Sharing letters from the front
War-time notes reflected during Remembrance Day gathering
Remembrance Day ceremonies were once again held in Malagash on Sunday, Nov. 11. Rev. Connie McNamara officiated to a very large congregation. Her message concerned letters from three different enlistees from our North Shore communities.
The first one was mailed to a friend in Westchester in 1916, the second in 1917 from a Dr. Murray to his wife in Tatamagouche and the third was written on Nov. 11, 1918.
It was a letter to a mother in Wallace from a son who was telling her about the celebrations in Belgium on the very special day.
So very interesting for us all to hear. The service ended at the church with a very lively hymn “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Coming of the Lord.”
Following the church service the congregation and many others assembled at our beautiful cenotaph where at 11 a.m. two minutes of silence was observed and the Roll of Honour was read by Comrade
Russ Durling, who also presided over the laying of the wreaths.
Those laying wreaths were escorted by Sergeant at Arms Comrade Bruce Publicover and Cpl. John Mark Cassica of the Royal Canadian Navy.
Brenda Pirrie laid the first wreath on behalf of all the mothers who lost sons or daughters in combat. The government of Canada wreath was laid by Comrade Robert Dobson. The provincial wreath was laid by George LaFrank on behalf of Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, MLA, who was doing duty in Wallace.
The wreath for the Municipality of Cumberland was laid by Coun. Lynne Welton.
Every year a wreath, donated by Ian MacDonald, is laid by a student of Wallace Elementary School and this year it was laid by Nikkita Polches of Malagash. She is a Grade 5 student at the school.
Jannie and Peter Berkelaar once again laid a wreath in honour of those who died liberating the people of Holland during the Second World War. Clarence Duggan laid a wreath in memory of all those local citizens involved in the Coastal Watch Program during the Second World War, who gave freely of their time to keep our coastline secure. A total of 22 other wreaths were laid in memory of family members.
The day was sunny, but very cold and the wind sure left a lot of us shivering but it turned out to be one of the largest gatherings we have had for a long time.
Some very young people were in attendance and it was a pleasure to watch them lay their individual poppies at the conclusion of the ceremony. It was wonderful to see various members of the Canadian Armed Forces there in uniform, including Master Cpl Chanel Halverson, of the 22nd BattalionRoyal Canadian Regiment, Oromocto, N.B., who laid a wreath in memory of her great-grandfather.
Cpl. Mike Seaman and his family were present. A large group of volunteer firemen were represented and helped form a guard of honour for people entering the church.
Following the service, a lot of those present gathered at the legion for chili, stews and soups which were very welcome and helped warm us up.
In the evening a dinner was held at the Malagash Community Hall for veterans and friends. During the meal, years of service pins were presented to several members. It was a delightful ending to a most memorable day.
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The annual Christmas Craft and Tea was recently held in the community hall with several crafters displaying their talents. Jost Winery also held its annual Christmas craft sale. The winery was very busy with many people taking advantage of the sales on the patio and in the winery. There was a quartet dressed in period costume entertaining those gathered with Christmas songs. It was a nice added touch to a wonderful afternoon.
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It doesn’t seem possible that Christmas is next month! Stores are starting to get very busy and it will only get busier! Now I am certainly not a Grinch but crowds are not my favourite thing! So as we head towards the wonderful season, be kind to one another.
Acts of love and kindness never die, but in the lives of others, multiply!
Have a good week, everyone, and stay safe.