The West Shore branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has officially launched its 2022 poppy campaign, with the ceremonial first poppy being presented to Langford Mayor Stew Young on Friday (Oct. 28).
With a colour party in attendance, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 president Norm Scott gave Young the poppy in front of the Langford cenotaph as the poppy flag was raised. The ceremony then shifted down Goldstream Avenue to Langford city hall for a flag-raising there.
Legion members also raised flags and presented poppies across the West Shore on Friday, including at Colwood city hall.
Veterans from Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 kicked off their Poppy Campaign by raising the poppy flag at #Colwood City Hall this afternoon.— City of Colwood (@cityofcolwood) October 28, 2022
Local students had thoughtful questions for the vets: What was it like to be in a war? Did you lose anyone close to you? #LestWeForget pic.twitter.com/N5AkJghqlx
“It’s an honour to be here with the soon-to-be former mayor of Langford, Stew Young, in honour of what he has done for the community – and to honour the memories of veterans and the legion over his mayorship,” said Scott. “We are also here thinking about fallen veterans and the living veterans of yesterday and today, to honour them and to take a moment of silence just to remember.”
Scott said this year’s poppy campaign fundraising goal is $130,000 for the branch, building on the success of last year’s campaign which brought in around $110,000.
Funds raised by legion branches across the country both during the annual poppy campaign leading up to Remembrance Day on Nov. 11 and through other campaigns during the year are used to support veterans and their families in the local community in which the funds are raised.
“This year, what’s different, is we have text and tap donation,” said Scott. “On each donation box there is a QR code, you can scan it and do a $5, $10, $15, or $20 donation.”
Scott is already looking toward the Nov. 11 ceremony at the cenotaph, which he hopes will draw a large crowd not seen since the pandemic due to reduced ceremonies.
“I want it to come back to what it once was. We can only hope, but I would like to see everybody take that moment, take that minute of silence, and just remember. We have so much to be thankful for.”
Speaking in front of city hall, Young said he is proud of the relationship between the city and the legion, which has been built on plenty of mutual support over the years.
“We will be here supporting you, and our community will always be there to support what (the legion) does,” Young said.