The rain held off and the community showed up in masses at this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony at the Oak Bay Memorial Cenotaph. Every patch of grass was covered by someone there to honour our fallen soldiers.
“It is great to see so much of our community coming out to pay tribute to the soldiers that have fallen,” says Mayor Nils Jensen.
Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties was Master of Ceremony for the event honouring Canada’s members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty.
The Oak Bay High School Band, under the leadership of Director Jeff Weaver, once again provided the exceptional musical contribution that was woven through the ceremony.
Reverend David Dawson of Emmanuel Baptist Church conducted the Opening Prayer. Piper Sgt. David McMillan led the crowd in The Piper’s Lament Hymn. Reverend Michelle Slater took to the podium for Act of Remembrance.
Monterey Middle School students Lidya Townsend and Rowan Schouten did a moving reading of In Flanders Fields.
Jackie Albany of the Songhees Nation provided a reflection, thanking the veterans for defending our freedoms.
“There was a strong sense of inclusivity and respecting diversity,” says Oak Bay Councillor Tara Ney.
“We were honoured to receive the First Nations Welcome and Reflections from Songhees Nation Councillor Albany - a first for our Remembrance Day Ceremony in Oak Bay,” says Jensen.
A large part of the ceremony was devoted to wreath laying, which was done by LCol Ryan Sexsmith and Warrant Officer Locelle on behalf of the Government of Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces, MLA Dr. Andrew Weaver, Mayor Nils Jensen, Councillor Jackie Albany of the Songhees Nation, among many others.