Friday November 11, 2022 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated November 13, 2022]
News and photos by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
Under grey skies the rain held off for about 1,500 people gathered for over an hour at Veterans Memorial Park in Langford for the 2022 Remembrance Day ceremony today.
The nippy 4°C mid-morning temperature didn’t deter attendance. There was only a light breeze, enough to keep the flags flapping just a little bit. People in the crowd appear to have dressed for the nearly-winter weather.
The parade of military and cadets arrived led by Langford Legion 91 President Norm Scott, walking over from the Langford Legion to the open square at the park at Goldstream and Veterans Memorial Parkway.
From the podium there were announcements, prayers, the usual reading of In Flanders Fields, and announcement of the donor organizations placing wreaths at the cenotaph.
A flypast of five planes occurred as the 2-minute period of silence wrapped up. A bugler played The Last Post. There was a small orchestra and a choir.
The overall mood seemed reverent — as always, but somehow with even more recognition of what society has to be grateful for in Canada.
This was the first fully-attended Remembrance Day ceremony in three years, in the wake of COVID which saw very small ceremonies and live-streaming in 2020 and 2021.
VIPs attending this year included Alistair MacGregor, MP (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford), the new mayor of Langford Scott Goodmanson, and Hans Frederiksen representing outgoing Premier John Horgan who is the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca (Horgan was attending the Sooke ceremony) — all of whom sat in the front row.
Also attending from Langford council were Lillian Szpak, Mary Wagner, Kimberley Guiry, Colby Harder. Attending from SD62 included board chair Ravi Parmar and new trustee Cendra Beaton. Former Langford councillors Norma Stewart and Lanny Seaton were in attendance in the crowd.
Wreaths were laid by MP, MLA rep, Langford Legion (wreath laid by Norm Scott), the municipalities of Langford (wreath laid by Mayor Scott Goodmanson), Colwood (wreath laid by Councillor Cynthia Day) and Highlands (wreath laid by Mayor Ken Williams), as well as by SD62 (wreath laid by former trustee Dianna Seaton) and several west shore organizations and some businesses.
Wreath donor groups were announced as wreaths were laid, though (as each year) the rhythm gets out of whack as to announcement vs who is actually at the cenotaph at that time.
Perhaps the most poignant placement was that of a bouquet of what appeared to be a dozen roses, brought without announcement to the cenotaph at the end by a young man. There was also a family that comforted one of the wreath-layers, in the intensity of the moment.
A few songs by the choir wrapped things up, with God Save the King at the end.
Refreshments were made available to the public at the Masonic Lodge (right across from the park) this year, instead of at the usual Legion location on nearby Station Avenue (which is presently under renovations).
People had arrived by car (and walked from various parking opportunities in the downtown core), by public transit, and on bicycle. Some brought their dogs.
Compared to previous years there was less of a somber tone and more one of gratitude … people recognizing the good fortune to be enjoying freedoms in Canada and also that after three years through the COVID pandemic that a large assembled event could be held again in the community.
Remembrance Day 2022 – with notes about Langford and Sooke, and statements by Governor General, Prime Minister, NDP Leader, and BC Premier (November 11, 2022)
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Island Social Trends is a professional news publication reporting on the west shore and south Vancouver Island, as well as the news of BC and across Canada as it impacts living and lifestyle here on Vancouver Island.
Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke has been reporting on news of the west shore region since 2008. That started with her quarterly news publication MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), then the weekly print Sooke Voice News (2011-2013) and then the colour print/PDF West Shore Voice News (2014-2020) before Island Social Trends emerged mid-2020.
The news coverage focuses on people, leadership and community growth, with a socioeconomic lens.