Blyth, Brussels Remembrance Day services to be closed to public
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
On direction from Huron Perth Public Health, area Remembrance Day ceremonies will not be open to the public in order to control the potential for spread of COVID-19.
Blyth Legion President Ric McBurney said his Branch still plans to move ahead with a small, private service, to ensure wreaths are laid and local veterans are honoured, but for safety reasons, members of the public will not be permitted to take part.
McBurney is planning for the ceremony to take place at Memorial Hall, but in accordance with the Huron Perth Public Health advice, the event will be closed to the public.
Furthermore, there will be no door-to-door Poppy canvass this year, also due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The situation will be the same at the Brussels Legion, according to Jo-Ann McDonald of the Legion, who says the services provided by the Legion on Remembrance Day will be largely subdued this year due to the pandemic.
The Brussels Legion traditionally holds its Remembrance Day ceremony on the front lawn of the Legion Branch, welcoming hundreds of members of the public, some of whom lay wreaths on the lawn of the Legion. All members in attendance are then asked to lay their Poppies on the wreaths.
None of that will be happening this year, though McDonald said people can feel free to lay their Poppies at the Branch on their own time after the private ceremony has taken place.
Furthermore, the Legion would typically embark on a parade as part of its annual ceremony, moving from the Branch to one of the community’s churches for a Remembrance Day church service and a small lunch and reception. None of these events will happen this year. That afternoon there would also be a ceremony at Huronlea Home for the Aged which will not be moving forward this year either.
McDonald says Poppies may be for sale in local shops, but they would likely have to be individually packaged and a final decision had yet to be made. However, the Branch has been participating in the mail-out Poppy campaign for years, so that will move ahead this year.