there are 585 res­i­dents in Florence. Branch 83 or­dered 600 flags from a Cana­dian com­pany, and is not charg­ing for them.

How­ever, they would gladly ac­cept do­na­tions to help with the on­go­ing work of the le­gion, said le­gion mem­ber Ce­cil Snow.

The cam­paign will be­gin in early June and is ex­pected to take about three weeks to com­plete. Branch 83 le­gion mem­bers and lo­cal cadets in uni­form will deliver flags.

“If some­one needs help to put up the flag, we will take care of that as well,” said Branch 83 le­gion mem­ber Daniel Gin­ter. “We want to give peo­ple plenty of no­tice and once the flags are de­liv­ered, we plan to drive around the com­mu­nity so no one gets missed.”

As part of the cam­paign, Branch 83 is spon­sor­ing a con­test at both Dr. T.L. Mid­dle School and Florence El­e­men­tary. Stu­dents are en­cour­aged to sub­mit a poster, poem or es­say on what Canada’s 150th birth­day means to them and sub­mit it by the con­test dead­line May 31. Three win­ners from each school will re­ceive a Cana­dian flag and a “Heart of a Na­tion” com­mem­o­ra­tive coin.

“I went to Expo ’67 as a mem­ber of the 562 Air Cadet drill team. For Canada’s 125th I was a war­rant of­fi­cer in Win­nipeg and did the pa­rade floats. Now that I’m re­tired, I’m help­ing with the 150th as a mem­ber of Branch 83 Le­gion,” Collins said. “I’d look around dur­ing the var­i­ous an­niver­saries and won­der why more peo­ple did have a flag in their win­dow. Florence is a small com­mu­nity, so this project was doable. I’ve been in a uni­form since I was a cub scout at five years old, so serv­ing my com­mu­nity and coun­try is im­por­tant to me. Pro­vid­ing flags helps fam­i­lies to feel they are a part of this cel­e­bra­tion of the found­ing of our coun­try.”

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Ce­cil Snow, Gary Collins and Daniel Gin­ter of Branch 83 Royal Cana­dian Le­gion in Florence, dis­play some of the flags that will be pro­vided to ev­ery home in Florence to cel­e­brate Canada’s 150th.

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