The Remembrance Day ceremonies in the Comox Valley will look a little different this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Photo supplied

Remembrance Day ceremonies scaled down, but happening in all three municipalities

Due to the pandemic, the 2021 Remembrance Day activities will be scaled back once again this year.

Both Comox and Courtenay will host wreath-laying ceremonies at their respective cenotaphs, but there be no parades in either municipality.

“We will have a VIP group, including Mayor Russ Arnott and his wife, the (commanding officer) from the base, 442 Squadron, and some others,” said Neil Lobdell of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 160 Comox. “There will be a padre there for some prayers, and we will have somebody ringing the bell and announcing the names of all who have passed away in the last year – the last post.”

After the outdoor ceremony, the VIPs will be escorted to the Legion hall for a private function. The Comox Legion will open to the public at 1 p.m.

“Due to COVID (restrictions), everyone must be seated, and a couple of girls will be at the door to make sure everyone is double-vaxed,” said Lobdell.

Masks must be worn upon entering the establishment and can be removed once you are seated. Any time you leave the table, your mask must be put back on.

Courtenay’s Ceremony will include the Act of Remembrance, Last Post and Rouse by the Legion’s bugler and the Lament by the piper. The Colour Party will be depositing the Colours. Only official wreaths will be placed, all other wreaths will have been pre-placed and acknowledged on the Legion website at www.courtenaylegion.ca The public is asked to be there by 10:45 a.m.

Anyone wishing to place a wreath in person is asked to do so after the ceremony.

The Courtenay event will be live-streamed on the Courtenay Legion’s Facebook page facebook.com/courtenay.legion

Those wanting to watch the streamed event are encouraged to tune into the Facebook page ahead of time, to be alerted to the stream start.

The Legion will be open to the public afterwards, following the same protocols as previously mentioned.

In Cumberland, the ceremony will take place outside, rain or shine, at the front entrance to the Legion, at 2770 Dunsmuir Ave.

“With the weather being what it is, bring a raincoat,” said co-ordinator, Gary Smith. “We are trying to cater to as many people in Cumberland to have an opportunity to come and remember, and if it rains, it rains. We could have had the hall and I thought about it but decided we will stand out in the rain because the veterans had to stand outside in the rain if it rained. They had no choice.”

The wreaths will be laid in advance, and those who participate will be recognized for their wreaths.

“They will be asked to stand to be recognized, so the crowd can be aware of who they are and the fact that they brought a wreath,” said Smith.

There will also be a bagpipe performance, and a bugler will play Taps.

Smith is recommending people to be there by 10:30.

The Cumberland Legion will open after the ceremonies, following all the same protocols as the Comox Legion.

442 Squadron will be doing a flypast of all three ceremonies, with the CH-149 Cormorant helicopter – weather permitting.

Remembrance Day