Entertainment follows ceremonies at Nanaimo, Lantzville cenotaphs

NANAIMO – Canadians mark Remembrance Day Monday (Nov. 11).

Remembrance Day falls on Monday (Nov. 11) and is a big day for Royal Canadian Legion branches in the area. Each is offering a number of events and activities.

In Nanaimo, members of Branch 10 (Harewood) and Branch 256 (Mount Benson) gather in downtown Nanaimo for traditional Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Current and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces, cadets and first responders will parade through downtown, gathering at the cenotaph at Front and Church streets.

Prayers, hymns, gun salutes and two minutes of silence will comprise the service of commemoration, which also includes the laying of wreaths.

Branch 10

Branch 10 at 129 Harewood Rd. will have entertainers Judy and Friends playing from 1 to 3 p.m., Frank Hanna, a DJ, performs from 3 to 6 p.m. and from 6 to about 11 p.m. the band Doubleplay will be performing. According to Carol Tisdale, Branch 10 president, Remembrance Day is always a big event.

“We actually are standing room only and it’s bumper to bumper people,” Tisdale said. “We have a really good attendance.”

For more information, please call 250-753-4442.

Branch 256

Branch 256 at 1630 East Wellington Rd. will have a free breakfast for all from 7 to 9 a.m., a service at the legion at 9 a.m., with people headed downtown for the main Remembrance Day service afterwards.

A beef-in-bun lunch goes from noon to 1:30 p.m. Accordion player Reese Fink and musical artists Jamie Jepson and Jazz Turcotte will provide entertainment throughout the day.

“The lounge is open most of the day right up until the end of the evening,” said branch president Darwyn Henry. “It’s kind of an open house thing [for] members, families and others.”

For more information, please call 250-754-8128.

Branch 257

Members of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 257 in Lantzville will join members of the armed forces, cadets and first responders at about 10:45 a.m. for a parade down Lantzville Road. At the legion, a traditional ceremony will remember and pay tribute to the community’s veterans and war dead.

Following the 11 a.m. Remembrance Day ceremony in Lantzville, Branch 257 will provide hotdogs and pop to children and youth at Costin Hall, free alcoholic beverages (hot toddies) for vets, and warm soup and cold cuts for all at the legion hall with dinner in the late afternoon, according to branch past-president Gary Peters.

“From 4 to 6 p.m., we have a roast beef dinner served by the ladies auxiliary,” Peters said. “It’s free to veterans and ex-service people. Others pay $5 and we will have entertainment in the lounge.”

Graham Gates, a piano player, will perform in lounge in the afternoon and there will be a dance in the hall upstairs between 5-9 p.m., with music provided by Doctors of Rock.

The Lantzville legion will also be fundraising for a project that will see a new cenotaph and a memorial path at Huddlestone Park. People can pay to have names of family members that are Armed Forces vets and first responders engraved on stone markers that will line the pathway leading to and circling the cenotaph.

For more information, please call 250-390-2841.