Members of the Callander Legion, Branch 445, gathered this morning to launch the 2023 poppy campaign. All money raised within the region stays local and helps veterans and their families. Branch 445, although located at 345 Lansdowne Street in Callander, serves Bonfield and East Ferris as well.
This year, be sure to carry some cash so you can purchase a poppy when you see them around town. The Callander Legion has done away with electronic payment options, as the internet was unreliable or weak at many distribution points. So, for this year, sales are cash only.
The poppy campaign runs until Remembrance Day. Ceremonies are planned for all three municipalities. In Bonfield, the ceremony takes place at Town Hall on November 9, and East Ferris has its ceremony on November 10. Callander’s Remembrance Day takes place on November 11.
Bonfield’s and East Ferris’ are early as it allows Legion members and local dignitaries to attend each service.
See: Legion Branch 445 celebrates Provincial grant
“This is the most important time of the year for veterans and for Legions,” said Ron Devost, President of Legion Branch 445. The poppy campaign is the Legion’s leading fundraiser, and last year, Branch 445 raised $15,000.
“I’m sitting on a scooter that was bought with poppy money,” noted veteran Brian Glenholme. “I was in the militia from ’58 to ’63,” he added, “then I was in the regular forces from ’64 to ’67.”
Remembrance Day “is a time to reflect on what happened in the wars, and that my wife’s brother didn’t come home, and time to reflect on the veterans.”
Ralph Dufresne, also a veteran, emphasized the need for Canadians to reflect on the sacrifices made by our soldiers. “There’s not enough of it,” he said, and encouraged schools to teach the youth more about Remembrance Day.
“The kids have no idea what some of the veterans have gone through, and I know, my whole family are vets.” His three brothers and father all served, “and it’s just too bad that people are forgetting that we are here because of them.”
Lest we forget.
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca