District workers hang banners in Invermere. File photo

Veteran banner program expands

Remembrance banners hang in downtown Invermere for third year; project spreads to other communities

Submitted

Columbia Valley wartime veterans are being honoured for the third time in 2019 with the colourful Honour Our Veterans Banner Program.

This year, 49 double-sided banners honouring 98 individual Valley veterans who served in the First, Second, or Korean wars, will hang from light poles in downtown Invermere during the month prior to Remembrance Day.

Each banner, featuring the veteran’s name, service record, and photograph, is funded by the veteran’s family. The program is administered through the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 71 in Invermere.

Valley resident and long-time Legion member Elinor Florence proposed the idea after discovering a similar program in Eastern Canada.

“The personal photographs are what make it especially meaningful,” Ms. Florence said. “These young people came forward from all over this Valley, including the two local reserves. They were willing to risk their lives defending our country.”

It was the hard work of Valley volunteers who made the program possible. Sandi Jones of Invermere acted as the primary coordinator for names and photographs.

“Elinor approached me in 2016 and asked if I would join her in bringing the Honour our Veterans program to the Valley. I had no idea how many hundreds of hours we would dedicate to make it a success!” Ms. Jones said. “Every year when the banners are hung I am reminded of how proud I am of all of the men and women from the Valley, including my dad and six other family members, who served.”

Another major contributor is Dee Conklin, owner of Palliser Printing. She volunteered her time to scan photographs and prepare the digital files. She then worked with other printers to get the banners printed, on time and on budget.

“It’s a real honour to be associated with such a worthwhile community program and as former mayor of Radium, it was always one of my highlights to be part of the Remembrance Day Celebrations,” she said.

A guidebook, also prepared by Palliser Printing, contains brief biographies of the veterans pictured on the banners. It’s available from the Legion. For more information, call 250-342-9517 or email roycan71sec@hotmail.com.

Invermere was one of the first communities in western Canada to get on board, but the banner program continues to spread.

Randy Kwasnicia of Calgary is a part-time resident of Timber Ridge, and after admiring Invermere’s banners he proposed the idea to the Legion in his hometown of Watson, Saskatchewan. The town of about 800 residents hung its first 40 banners this year, with plans to expand next year.

The Fred Light Museum in Battleford, Saskatchewan also hosted the program for the first time this year with a slate of 50 banners.

Ms. Florence worked with both communities to launch their inaugural banner program. She has also written a how-to guide for other communities on her website here: www.elinorflorence.com/blog/veteran-banners.

The local program will continue to expand next year. If anyone wishes to sponsor a banner for a family member, please note that there will be a call for new applications next spring.

Just Posted

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash
Athalmer bridge halfway there

Mid-November projected finish date

CVSAR team submitted photo
CVSAR calls have doubled

CVSAR responds to various emergencies

Logo of Election BC
Election candidates adapt to pandemic

COVID-19 protocols make for unique campaign

Submitted photo of Manny Osborne-Paradis
Manny Osborne-Paradis retires after 16 years of World Cup ski racing

One of Canada’s most accomplished skiers shifts his focus to family time, school time

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Most Read