Students from each class at Ponoka Elementary go toward the stage to hand their paper poppy wreaths during the ceremony Nov. 7. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Ponoka Schools celebrate Remembrance Day

Tributes in song, poems and letters to home

Schools in Ponoka held Remembrance Day ceremonies last week, each honouring the fallen in different ways.

Ponoka Secondary Campus

Ponoka Secondary Campus (PSC) held its Remembrance Day ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Students Cameron Catterall and Madison Hansen acted as master of ceremonies.

Cameron Hinton sang O Canada, followed by greetings from the town by Mayor Rick Bonnett.

Bonnett says watching the students file in made him think of students in 1939, who instead of thinking about moving on with their lives with further schooling or jobs, were enlisting for war.

“Remember what sacrifices were made by our veterans and fellow Canadians back in those days,” he said.

A rendition of Dulce et Decorum Est was sung by Jessi Sweet and Jaedyn Faman and Zach Hinton sang a duet of In Flanders Fields.

Guest speaker, PSC alumni Warrant Officer Stephen Ferry, joked that teacher Ron Labrie looks the same today as he did in 1996, at the start of his address.

Ferry served in the military for 17 years and his now a firefighter in Edmonton.

He spoke of some of the terrors soldiers faced in WWII and how the soldiers of today face very different challenges.

“I see the shortcomings of our country daily working in downtown Edmonton,” he said, adding that everyday, every person has the opportunity to make this country better.

The biography of this year’s Hall of Valour inductee, Private Ernest Riley, was read, and videos were shown, and candles were light while Melissa Jacobson sang Amazing Grace.

A moment of silence was observed, as well as the playing of Last Post by Aidan Emlaw, after which the candles were blown out.

Ponoka Elementary School

The school’s Remembrance Day ceremony, held Nov. 7, featured each class participating — some through reading a poem and some through songs.

There were a number of video presentations designed to show the students and those attending the meaning behind Remembrance Day as well as provide why ceremonies like this are important.

Selected students from each class also hung paper poppy wreaths from the stage and observed the Last Post at the ceremony.

St. Augustine School

After the marching in of the cadets, the drama students led the school in singing O Canada.

During the assembly, students took turns reading letters written home by soldiers, detailing conditions, their fears, and their faith.

Heart-wrenchingly, a death notification letter was also read.

According to the presentation, by 1917, up to 9 million letters and postcards were sent home each week by British and Canadian soldiers at the front lines during WWI.

In many cases, final letters were received by family after soldiers had been reported missing or killed in action.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Jaedyn Faman and Zach Hinton sing In Flanders Fields. Photo by Emily Jaycox

PSC guest speaker, PSC alumni Warrant Officer Stephen Ferry. Photo by Emily Jaycox

The PSC foods classes made a variety of special cakes which were on display during the Remembrance Day ceremony Nov. 6. Photo by Emily Jaycox

Students light candles and spread out through the gymnasium at PSC Nov. 6. Photo by Emily Jaycox

St. Augustine School held its Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov. 7. Photo by Emily Jaycox

A display at St. Augustine School Nov. 7. Photo by Emily Jaycox

Just Posted

Alberta reports 257 new cases of COVID-19

Central zone has 157 active cases

Update: Possible drowning at Pigeon Lake involved man and woman from Edmonton

Bodies recovered from Pigeon Lake’s northeastern shores.

134 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

First day over 100 cases since July 31

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lay Manslaughter charge against youth

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

Charges likely in fatal attack at central Alberta medical clinic: RCMP

A vigil was held Monday night to mourn the victim

Cuts to environmental monitoring budget In Alberta’s oilsands are viewed as reckless

The 2019-2020 budget saw $58 million dollars being dedicated to environmental monitoring

Over half of Americans oppose Trump tariff on Canadian aluminum: survey

The survey was conducted Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans

Police investigating after insults, expletives yelled at federal minister’s staff

A 90-second video circulating on social media appears to have been shot by the person who was yelling

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

Oilers 50/50 raffle delayed as team resolves errors, offers refunds

Alberta fans who want to void any ticket purchases will have until noon Thursday

Sylvan Lake couple donates $850,000 to AACS

The doantion will be put towards a new X-Ray machine for the facility

Who can dismiss the Governor General? A look at protocols and possibilities

The Governor General is appointed by the Queen, on the advice of the prime minister

Most Read