November marks a time of reflection on the world of today owed to the sacrifices of others, some long gone, some alive to help us remember, and others in continued service.
Communities in the region are invited to join each other for Remembrance Day commemorations Nov. 11.
In Westlock, Legion chaplain Marjorie Steele will conduct the ceremonies at the Westlock & District Community Hall and advises an arrival time of 10:30 a.m., so that ceremonies can commence at 10:50 a.m.
The times have changed slightly from last year in an effort to bring everything as close to 11 a.m. as possible, said Steele.
In Jarvie, the Remembrance Day ceremony will follow a similar pattern at 10:45 a.m., but will include RCMP members as well. The ceremony will start at 11 a.m. sharp.
In Clyde, which often sees 200 or more area residents pack the Clyde Community Hall to pay their respects will begin in the hall at 10:15 before moving over to the cenotaph across the street for the remainder of the ceremony.
In Westlock, the morning will start with bugler Alex Shubert who will play Last Post, followed by two minutes of silence, and Reveille, also performed by Shubert.
Steele will begin the service with the well-known 1914 Laurence Binyon poem: “They shall not grow old as we are left grow old/Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn./At the going down of the sun and in the morning/We will remember them.”
Anglican Church reverend Peter Yeung will be joining in the service as well, himself a veteran — he served in the military as chaplain.
Paul Taverner, president of the Westlock Legion, will recognize the veterans who are present for the ceremony. In Westlock, there are three Second World War veterans still alive, all in their 90s, so Steele is not sure if old age will prevent them from attending.
Among them is Douglas Glebe, born and raised in Pickardville.
When he was 18, he got an enlistment letter which meant he had to go, but he could choose between army, navy and air force. And so a prairie man became a member of the Royal Canadian Navy.
Glebe served aboard the H.M.C.S. Rosthern in 1943, manning cannons and fighting Nazis, which earned him the 1939-1945 Star, the Canadian War Medal and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp.
As a veteran, Glebe returned to Pickardville to farm, met his wife Eileen in 1952, and has remained in the community since.
The Legion has received significant support from the community for the ceremonies. Following the service, there will be a light lunch, all of which was donated. The Thunderbirds football team will be helping set everything up as well.
Steele will then take wreaths and place them at the Heritage Building Cenotaph.
“I’ve done that for about, oh I can’t remember, it’s been such a long time. I’ve been chaplain of the Legion it seems like forever. I’ve probably been doing it about 10 years,” said Steele, who moved to Westlock in 2002 as the United Church minister.
Her twin brother, also a veteran, followed in 2005. Both served in the Reserves in Saskatchewan from 1958 to 1962: she was in the service corps, her brother in the armed corps. are members of the Westlock Legion.
“I remember when I was in reserves and we would go up to the sergeants’ mess after the celebration, and oh my word, some of the stories you heard, you couldn’t believe it. You could tell who had been in the midst of it. My father-in-law would not speak of it at all, not one word,” remembers Steele.
Previously, she was a member of the Fort Saskatchewan Legion but changed chapters once she moved to Westlock.
Westlock veterans are also hosting a banquet that night at the Legion, where veterans eat and drink for free —tickets for other guests are $15.
During the banquet, the Legion will be awarding bursaries to two local students.
While Remembrance Day is dedicated to all veterans in a general ceremony, Steele has also been very active in keeping alive the names of veterans buried in cemeteries around the region. Along with students, and with the help of community members, Steele coordinated No Stone Left Alone, which see students placing poppies on the graves of each known veteran.