The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 kicked off its annual poppy campaign Friday. Premier John Horgan and Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton were the first to receive poppies. (Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff)

Royal Canadian Legion kicks off its West Shore poppy campaign

Premier John Horgan receives the first poppy

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 kicked off its annual poppy campaign in Langford Friday morning.

But Legion members are looking for more volunteers to help raise funds for veterans.

“We’re in need of volunteers to complete the campaign … anyone that can give us two hours,” said Legion president Norm Scott. “Every cent raised goes to the veterans and families in need.”

To kick off the campaign, Premier John Horgan had the honour of receiving the first poppy.

“It’s a delight to be here. I was worried I was going to miss it,” he said after receiving the symbolic red icon.

“The greatest honour I had was to lay a wreath here at the cenotaph on behalf of the province,” Horgan said of when he was first elected as the MLA for the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding.

As a Langford resident, he recalled going to ceremonies at West Shore Parks and Recreation before it was moved to Veterans Memorial Park.

“Now there are hundreds and hundreds of people,” he said. “I’m inspired by the commitment the people on the West Shore have to the armed forces and the Legion.”

The second person to receive a poppy was Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton, who welcomed Legion members, City staff and students from Wishart Elementary later in the day to a ceremony with about 90 in attendance at Colwood’s city hall.

“It’s about respect and commemoration,” she said. “Who’s to say there would be a city or a city hall. Things could be much different.”

Hamilton noted the City is looking at relocating the cenotaph at West Shore Parks and Recreation to a new location where it would have a more prominent display and could be incorporated into a community space where people would see it everyday.

“I would like to see it somewhere like Colwood Corners,” she said. “I think it’s important to address that.” But Hamilton noted if it were to move, the City wants it moved to a permanent location where it wouldn’t have to be moved again in the near future.

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The City of Colwood welcomed Legion members and children from Wishart Elementary school to an event on Friday to kick off the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91’s annual poppy campaign. (Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff)

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