Letters

Thanks to those who took part in WWI ceremony

Port Moody historian Guy Black at the PoMo Legion cenotaph to honour the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. - photo submitted
Port Moody historian Guy Black at the PoMo Legion cenotaph to honour the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.
— image credit: photo submitted

The Editor

I am writing to express my gratitude to all of the people who came out to the Port Moody cenotaph on Aug. 3 and 4.

A few days ago, the 100th Anniversary of the start of the First World War was commemorated in Ottawa at our National War memorial and throughout Europe. And it was also recognized in the Tri-Cities by a very small ceremony in Port Moody at the cenotaph next to the Legion hall.

With a somewhat unusual idea, a couple of local residents put together a remembrance event that would in no way match the well-funded ceremonies that took place elsewhere but the importance of our little ceremony was equal.

We held an all-night vigil on the eve of the war’s centennial with two sentries, including Markus Fahrner, a former British Army officer, taking turns standing watch at the memorial and with my sons Sean and Cameron ringing an old ship’s bell to mark the passing of each hour.

We were helped by many people, including the Port Moody Heritage Society, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 119, Veterans Affairs Canada, Canadian Military Education Centre and our families, and especially Markus’ wife, who was willing to wear an orange safety vest and lead us with our Port Moody Police escort as we marched to the cenotaph from McKnight’s trench at the Port Moody Station Museum.

What was most remarkable for us, and a great highlight, was meeting the people who came to the cenotaph to be part of what we were doing. They all expressed their shared belief and offered their thanks, and quite often we were rewarded with fresh baked-muffins, Tim Horton’s goodies and coffee.

The purpose of this letter is to thank everyone who helped us get things ready and took the time to visit and encourage us. Even though only two of us took the role of sentry, and with us performing our rusty and awkward ceremonial drill from memory, we knew that we did our part to remember all those that would die from this horrible war, including the 10 men from Port Moody. We are truly happy to know that we were never alone.

 

Guy Black, Port Moody

 

 

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