Crosses commemorate the graves of veterans ahead of Remembrance Day at Royal Oak Burial Park. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Old Memorial Arena flagpole raised once again

Royal Oak Burial Park raises salvaged flagpole for Canada 150th Remembrance Day

Fifty-seven years after hockey legend Lester Patrick was buried at the Royal Oak Burial Park, the flagpole he once walked under at Victoria’s Memorial Arena has followed him.

With Remembrance Day approaching and it being Canada’s 150th anniversary, Royal Oak Burial Park director of operations Ilan Highton recalled ROBP’s former executive director had salvaged the pole from Memorial Arena’s 2003 demolition and stored it at the park.

Highton and co-worker Marty Shatzko uncovered the pole this year and refurbished it with a goal of having it in place for Remembrance Day.

On Oct. 31 the flagpole was erected at Royal Oak Burial Park adjacent to the Cross of Sacrifice, a war memorial which was placed at the entrance of the cemetery in 2004 by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Hundreds of veterans are honoured each year at ROBP with crosses and poppies over their graves.

The flagpole’s original home was Memorial Arena, which was constructed in 1949 and was named in honour of the Canadian soldiers killed during the Second World War.

“It seems fitting that the flag pole has found a home at Royal Oak Burial Park, next to the Cross of Sacrifice and the burial place of many soldiers and veterans,” Highton said.

Once upon a time, Lester Patrick, who invented many of the rule changes that shaped the current NHL, passed the flagpole installed above the doorway at Memorial Arena. From 1949 into the 1950s, in the twilight of his life, Patrick coached and managed the Victoria Cougars of the PCHL/WHL (an affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens) at Memorial Arena. Lester, Frank, their parents and siblings are all at the Royal Oal Burial Park.

It should be noted that the flagpole itself has been extended an additional three metres in height.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has done plenty of work at ROBP and also visits annually to ensure the monuments and graves are in good condition (not just here but at cemeteries across the country).

“I am extremely appreciative of our staff’s efforts to restore and find a home for this important piece of Victoria’s history and very proud to have the Canadian flag flying high at our entrance in time for Remembrance Day,” said Crystabelle Fobler, ROBP executive director.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Speed skating a family affair for View Royal twins

Kieran and Kyle Brown set to compete in B.C. Winter Games

Belmont Student Voices: Influential teachers, good or bad, play a crucial role

Chances are you’ve had an influential teacher at some point in your… Continue reading

Hatley Castle 8K takes place this Sunday

Royal Roads race is the fourth in the Vancouver Island Race Series

Grade 11 student gains leadership experience in 4-H club raising goats

Mira Finkelstein enjoys spending time mentoring younger members of the club.

Watch for high winds today and tomorrow

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria. According to Environment… Continue reading

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Reports of money laundering in B.C. real estate ‘troubling’: attorney general

News report alleges people connected to fentanyl trade are using B.C. real estate to launder money

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals for Canada, and men’s hockey loss

Team Canada shines on the speed skating track, but fall short against the Czechs in hockey

Air ambulance used parking lot for patient transfer because it was most efficient option

Lack of certification for helipad at Comox Valley Hospital not a factor in decision

Letter: West Shore needs vested interest to achieve rapid transit

Mayor Stew Young is at odds with the CRD board over its… Continue reading

RCMP member challenges court to prevent further disciplinary action

RCMP member launches appeal to avoid new hearing over alleged harassment

Port of Vancouver program examines impact of marine noise on local whales

Man-made noises can interfere with orcas’ ability to hunt and communicate with other pod members

Most Read