Colwood resident and West Shore Community Band director Mike Dominy works on a score at his kitchen table. He’ll be conducting the Chiefs and Petty Officers Association Band for a sixth time during this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony in Esquimalt on Nov. 11.

REMEMBRANCE DAY: Moving moment from Vimy Ridge affects bandleader

Mike Dominy and his musicians are a fixture at Remembrance Day ceremonies around the region

Music and the military have been woven into the fabric of Mike Dominy’s life.

After beginning with the clarinet at the age of 10, he embarked on a life as a professional musician, marrying an inherited family interest in music with a career in the military that lasted for 43 years. His military stint included playing with the Naden Band and spending 22 years as a full-time musician.

The Colwood resident will conduct the 25 members of the Chiefs and Petty Officers Association Band during this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony in Esquimalt, a task he has performed for the past five years. The band will perform about a dozen songs, including traditional hymns and anthems.

For Dominy, Remembrance Day is of particular significance.

“It’s a time to reflect on family and commitment,” he said.

His grandfather served during the First World War, somehow surviving a bullet in the chest during one battle and a gas attack during another. His uncle, now deceased, served in the British Parachute Regiment in the Second World War.

“I only found that out recently,” Dominy said. “Like most veterans, he was very reticent about what he did. For me, Remembrance Day is an opportunity to reflect and honour those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

Dominy has been involved in Nov. 11 ceremonies long enough to remember when there were veterans of the First World War in attendance.“That’s no longer the case,” he noted. “And the number of [Second] World War veterans diminishes every year.”

Although he has travelled to France to take part in Remembrance Day at Vimy Ridge on seven different occasions, one ceremony during the early 1980s stands out in particular.

“The veteran reading The Act of Remembrance broke down. I found out while visiting with him afterwards that he was 16 during the battle of Vimy Ridge,” Dominy said.

“It was one of the most emotional moments I have ever experienced and has had a profound affect on me ever since.”

Despite the decreasing number of veterans in attendance with each passing year, the band leader has witnessed larger crowds during the past few years — he points to the heightened awareness of the role of military members following separate fatal attacks on servicemen in Ottawa and Quebec in 2014.

“It’s important for people to remember the sacrifices that are still being made,” he said.

After more than four decades in uniform, Dominy’s retirement from the military has provided him with more time to focus on the Westshore Community Concert Band, which he founded in 2012, and his work as an audio visual technician at Royal Roads University.

Dominy proudly notes that Emma Litzke will conduct the Westshore band at this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony at Veterans’ Memorial Park.

“We are pleased to be supporting the community in this year’s ceremony,” he said.

Just Posted

Sooke woman is ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at Thetis Lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Victorian makes gridlock fun with traffic bingo

How far into your drive before you yell BINGO?

HarbourCats kick off preseason with free Fan Fest

Play catch with the players, meet Tally-Ho horses and discover this year’s new secret attraction

BC Ferries asks boaters to learn signals and be careful around ferries

BC Ferries responded to 15 marine emergencies in 2018

VIDEO: Journey of SD62 Aboriginal graduates recognized at ceremony

‘Enriching and empowering’ ceremony encourages students to hold onto their identities

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the Okanagan

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Man in B.C. charged with murder and arson in 2016 New Brunswick death

He is charged in the death of 71-year-old Lucille Maltais, who was found inside a burned down home

Improve your life and theirs, adopt a cat from the BC SPCA

The BC SPCA holds an adult cat adoption promotion

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Most Read