Legion readies for Remembrance Day services

The wreaths are ready and uniforms pressed as the Royal Canadian Legion Br. #29 prepares for the annual Remembrance Day services here Monday.
Services will begin at Fort Frances High School at 8:15 a.m. with the Legion colour party.
Then at 10:45 a.m., they will then start marching to the cenotaph to lay wreaths. Following the service, Legion members will return to the local branch for a lunch prepared by the ladies auxiliary.
Meanwhile, district Remembrance Day ceremonies Monday will start at Sturgeon Creek School in Barwick at 10 a.m.
Cenotaph services will follow at Barwick (11 a.m.), Stratton (11:45 a.m.), Devlin (2 p.m.), and Emo (2:45 p.m.).
A Remembrance Day banquet will be held at the Emo Legion beginning at 5:30 p.m.
“I’m actually hoping for the same kind of weather as last year,” Roly Crawford, chair of the Legion’s benevolence committee, said this morning.
“It was the first time I didn’t have to wear a top coat, I could just wear my uniform,” he recalled.
Crawford said he also is hoping for a repeat in poppy sales from last year.
“We had to order extra poppies,” he noted. “Normally we have some left over from last year, but we ordered an additional 5,000 this year and I am already into the second box of 1,000.”
For the last seven years, Crawford said local poppy sales have continued to rise from $9,000 to the more than $13,000 that was raised last year.
With current sales, he estimated this could be another great year. “It means that we will at least be equal to last year,” he said.
“Most people don’t know this but poppy funds stay here in Fort Frances and are spent locally,” Crawford added. “In the seven years I have been poppy chair, only $1,500 has been spent outside Fort Frances.”
The local Legion branch donated $1,000 to an MRI machine in Thunder Bay that is used by local residents. They also gave $500 towards the Red River Flood Relief Fund.
Besides those two donations, Crawford said the rest of money raised goes to local veterans and their families as well as projects within the community.