Com­mu­nity asked to rally around Re­mem­brance Day

Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - SCOTT AN­DER­SON SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

Get­ting more par­tic­i­pa­tion in Re­mem­brance Day to re­verse a trend of sparsely at­tended events is a key fo­cus of Swift Cur­rent’s 2017 cer­e­monies.

Andy Keys is head­ing a com­mit­tee that has al­ready launched a se­ries of plans for the Novem­ber 10-11 week­end to at­tract more par­tic­i­pa­tion in both new and tra­di­tional Re­mem­brance Day events in the com­mu­nity. And, he is hop­ing the event snow­balls into a larger scale ob­ser­vance.

Keys, who served with the Bri­tish mil­i­tary, is not con­tent to see at­ten­dance num­bers dwin­dle year af­ter year.

“I’ve been go­ing down to the Le­gion every since I’ve been in town,” Keys notes. “I see every year that the World War II vet­er­ans are dy­ing off, the at­ten­dance down there gets less and less every year.”

“It’s some­thing that I just want to try and give a kick start to again.”

Keys hopes to close off a few down­town streets in or­der to host an out­door dis­play of World War II vin­tage ve­hi­cles. He also en­vi­sions other at­trac­tions, and down­town busi­nesses get­ting in­volved to add to the range of ac­tiv­i­ties in and around the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion Branch #56.

“I want to in­volve the whole of down­town if I can,” an en­thu­si­as­tic Keys ad­mit­ted.

The Lyric Theatre will be host­ing some­thing dur­ing the week­end, and the Swift Cur­rent Mu­seum will be shar­ing a war era dis­play at the Le­gion.

With Re­mem­brance Day fall­ing on a Satur­day this year, the com­mu­nity will again be in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in the Ceno­taph Cer­e­mony and the com­mu­nity ob­ser­va­tion at SCCHS. There will again be the tra­di­tional Re­mem­brance Day lun­cheon, but ad­di­tional events are oc­cur­ring on Novem­ber 11 at the Le­gion. The evening will fea­ture a con­cert by Rosie and the Rivet­ers, and seat­ing ca­pac­ity will be 375 for the con­cert and evening ac­tiv­i­ties. Both the Green Braes Pipes and Drums plus the Swift Cur­rent Shrine Band will be shar­ing their tal­ents dur­ing the evening.

“I want to bring back the feel, and the era of it all,” Keys ad­mit­ted, not­ing that or­ga­niz­ers are en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to Re­mem­brance Day com­mit­tee chair­per­son Andy Keys is pic­tured with Flight Cor­po­ral Mitchell Can­dler and Lead­ing Air Cadet Wyatt Ret­zlaff from 259 Royal Cana­dian Sea Cadet Corps Dry­lan­der and the art­work that is be­ing raf­fled off in sup­port of the Re­mem­brance Day 2017 ac­tiv­i­ties in Swift Cur­rent. dress up in 40s at­tire, and wear vin­tage uni­forms to add to the at­mos­phere of the ob­ser­va­tion.

“It’s also to bring aware­ness to the Le­gion, to highlight what the Le­gion does in the com­mu­nity. They do a lot for local groups, sup­port local char­i­ties.”

Keys says it is a shame that a num­ber of events have lost mo­men­tum, but this year is the time to do some­thing about it.

“I’ve wanted it to hap­pen for a long time. Sit­ting in the Le­gion last year, we thought next year is on a Satur­day, so lets get off our butts and do some­thing about it this time.”

He also hopes that some pa­tri­o­tism rubs off dur­ing the Canada 150 ex­cite­ment this year, and the pub­lic de­sires to make Re­mem­brance Day a larger ob­ser­va­tion be­cause of the na­tion we have be­come thanks to the sac­ri­fice of those who fought in wartime.

“It’s a tremen­dous time. It all fits in. We couldn’t have planned that day bet­ter. I think this will just top the year off.”

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