FACE TO FACE: Honouring our Heroes
Remembrance Day comes but once a year, but for Trevor Castle, sergeant at arms of the Royal Canadian Legion Delta Branch 61 in Ladner, honouring the sacrifices of Canada’s soldiers is something he and Legion members across the country do every day.
But when many think of veterans, they think of the sacrifices made by millions of Canadians in the First World War, Second World War, and the Korean War.
“There’s still soldiers overseas in Afghanistan today,” he says.
Castle served in the British Royal Navy for 14 years as an aircraft mechanic before coming to Canada close to 30 years ago to work in the private sector. Since arriving in Canada, Castle has been in involved in the Royal Canadian Legion as a member and as an executive, working to support his fellow military officers from across the pond.
“The Legion does things all year round to support veterans,” says Castle. “Every bit of money we get goes to veterans.”
Working with community groups like Deltassist, as well as federal agencies like Veterans Affairs Canada, to help provide support for aging veterans.
“We want to look after veterans in their own homes, so we’ll give them whatever they need so they can stay there,” says Castle. “That could be hearing aids, scooters, a new roof, or help finding housing.”
The local poppy campaign collects more than $50,000 annually, with most of that money going towards helping veterans in need, as well to the Delta Hospital Foundation.
“If someone is a veteran, we will help them, that’s what we do,” says Castle.
As the Legion’s membership continues to age and its ranks dwindle, Castle says it’s important to reach out to younger Canadians and get them interested in what the Legion offers. At the Ladner branch, Friday and Saturday night are always a lively time, with live music, dancing, and meat draws being offered.
“We now open our door to anyone who is a Canadian citizen,” says Castle.
Castle and Royal Canadian Legion Delta Branch 61 are organizing Ladner’s Remembrance Day parade and ceremony. The parade will commence at 10:15 a.m. from the Legion at 4896 Delta Street and travel to the Cenotaph at Ladner Memorial Park for a 10:45 a.m. ceremony. Following the ceremony, veterans and adults are invited to attend the Legion.
Taking part in the parade will be the Delta Pipe Band, as well as cadets, and scouting groups.
Castle says the many veterans taking part in the parade appreciate the public’s support.
“The community has always done a good job of clapping and applauding the veterans in the parade, and they love to hear that,” he says. “If you want to support our veterans, the biggest thing you can do is come down and support the parade on Monday.”