What’s going on around town? New Westminster Council of Women meets and children pay tribute to veterans
The New Westminster Council of Women invites members of the community to support Monarch Place.
The group, which has worked to improve the lives of women, families and the community since 1893, will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, November 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Boston Pizza at Columbia Square Plaza, 1045 Columbia Street.
“Our guest speaker, Lorrie Wasyliw, Executive Director of Monarch Place Transition House, will tell us about her work with women fleeing domestic violence,” said Lesley Hebert, President of the New Westminster Council of Women. “As the holiday season approaches, we ask that you bring unwrapped donations for women in need. Requested items include shower gel, lip balm, adult coloring books/journals, gift cards, and personal care items such as deodorant, toothpaste, and shampoo.
Anyone wanting more information can call Lesley Hebert at 604-520-5971.
Cleaning the grave on a sad day
The bad weather did not dampen the spirits of the young people who cleaned the tombstones of Fraser Cemetery just before Remembrance Day.
Rob Rathbun, a member of the Society of the Officers of the Honorable Guard, said it was touching to see 60 local youngsters attend its 10th annual Veterans and Commonwealth Graves Cleansing event in the worst weather ever for this event. As the youths cleaned the graves during the event on Sunday November 6, heavy rain – sometimes mixed with wet snow – fell.
“I told many of these children that, as uncomfortable as this weather was for us, to imagine these boys, many World War I veterans, living in trenches in the mud and cold for months on end” , did he declare.
Rathbun said it was rewarding to see so many families from years past attend this year’s event.
“We try hard not to talk about formality and speech; it’s about honoring those local residents of Royal City, like John Hoult who lived on Eighth Street, Rhoda McKenzie who lived in Sapperton, and William Stephenson – from whom we bought a headstone a few years ago – who lived opposite the Royal Columbian Hospital,” he said in an email to the Record. “It’s about keeping these stories alive and not forgetting the sacrifice of local people. It’s about teaching children to remember.
No stone left alone
More than 350 local elementary school students braved the elements to place poppies on 450 military graves at Fraser Cemetery as part of the sixth annual No Stone Left Alone ceremony.
Students in grades 2 through 5 from Skwo:wech Elementary, Ecole Herbert Spencer Elementary, FW Howay Elementary and Urban Academy participated in the November 4 event.
“Since launching No Stone Left Alone at Fraser Cemetery, our ceremony has grown exponentially, growing from just a handful in 2017 to over 350 students from four schools,” said Karen Baker MacGrotty, President of No Stone Left Alone. – New Westminster. “It was heartbreaking and moving to see so many children entering the cemetery on such a cold and miserable rainy day.”
At each headstone, students read the veteran’s name aloud and thank the veterans for their service. Upon returning to class, students were encouraged to talk about their experience, draw a picture or write a reflective letter to capture their personal thoughts.
“The simple act of placing a poppy on the headstone, combined with the experience of reflection, has a profound impact on young people. Through this hands-on educational initiative, students experience first-hand the service and sacrifices of our veterans and veterans,” said Baker MacGrotty. “Reflecting and personally thanking our veterans, many of whom saw their lives and dreams ended prematurely, has a powerful impact on students. It is an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives. »
The students were joined by soldiers and cadets from the Royal Westminster Regiment, cadets from St. John Ambulance, representatives from the Royal Canadian Legion and community organizations including Rotary, the Hyack Festival Association and the Anglican Cathedral Holy Trinity. The event also included a prayer of remembrance and a reading from In Flanders Fields.