Member Rate - $ 113.00
Non-Member Rate - $ 169.50
Member & Non-Member Rate - $ 113.00
-Booking Deposit of $ 50.00 due at time of booking
-Deposit will come off balance that is due the day of event booking.
-Booking Deposit is Non-refundable
-Kitchen/Cleanup Deposit of $ 25.00 due at time of booking
-Seperate cheque from booking deposit will be refunded by bartender on end of event if hall left clean after event.
-If hall left in disarray/uncleaned - the deposit will be cashed.
You can book the Port Hope Legion Hall for many types of receptions and private parties.
The cozy "feels like home" hall is air conditioned and is wheelchair accessible.
Outdoor patio for summer months enjoyment.
Hall Capacity is 110.
Our friendly staff are there for you with smiles and great service.
Please contact us by telephone at 905-885-6585 ,by email @ email@example.com or stop in and see us and our staff will happily assist you with your questions or booking.
Enquiry sheets and Booking forms available at the bar.
President Andre Labrosse, 3rd Vice Ford Underwood, Poppy Chair John DeBoer and Ways & Means/Seniors Chair Melodie Hodges present a cheque to Northumberland Hills Hospital from the Poppy Campaign in the amount of $7,200.00 for Dialysis Chairs for the Cancer Clinic.
President Andre Labrosse presented a cheque in the amount of $2,000.00
which will go directly towards the fundraising efforts for the cadet Skeena/Iceland Excursion next October.
The " Catch the Ace " lottery is in support of the Skeena Sea Cadets and their trip to Iceland in Oct 2019 to participate in the 75th Anniversary Remembrance Commemoration Service, to honour the loss of their ship HMCS Skeena and 15 members of the crew. With the exception of the lottery license, all money raised stays locally with 20% of the weekly sales going to the weekly winner, who then has a chance to win the progressive lottery of 30% of the weekly sales that grows every week if the "Ace of Spades " is not found. 50% of the weekly to travel to Iceland in October 2019. If the lottery is as successful as other "Catch the Ace" lotteries across Canada, you could be Northumberland's next millionaire.
Weekly draws take place on Sunday's at the Skeena Cadet Hall (17 Mill St. South) Port Hope at 6 pm. Tickets on sale at the Skeena Hall from 5:15 pm to 5:45 pm and follow the draw for the next week from 6:15 til 7pm. Message if you wish to purchase tickets or come on out for the draw!!
Remember that Catch the Ace tickets are available at the Port Hope Legion, Maggie Moose in Port Hope, Genesis Hair Styling also in Port Hope, and Play It Again Sports in Cobourg.
Ways & Means/Seniors Chair Melodie Hodges and President Andre Labrosse present a cheque for $2,000 to the Help Centre of Northumberland.
The Thursday Night Horseshoe League organizer Bill Hodges presented a donation to President Andre Labrosse during their season end party.
Terrific season this year and congrats to Donna who received the Most Improved Player for the 2018 season.
Congrats on a great season players and Thank you for the donation!
Comrades Bob Cancilla, Bill Hodges, President Andre Labrosse & Al Wilson- Port Hope Legion, Branch 30, presenting a cheque to Pat & Sheri from Community Care Northumberland — at Community Care Northumberland.
It is our pleasure to be able to help support our community services. Thank you Community Care for all you do.
A donation by Poppy Chairman Comrade John Deboer was presented to the Port Hope Fair Share Food Bank in March 2018.
It is an honour for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 30 to be able to assist in the community along side the Port Hope Fair Share Food Bank.
Thank you to everyone for all you do for the community.
Holiday Gift Basket/Bag Draws
Christmas in a Basket
Everything you need for a complete Christmas Dinner
Tickets $2.00 each
Put name and phone number on envelope-toonie in envelope and put in the draw box by the kitchen window.
New Year's Gift Bag
Everything you need for a wonderful New Years.
Tickets $2.00 each or 3/$5.00
Tickets at bar
Christmas in a Basket
Cookies Candles Tablecloth Mints Napkins Pot of Gold Chocolates Christmas Crackers Planters Christmas Nuts Wine & Wine Glasses Christmas CD Cranberries Tomato Juice Hot Chocolate Potatoes Stove Top Stuffing Canned Vegetables Gravy Turnip Christmas Cake Butter Christmas Pudding Christmas Novelty Decorations Coffee Tea Candy Canes Turkey Ham Christmas Candies & Dish Cheese & Crackers
New Years Basket
Forty Creek Barrel Select -750 ml with Fireside Mugs Bacardi White Rum -750 ml with Ugly Holiday Sweater Absolut Vodka -750 ml– Sequin Limited Edition Bottle Coors Light – 5 x 355 ml Cans with Holiday Shirt Moselland ARS VITIS Riesling - White Wine 750 ml - Hockey Scene
After 8 Chocolates Deluxe Mixed Peanuts Christmas Chocolate Balls Christmas Pops Finger cookies Bah Humbug Christmas Cheer Ale – 500 ml
Join us at the Port Hope Legion on January 1st from 12-4pm as we Celebrate the start of a wonderful new year with comradery, cocktails, food and friends.
Meet with the executive and members.
Open to everyone.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The campaign is called “Catch the Ace.”
The Corps is planning a trip to Iceland to honour their namesake ship and those who perished when it sank.
The local corps shares its name with the Second World War 2 naval destroyer, HMCS Skeena, and 2019 marks another 75th Anniversary in the history of the cadet corps.
The ship was wrecked in Iceland on Oct. 24, 1944, while on duty serving their country, with a loss of 15 crew members.
The unit wants to honour their past and install a sense of respect and pride with the local youth, by embarking on a unit excursion to Iceland in the fall of 2019. This excursion will include a visit to the gravesite and monument, and will include a remembrance service conducted by the cadets and many others to honour the crew of HMCS Skeena.
In 2004, on the 60th anniversary, cadets and officers from the unit visited the graves. Dying in the service to your country is the ultimate sacrifice and warrants the most respectful recognition. Subsequent visits by unit staff to Iceland has resulted in the construction of a monument, listing the names of the lost crew members in perpetuity.
The Cadet Corps’ launch of their fundraising campaign is to raise enough money to support the travel with the entire unit, so a full guard of honour can be assembled for the commemoration.
Their goal is to raise funds to help 30 Cadets and five Escort Staff/Officers make the trip to Iceland.
Their goal is to raise $140,000
"Catch the Ace" progressive lottery is quickly climbing. The draw is held each Sunday
Weekly Tickets can be purchase at;
1. Maggie Moose, Port Hope
2. Port Hope Royal Canadian Legion
3. Genesis Hair Styling, Port Hope
4. Play It Again Sports, Cobourg
5. Jack Burger Sports Complex ( Every Sat 4-7:30 pm )
6. Navy League Building, Port Hope ( Every Sun 5:15-5:45 pm before the draw and at 6:15 pm after the draw)
Visit them on facebook at "skeena iceland" or email them at; firstname.lastname@example.org for more information !!
GET YOUR TICKET EVERY WEEK!
Every year we ask our membership, our friends and our families to donate to the Food Bank.
We have a hamper set up at the entrance and thank you so much for your donation of non-perishable items to assist families during the holiday season.
Thank you so much and please remember that donations are always needed and the food bank accepts donations year round.
President Andre Labrosse, Sports Officer Bill Hodges & Comrade Mel Hodges visited Comrade Bob Morris to celebrate his 92nd Birthday & present him his 45 yr. Service pin.
He enjoyed a beer and some chocolates. Congratulations Bob.
Saturday December 8th
Register at 11 am
Play @ 12 noon
$ 5.00 per player
$2.00 per entry
Lots of great MEAT to be won
Just in time for Christmas!
IT'S A SURPRISE!
Friday December 14th @ 2:30 pm
Surprise Birthday gathering for our one and only
Will will be 94 years young !
(on December 15th)
Join us as we Celebrate Will 's Birthday with a cake, comraderie and Best Wishes.
Friday December 14th
6 pm - Spaghetti & Yummy Desserts
Then…Trivia begins at 7:00 pm
All trivia teams will consist of no less than 2 and no more than 6 people !
Bring your friends for a fun evening with Quiz Master Brett!
$10.00 per person-Supper & Trivia
Come Join Us-Lots of Fun!
Sunday December 30th
(NOTE DATE CHANGE FOR DECEMBER ONLY)
Every 3rd Sunday of the Month
Register @ 12 Noon
Play @ 1:00 pm
$5.00 per player
No Partner required
Come Marg and her assistants for a great afternoon of cards!
Friday January 25th
After a successful 1st ever Lip Sync Night, we are excited to announce that our 2nd Lip Sync is booked.
On a cold winter night...enjoy a delicious Spaghetti Dinner with Yummy desserts....
then get ready to
ENTERTAIN & BE ENTERTAINED.
LIPSYNC Definition : to pretend to sing or say (recorded words)
Our 2nd ever LIPSYNC NIGHT promises to be another fun filled night of songs, singing, dancing, performing and tears of laughter all evening long.
Prepare to Entertain ~ Prepare to be Entertained
(our 1st ever Lipsync saw Sonny & Cher, Elton John, Abba, Elvis, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton just to name a few....)
• Pick a favorite song(s) to perform
• Create the costume – Be the singer – Will they know it is you?
• Create the performance(s) – have backup? Perform with friends or perform alone?
Pre-register and give us your song(s) and we will have it/them ready for you to perform.
We will have a change room ready for your costume changes.
If you have any questions please contact organizer Pat Underwood or to pre-register your songs please give us a call @ 905-885-6585.
Spaghetti Dinner & Lipsync - only $ 10.00 per person
GOING TO BE A FUN NIGHT !
EUCHRE - CRIB
(Euchre starts September 5th for 6 weeks)
Runs 6 Weeks on Wednesdays
Register @ 6:30pm Play @ 7:00pm
$ 20.00 for 6 weeks
Partner not required - All welcome
COME JOIN US FOR A GREAT NIGHT OF EUCHRE or CRIB!
Time for Darts !
Registration is finished and we have a FULL LEAGUE !
If you are interested in being a ...
Spare Player-come when you can-pay $3.00 when you come-no stats kept-not eligible for playoffs.
Occasional Player-come when you can-pay full dues $30.00-stats are kept-elible for playoffs.
Join us for a Fun Night !
You do not have to be a Legion Member to play !
Every Friday Night @ 5 pm
Go to Bar and pay $2.00 per entry to Bartender
· Bartender will have you draw a numbered tag from the bucket
· Bartender will record your name and number/phone number on weekly sheet
· YOU will then put your tag into the Weekly Meat Draw box
· Friday @ 5pm the Bartender will have 5 different people draw 5 numbered tags.
· The names beside the numbers on sheet are the Meat Draw Winners
· If not in attendance-Bartender will call winners
· Bartender will post winners names on the Board
Good Luck to Everyone !
Port Hope Legion Sport Shirt
We have had many members interested in having a sport shirt to wear when representing the Legion at a sport event so here is one style that we really like.
We have samples of the shirt displayed in M-L-XL in Men's and Ladies.
The cost of this shirt is approx. $45.00.
So stop in the Port Hope Legion Tuesday-Friday 1-6pm to order yours today.
(There are other styles available and all shirts will be ordered from https://www.redstoneclothing.com/
if you are interested in going and seeing other styles )
So many people contribute to the continued success of the
Port Hope Legion.
From our hardworking executive to the many monthly volunteers who contribute in so many ways.
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH !
70 Years- George Watson
60 Years-Bill Balfour-RIP
55 Years-Grant W. Wakely
45 Years-Ralph Goheen
45 Years-Robert Morris
45 Years-Lawrence (Sonny) Taylor
25 Years-Joseph (Will) Gagnon
25 Years-Clive Montgomery
10 Years-Terry Lynch
William Jr McIvor
Joy-Ann R Moore
Sheila June Wilson
P. Wayne Genzler
Edmund J. Miller
Donald (Patty) Brereton
Katherine R. Joachim
Ralph J. Mose
David W. Purcell
Janice E. DeLong
Judith A. Woods
Ivan O. Stanley
If you were unable to attend the Dinner and Awards Presentation, please know you can now pick up your service pins at the Legion bar.
Thank you and Congrats to all.
The Royal Canadian Legion is Canada’s largest Veteran support and community service organization. Our more than 300,000 members in over 1400 Branches across Canada make a difference in the lives of Veterans and their families, provide essential services within our communities, and Remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our Country.
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 30 - Port Hope is a service club for veterans, their families and friends. They sponsor community events, Air Cadets and donate to various worthwhile causes and organizations. The Legion holds Remembrance Day, Canada Day and Decoration Day activities. The Legion also provides hall rentals for weddings, dinners, dances, fundraisers, sports, community meetings and banquets.
You can book the Port Hope Legion Hall for many types of receptions and private parties. The hall is air conditioned and is wheelchair accessible. Hall Capacity is 110.
Our friendly staff are there for you with smiles and great service.
Please contact us by telephone at 905-885-6585 or by email @ email@example.com and our staff will happily assist you with your questions or booking.
No July Meeting - Summer Break
No August Meeting - Summer Break
Sunday September 9 th
Sunday October 14 th
Sunday November 4th (Date Change)
Sunday December 9 th
Sunday January 13th
Sunday February 10th
Sunday March 10th
Sunday April 14th
Sunday May 12th
Sunday June 9th
When you join the Legion, you support the many services we offer to Veterans, serving military, RCMP Members, and their families. You don’t have to be a Veteran to join!Veterans put their lives on the line for their country; becoming a member of the Legion is the ultimate way to show your appreciation for that service. Your membership also helps provide essential services within our communities, including seniors support services, housing and care for the elderly, drop-in centres, Cadets, youth and sport programs, and much more. There are many ways the Legion gives, and by joining you give too.
Legion members care deeply about supporting the men and women who serve this country and want to make a difference in the lives of Veterans, contribute to our communities, and Remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our Country. When you join the Legion, you support the many services we offer to Veterans, serving military, RCMP, and their families.
Join the Legion today!
There are many ways the Legion gives, and by joining you give too.
When you join the Legion, you support the many services we offer to Veterans, serving military, RCMP Members, and their families. You don’t have to be a Veteran to join!
Call us today for information on joining... 905-885-6585
The recipient of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch # 30 Legionnaire of the Year Award for 2018 is a very worthy recipient, a Comrade who personifies the Legion.
He is a most efficient team player and Loyal Member. His work ethic and leadership with special events such as Remembrance Day, Canada Day Float, Christmas Float and the Silhouettes that he created are invaluable. He assists with Sports, is the first one to volunteer during regular events, is the member we ask to build, repair and fix in and around the legion hall and is now considered our BBQ Master due to his cooking skills during any barbeques we host.
This Member is a great ambassador of the Legion and promoter of all that we do in the community.
Fellow Comrades, please show your appreciation to the Legionnaire of the Year for 2018 …
Comrade Ford Underwood!!!!!
Congratulations Ford, well deserved.
The Ladies Auxiliary is an essential part of the Legion.
The Auxiliary are made up of Ladies who volunteer their time to running functions for the Legion as well as fundraising to assist others.
President : Arlene Pettipas - 905-885-8421
1st Vice President : Linda Pauk
2nd Vice President : Kathy Joachim
Secretary: Tracy Brown
Treasurer: Susan MacDonald
Sgt-at-Arms : Jean Tarrington
Executive : Sandra Bolton
Our Meetings are the second Tuesday of the Month - 7pm at the Legion.
We are always looking for new members so if you have a little spare time or we are also always open to volunteers to help out with our events. If you would like to join or become a volunteer please contact President Arlene Pettipas @ 905-885-8421 or call the legion at 905-885-6585 and join a rewarding organization.
No meetings for July & August 2018
Tuesday September 18th/18 @ 7pm
Tuesday October 9th/18 @ 7pm
Tuesday November 13th/18 @ 7pm
Tuesday December 11th/18 @ 7pm - Pot Luck - Casual Dress
Tuesday January 8th/19 @ 7pm
Tuesday February 12/19 @ 7pm
Tuesday March 12/19 @ 7pm
Tuesday April 9th/19 @ 7pm
Tuesday May 7th/19 @ 7PM - ELECTIONS
Tuesday June 4th/19 @ 7pm - POT LUCK
No Meetings in July & August 2019
Tuesday September 10th/19 @ 7pm
Tuesday October 8th/19 @ 7pm
Tuesday November 12th/19 @ 7pm
Tuesday December 10/19 @ 7pm
The Port Hope & District Pipe Band enjoy entertaining in parades, shows and at Highland Games throughout the area.
Please take the time to enjoy learning about how they originated, their past accomplishments and learn about their future adventures and events.
If you or someone you know is interested in joining or learning, qualified piping and drumming instruction are available free of charge on Thursday evenings.
Come to the practice hall between 6:30 pm and 7 pm. or contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The band meet each Thursday evening at 7:30 pm for chanter and drumming practice at:
Ruth Clarke Activity Centre
81 Mill Street South,
Port Hope, ON
Band President- Heather A’Court
Pipe Major-Jamie York
Drum Sgt.- Al Wilson
Web site : http://porthopeanddistrictpipeband.ca
Listening to the Bells of Peace - Beautiful sound for a beautiful memory
We are planting 117,000 trees – one tree for each of Canada’s war dead since Confederation. A living, breathing memorial
When a member of Canada’s Armed Forces falls in combat, his or her final journey is along the Highway of Heroes from CFB Trenton to the Coroner’s Office in Toronto. We are planting 117,000 trees along this 170km stretch of highway to honour each of Canada’s war dead. Every Canadian can be a part of this historic tribute. Look at the names on the cenotaph in YOUR community. Help us to honour those from YOUR community and ensure their spirit lives on in a living tribute!!
I received a hand-written note today in the mail.
Who does that? Who takes the time to write a note, put it in an envelope, address it and put it in the mail? Carol Collier, that's who.
Carol is extraordinary and with a family that is very special.
Carol is a Memorial Cross Recipient: her son Sapper Brian Collier was killed in Afghanistan on July 20, 2010.
Her note reads, "This is one of the magnets we created, as part of a fundraiser at the high school in Bradford, Ontario for 'Heart of a Hero Scholarship' in memory of Brian."
She goes on, "I think of you when I am in our gardens, and I hope all is well. This is a picture of our handsome Brian. If there are any tree plantings along the Highway of Heroes and you need volunteers, we are here!" Jim, Carol, Shannon, Jennine and Lauren Collier.
A lump developed in my throat when I first read this.
And I ask you, has this family not given enough to their country? They lost their son and brother. And now, they want to plant trees on the Highway of Heroes.
Perhaps the act of planting trees is cathartic for people who are dealing with loss. We have several military service people who tell us this is true. We have claimed Corporal Nick Kerr as one of our own. We don't have a special event without inviting him (by the way, Nick will be at our Aug 23rd golf tournament and will speak briefly about what our campaign means to him).
Carol's note today reminds me of why we are planting 117,000 on the Highway of Heroes: one for each of Canada's war dead since 1812. Another 1.8 million trees, one for each Canadian who volunteered for military service during times of war.
Carol Collier puts our campaign into a unique perspective. The shortness of time since she lost her son in the Afghan conflict, a mere eight years, sharpens our sense of loss and reminds us that the price for freedom can't be wasted. Or go unacknowledged.
That is what we are here for.
7,000 New Trees
I received other news this morning when our board member Tony DiGiovanni emailed our executive group to tell us that the City of Toronto will be partnering with us to plant 7000 trees at Highway 401 and Neilson Road this fall.
Toronto has a limited supply of land for tree planting. Our relationship with the MTO has provided them with an opportunity to plant these trees on the Highway of Heroes, with some help from resources that our campaign has at its' disposal.
The City of Toronto will follow the planting protocols that we have adopted from Vineland Research and Innovation, to maximize the survival rate of trees planted.
It is a special day.
We make concrete plans to do what we set out to do over four years ago: to plant a living tribute to our fallen.
And we are reminded of why the effort and expense are so important.
Thank you Carol. Thank you, Tony.
And thank YOU for your ongoing support of our campaign.
Please. family and friends- consider donating today at www.hohtribute.ca
Campaign Chair & Co-Founder,
Highway of Heroes Living Tribute
"Hope is putting faith to work when doubting would be easier." ~Author Unknown
The idea was not ours.
Corporal Nick Kerr came up with the idea of a 'challenge coin', as only he could. Nick is a living hero. He served in the Afghan war. He saw a lot of things that he would like to forget. And he attended the funerals of eight of his fellow service friends.
One of them was his best friend, James Arnal.
We have seen a lot of Corporal Kerr at our public tree plantings in the last couple of years. He has driven himself from Ottawa on several occasions now, just to plant trees with us.
"I do this to help deal with my sense of loss" he explains.
Nick has been diagnosed with PTSD and is finding his own, effective ways to deal with it.
Planting trees is one. It is a privilege to plant trees with Nick and now I count him as a special friend, one of a few that I have made since engaging in the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign. Through his experiences at our public tree plantings, Nick has found hope.
After a successful campaign to sell Canada 150 trees last year we were looking for a new idea that would engage Canadians in our efforts.
Something that reflects our commitment to the Canadian military while acknowledging the great, positive environmental impact of planting two million trees on and near the highway.
In the Canadian military a challenge coin is awarded for outstanding acts of duty. As Nick explains, "It is somewhere between a pat on the back and an official military metal.
" Many people in military service carry these coins with them everywhere they go.
Sometimes they are exchanged between military personnel and on occasion a challenge coin will be offered up when off duty, while enjoying a beer or similar libation. If no one else at the table has a service coin, the person who has one is given a drink. If someone places a coin on the table that is of higher rank, that person is bought a drink.
We are not endorsing using our challenge coins to lever drinks from your friends, but we are suggesting that the idea of the coin has special significance to everyone who donates $150 or more.
This coin is a token of our thanks for taking a crucial step in supporting our troops: the fallen, the volunteers of the past and our military personnel today.
This is our way of saying thank YOU for your commitment.
Thank YOU for spreading the word about the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign.
Each coin is numbered and only 500 of them were minted. To date we have sold almost 200. I would advise that you get your order in soon if you would like one. Or more.
Like planting trees to honour friends and our fallen, this challenge coin is a symbol of the triumph of hope.
Please donate a little time and sign up for the Poppy Campaign. Board is set up at the Port Hope Legion. Contact Poppy Chairman Comrade John DeBoer for further information @ 905-885-6585 - leave message.
Thank you so much for all you do.
Every year, the Legion conducts the Poppy Campaign to honour those who serve, and to raise funds in support of Veterans and their families. From the last Friday in October to Remembrance Day, all Canadians can be a part of the campaign. Wear a poppy, attend a ceremony, and show your recognition for those who gave their lives for our freedom.
Canadians are fiercely proud of our Veterans… and during the period leading up to Remembrance Day, millions of Canadians wear a Poppy as a symbol of national pride and respect, a visual pledge to never forget.During the Poppy Campaign, thousands of Legion members from coast to coast to coast volunteer their time to distribute poppies and raise millions that will support Veterans and their families in need. While Poppies are distributed freely, the Legion truly appreciates the generous donations to the Poppy Fund in support of serving and retired Veterans and their families.
All help is greatly appreciated...Contact Poppy Chairman John DeBoer to help in any way.... or leave a message @ 905-885-6585
“We will remember them” is a call heard at many military memorial ceremonies and parades, but it was only in 1931 that Ottawa passed an act permanently fixing Canada’s national military memorial day to the anniversary of Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918, marking the end of the Great War. The day was named Remembrance Day. The same act moved Thanksgiving to October from its traditional November date, still adhered to by our American neighbours.
The 1931 Armistice Remembrance Day Act became an inauspicious memorial to those who died in what was called at the time “the war to end all wars.” As the poet W.H. Auden wrote, the 1930s were “a low dishonest decade” in which “clever hopes expired.” The decade ushered in the Second World War, which was infinitely more savage and apocalyptic than the first. It was appropriate to commemorate those killed in that futile First World War with symbolic artificial paper poppies under tombstone-cold grey skies of November.
But for 30 years before, Canadians had a different memorial called Decoration Day in which we commemorated our war dead with the laying of real flowers, not in the hopeless gloom of November but in the warm light and optimism of late spring or in summer, often on the weekend closest to June 2, the anniversary of Canada's forgotten first modern battle, the Battle of Ridgeway in 1866.
On Decoration Day, Canadians gathered at war monuments, tended to soldiers’ graves after the ravages of winter and “decorated” them with flowers, wreaths and garlands, prayed that their sacrifices were not in vain and that we had come to be worthy of them. Veterans were showered in flowers as they passed, escorted by phalanxes of children. It was a popular communion of young and old with the souls of our fallen soldiers in a celebration of hope, life and rebirth. We remembered and we remembered well.
Sadly, politics trumped memory. Decoration Day began as a protest in 1890 by forgotten veterans who had fought in the Battle of Ridgeway but received no acknowledgement from the Canadian government. Nine soldiers were killed in the battle, including three University of Toronto student volunteer riflemen plucked from their final exams the day before and thrown into combat against Irish-American Fenian insurgents who had invaded Canada across the Niagara River near Fort Erie.
The Ridgeway Nine are the modern Canadian military’s first nine combat casualties, but the boys killed that day were quickly forgotten by the bungling politicians in Ottawa who had sent them to their deaths, as were another 22 soldiers who later died from wounds and disease contracted on service during the Fenian Raids that summer in 1866
By 1890, frustrated with being forgotten for nearly 25 years, the surviving middle-aged veterans protested on the June 2 anniversary of Ridgeway by laying flowers and wreaths at the Canadian Volunteers Monument near Queen’s Park, Toronto’s oldest standing public monument. The event became Decoration Day, an annual tradition that endured until 1930 and is still commemorated today in some communities in the Niagara-Welland-Fort Erie region where the 1866 battle was fought.
Decoration Day eventually included Canadian soldiers killed in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885, and the South African War (Boer War) of 1899-1902, and the even the Great War, whose casualties were commemorated in June before there was any armistice in November of 1918.
When Remembrance Day was established in 1931, with only a few surviving Fenian Raid veterans remaining to remind Ottawa of its historical bungling, the embarrassing memory of our first fallen soldiers was purged from our national heritage and from the Remembrance Day commemoration. Today, they’re not even listed in our National Books of Remembrance, and few in Canada have even heard of the Battle of Ridgeway.
Until recently, Canada’s Veterans Affairs website used to state that Remembrance Day only “commemorates Canadians who died in service to Canada from the South African War to current missions.” Now, some Veterans Affairs web pages have begun to purge the South African War casualties, proclaiming that, on Remembrance Day, “we honour those who fought for Canada in the First World War (1914-1918), the Second World War (1939-1945), and the Korean War (1950-1953), as well as those who have served since then.” This is a further erosion of our historical memory of sacrifices that should never be forgotten no matter how long ago they might have been made.
With the recent death of the last surviving veteran of the First World War, tomorrow may see the memory of those sacrifices thoughtlessly deleted from our national heritage. And the day after tomorrow, our Second World War and Korean War fallen may be as easily forgotten, and it will be left to us to explain to our children what Nov. 11 used to signify and why we fought those wars.
Remembrance must be forever. Veterans Affairs needs to permanently restore the memory of all our forgotten soldiers who fell in service for Canada, not just the more recent ones but beginning with our very first who we used to commemorate during Decoration Day, starting with the Ridgeway Nine.
Let’s all take one more day to remember, that warm sunny one in June. Let’s revive Decoration Day and place a living flower on a soldier’s grave, tend to it tenderly, embrace a veteran and thank them for those better summers of our liberty and prosperity that define this great nation we call Canada. One more day is surely not asking too much to acknowledge entire lives given. Let’s remain true to our promise, “We will remember them.”
The ancient ceremony of the Piling of the Drums had its origins where new banners or colors were presented. Colors have always been regarded with great reverence. Historians record that Colors have been associated with religion from the earliest times. Israelites carried the social standard of the Maccabees which bore the initial letter of the Hebrew text. These early associations linking religion with the battle flags and standards have their counterpart in the ceremonial attached to Colours today. Many Commonwealth countries adopted the British custom for the consecration of the Colors prior to the presentation to the Units. The drums are traditionally piled to provide an altar for the consecration. The drums are brought forward and piled in the center. The pile consists of five side drums in a circle with the emblazoning the right way up, facing outwards. The bass drum is laid on the side drums and a tenor drum on top, both with the center of the emblazoning facing the person blessing the Colors. The Colors are then draped on the pile for the consecration, the pikes resting on the hoop to retain the Colors pikes in position. There is no drill laid down for the piling drums, but the drummers concerned normally turn to their left and right and marches out in a single file, forming a circle around the designated spot, turn inwards and arrange their instruments in the center. After the Colors have been consecrated, the drums are recovered in the same way. The Colors after being blessed by the various religious leaders, is handed over to the visiting dignitary , who will present the newly consecrated Colors to the CO / Commander of the Unit. The Colors are then trooped.
Many, many years ago when soldiers were in the field there were no altars on which to hold religious services, so the soldiers would pile their drums neatly to make an altar and drape the drums with their standards [flags]. A clergyman would then consecrate the 'altar' and celebrate inter-faith religious services for the soldiers.
In modern times the Legion honours those military personnel who died in all the wars by carrying on the tradition of the Drum Head Service of Remembrance.
Fun Day of Washer Toss @ Port Hope Legion