Community Remembrance Day Service

Online Remembrance Day Service 2021

Thank you to all of you who supported our community remembrance by visiting the monument and cairn in Montgomery Park on November 11. For the second year, COVID-19 caused the cancellation of our community Remembrance Service. We all miss the in-person gathering and look forward to meeting together next year.

Thank you to our Member of Parliament Brad Redekopp for laying a wreath for our country’s veterans. Thanks to the Tyler family for donating a remembrance sign at the cairn. Thanks to Jim McAllister who was up early on November 11 to shovel and sweep snow away from the cairn. Thanks to Rev. Bill Unger and the congregation of St. David’s Trinity United Church for their support of the service and the production of this online version. Thank you to the Stitch & Chat women who prepared the poppy wall hanging. Thanks to the Montgomery Place Community Association for hosting the online service on its website. 

The Bocking family visited the cairn in Montgomery Park on November 11. Afterwards, ex-pat David Bocking wrote: We met at the memorial just before 11:00 and made our way to the pillar of names when it was clear for us to do so. Our tradition is to leave a poppy at the base and to touch with our fingers the names of those names we knew or recognize.  Afterward, we stood together on Caen Street watching as others paid their respects.  I was amazed and moved by just how spontaneously everything unfolded. At 11:00, a gentleman in the crowd called out the time and asked for a minute of silence and everyone paid quiet respects. Just before the minute was up, a flock of Canada geese flew overhead, honking their heads off. As my sister put it, “You can’t get more Canadian than that!”

Online Remembrance Day Service 2020

Regretfully, there was no Remembrance Service at the cairn in Montgomery Park on November 11, 2020 due to COVID-19. Pandemic rules restricted the size of crowds, even those gathered outdoors. There was no way that volunteers could’ve ensured that restrictions would’ve been met. Flags and wreaths were placed at the cairn on November 11, so Montgomery Place residents could pay their respects individually or in family groups.

Jim Earle and Leslee Newman prepared a modified service that was videotaped thanks to Rev. Bill Unger, and produced by Katie Rosen.

 Don Leier, Korea, 1952. Leier Family photo

On November 11, 1996, Don Leier – a veteran of the Korean War – walked from Trinity Church to the monument in nearby Montgomery Park to pay his respects that day. He encouraged a few friends from church to join him. From that first modest act has grown the service that we hold today. In 2009, Jim Earle and Leslee Newman took over organizing the service when Don wanted to retire.

The service is a genuine community accomplishment with thanks owing to many. In the past, Don Leier and members of his family lay a wreath on behalf of Korean vets. Members of Parliament and community members lay wreaths on behalf of Canadian and Saskatchewan vets, in memory of veterans of Montgomery Place, Protective Services, Project Ploughshares and members of the Scouts who lay a wreath on behalf of children affected by war. Since she was a high school student, Lesley Tyler has almost always provided the poignant trumpet music that accompanies each service.  For the past serveral years, members of 38 Signal Regiment 4 Squadron have participated with an Honour Guard.

2017 cookie crew l-r: Barb McAllister, Wendy Rosen, Kathy Sproxton, Barb McCullough, Jackie Casey, Adrianna Antymniuk, Corrin Griffin. MPCA photo

The generous United Church folks open their doors for the gathering annually, with minister Rev. Bill Unger participating each year. Coffee-makers and cookie-bakers are a neighbourhood crew rallied by Barb McAllister. Montgomery School students have made decorations that adorn the church hall. Upstairs in the sanctuary a PowerPoint of veterans’ photos shows continuously throughout the morning. Gwen Will, daughter of veterans Chuck and Mary Will, has led the search for pictures, contacting second and third generation family, friends and neighbours for photos. Thank you to everyone who shared photos.

Honour our community roots. Join your friends and neighbours at 10:50 am on November 11, to remember and respect lives lived and lost during world conflicts. Assemble at the veterans’ monument in Montgomery Park at the corner of Caen Street and Rockingham Avenue. Truly a community affair, dress warmly and let the cold, crisp air add poignancy to the heartfelt words of remembrance and respect.

Thank you to Bob Ferguson (SeniorsMomentPhotography.com), Leslee & Meredith Newman, Wendy Rosen, Lynn Earle, & Melanie Lynchuk, for their contribution of photos.