Poppy drive blossoming across the Interlake

Petty Officer Whitney Barham is scheduled to play the trumpet during the Remembrance Day Service at the Teulon-Rockwood Centennial Arena on Nov. 11, 2018. (Photo Submitted)

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The Royal Canadian Legions annual poppy drive is in full bloom across the country. Millions of people across the country wear a poppy as a visual pledge to never forget those who sacrificed for Canada’s freedom.

Larry Nelson has been looking after the poppy drive for approximately 16 years, starting in 2002 and taking over in 2006. Every year, he delivers 29 boxes of poppies to schools, businesses and high traffic areas throughout the Teulon-Rockwood area. Veterans will also be handing out poppy pins throughout all communities to fundraise for the Legion branches.

Nelson has been a member of the Legion Stonewall Branch 52 for over 25 years and he spent eight years in the military.

“We need to remember those who fought for our freedom,” says Nelson. “It gives the younger generation insight into the fact that life has not always been this great.”

This year’s annual poppy campaign kicked off on Oct. 26. Nelson will be making rounds before Remembrance Day to ensure that all locations are stocked up with the bright red pins.

“The poppy drive has been fairly consistent in my years of looking after it,” says Nelson. “We always have more than enough.”

Funds donated go to the Legions to support veterans and their families.
Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae of Guelph, Ont., first introduced the poppy to Canada after his time as a medical officer during the First World War. McCrae penned the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ on a scrap piece of paper in May, 1915. His poem was published in Punch Magazine that same year.

The Teulon-Rockwood Centennial Centre will hold a Remembrance Day service on Nov. 11, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. All legion members, veterans and citizens are welcome to attend.

According to Teulon Remembrance Day planning committee chair Judith Dedrick-Williams, Petty Officer Whitney Barham is scheduled to play the trumpet during the Remembrance Day Service.

There will be a pancake breakfast prior to the service from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Guests can purchase three pancakes and three sausages for $5 or two of each for $4. Veterans and cadets dine for free.

The Stonewall Legion Branch 52 will also be hosting a service, beginning at 10:45 a.m. Guests are encouraged to arrive early.

For more information on the service, visit www.teulon.ca.