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PHOTOS: Ponoka Secondary Campus remembers

Remembrance Day assembly held Nov. 8

Ponoka Secondary Campus, which has a culture of wartime remembrancel, held their Remembrance Day assembly on Nov. 8.

Because of that culture, their Remembrance Day assembly is one of their most import assemblies every year, said social studies teacher and local remembrance advocate Ron Labrie.

“Thousands of Canadian volunteers displayed enormous sacrifice in the cause of freedom. In most cases, defending the democratic values of foreign nations,” said Labrie.

“As such, these acts should be recognized and modeled for future generations so that we don’t ever repeat the calamity of total war.

“Our community is blessed to have this culture of remembrance in our school.”

To begin the assembly, cadets escorted veterans and special guests to their seats.

After the singing of the national anthem, a land acknowledgement was done. A blessing was given by Elder Bert.

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Jennifer Johnson gave some remarks, followed by greetings from the town given by Heather Ferguson.

A musical tribute Amazing Grace was performed by Mr. Hinton and Grade 10 student Sarah Whyte on the violin.

Labrie spoke about the Broncs World Tour Cenotaph Project, which is nearing completion.

The Ponoka Cenotaph lists 42 World War I and 30 World War Two soldiers.

Labrie mentioned the Indigenous veterans who fought for the Canadian Expeditionary Force during World War One.

They were: Pte Daniel Joshua and Pte Henry Larocque, both from Samson Cree Nation, and Pte Henri Norwest.

Norwest was a highly decorated Cree Sniper.

The youngest fallen Ponoka soldier in World War One was 19 years old, and the oldest was 45. All 42 were in the army.

In World War Two, the youngest Ponoka soldier was 28 at their passing, and the oldest was 36.

Their resting places are as far north as Manchester, England, as south as Cassino, Ortona Italy, and as far east as Hannover, Germany. Ortona is the farthest from home, at 8,237 kilometres from Ponoka.

Two sets of brothers from Ponoka served: In World War One, the Pike brothers, James (1914) and Clement (1916), and in World War Two, the Malin brothers John (1941) and Kenneth (1943).

The most decorated Ponoka-area veterans were Norwest (MM and Bar), and George Patenaude, (World War Two, MM and Bar).

A tribute video was shown and then this year’s Hall of Valour inductee was introduced: Frederick Keith Miller.

After The Last Post and a moment of silence were observed, the candle lighting began.

Then assembly was concluded by the cadets and veterans being piped out.

Emily Jaycox

About the Author: Emily Jaycox

I’m Emily Jaycox, the editor of Ponoka News and the Bashaw Star. I’ve lived in Ponoka since 2015 and have over seven years of experience working as a journalist in central Alberta communities.
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