It was standing-room only at a packed Ponoka Legion Nov. 11. Photos by Emily Jaycox

PHOTOS: Ponoka Legion’s Remembrance Day ceremony

Guest speaker Ron Labrie recounts moving story of fallen Ponoka airman

It was standing room only at the Ponoka Legion Branch No. 66 Nov. 11, as community members poured in to pay their respects to Canada’s fallen and to remember, with some even sitting on the piano bench and a few standing by the door.

A number of dignitaries and community groups laid wreaths, including representatives of MP Blaine Calkins and MLA Ron Orr, as well as Victim Services, the Ponoka Drop-in Centre, Ponoka Secondary Campus (PSC), St. Augustine School, the air cadets and Bruce Harbin, president of the Ponoka Stampede Association.

Rob McArthur, Pastor of Home Church Ponoka, offered a prayer and read scripture passages.

Ron Labrie, a teacher at PSC and advocate for active remembrance, was the guest speaker.

“Remembrance can not just be a kind gesture on the eleventh month, on the eleventh day, at the eleventh hour,” said Labrie, adding remembrance should be an ongoing, concerted effort of good citizenship.

Labrie told about PSC’s Broncs World Tour, and how the students research the biography of a solider for a whole year before visiting their grave or memorial site, which is always a “highly emotional” and rewarding experience.

Labrie recounted the story of his visit with 30 students to honour a fallen Ponoka airman, Pilot Officer George Cameron.

In Aug. 2019, the group travelled to the community of Bois-Heroult, France, for the 75th anniversary of the crash of Cameron’s Lancaster bomber on Aug. 18, 1944.

When they arrived to hold their memorial, they were met with resistance from the local mayor, who threatened to have Labrie arrested. In the end, after several phone calls, the mayor relented and the memorial went ahead as planned.

Adrien Jobin, a member of the French Resistance who had been taking care of the monument, which is in Mont Rouvel, down the road from Bois-Heroult, was given honourary Ponoka citizenship.

After Labrie concluded speaking, everyone sang “We’ll Meet Again,” followed by the benediction, “God Save the Queen,” and the marching off of the colours.

Dignitaries then placed wreaths on the Legion’s cenotaph outside as the crowd departed.

 

Guest speaker Ron Labrie.

Just Posted

REFLECTIONS: Saluting the pioneer women and families of Ponoka town and county

By Mike Rainone for the News The steady and ongoing growth, progress,… Continue reading

Get where you need to this holiday season

Ponoka bus service information

Ponoka Right to Farm Society seeking appeal

The Ponoka Right to Farm Society issued a release Dec. 12 in… Continue reading

Black Elk Hockey camp may return to Ponoka next year

A popular hockey camp may be returning to Ponoka next year. Erin… Continue reading

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Rebels win two straight heading into Christmas break

Two third period goals give Red Deer 3-1 win over Swift Current

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

Two adults, two youths from Maskwacis charged in ATV, gun theft

Wetaskiwin RCMP Investigate Break, Enter & Theft and Weapons Offences - Arrests

Blackfalds RCMP officer’s firearm discharged in struggle

Red Deer and Sylvan Lake RCMP assist after police vehicle stolen

Two adults, two youths from Maskwacis charged in ATV, gun theft

Wetaskiwin RCMP Investigate Break, Enter & Theft and Weapons Offences - Arrests

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

‘He was good for the West:’ Sadness, surprise in Saskatchewan over Scheer

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and his predecessor, Brad Wall, both thanked Andrew Scheer

Most Read