By Tracey Arial
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 251 will hold Remembrance Day services twice this year. On Sunday, Nov. 9, Branch 251 members will attend Laval’s official services at the Cenotaph next to City Hall. On Tuesday, Nov. 11, they’ll be at Crestview Elementary School.
They are also planning an official Armistice supper on Saturday, Nov. 8. Branch director Linda Joosen says that a roast beef dinner is planned and there will be some entertainment.
“We have 40 members who are veterans and they attend that event for free, but it costs $15 for anyone else who would like to attend,” she says.
Legion Branch 251 is located at 2000 Cure Labelle (just north of St. Martin on the west side) and can be reached by calling  681-6722.
Sunday’s service at the Cenotaph, 1, place du Souvenir will be the largest of all the events and is the only service listed on the City of Laval’s website.
“We leave Sammy’s at the Flea Market at 10:20 a.m., so we can arrive at the Cenotaph about 10 minutes before 11,” said Branch 251 president Ron Ellison.
“Our prayer will be done in English by Deacon Robert Zankoski (they call him Deacon Bob) and in French by someone that the Royal 22nd Regiment brings,” said Joosen.
Dennis Lafontaine will read the Act of Remembrance.
Two minutes of silence will begin at 11 a.m. The silence honours all soldiers who died serving Canada. Its timing matches the ceasefire that ended World War I, which took place on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. (The war began in August 1914.)
After the services, Legion members, Royal 22nd Regiment members and other dignitaries will lay wreathes.
“This year, the Silver Cross Mother is Helga Vezina,” said Joosen. “She’ll be laying a wreath on behalf of all mothers mourning soldiers. Her husband was a veteran.”
After the service ends between 11:30 a.m. and noon, everyone will be welcomed for a small treat.
Joosen doesn’t know whether there will be any cadets participating this year, but if they do, they’ll be directed to the local school for hot chocolate and donuts.
“The adults go back to the branch for a small buffet and warm-up,” said Joosen. “The ladies make home-made soup. The pea soup is a favourite.”
Poppy sales will continue on Monday, Nov. 10 and some of the branches’ 204 members will also sell them on Tuesday, Nov. 11.
Others will participate in a similar Remembrance Day at Crestview Elementary School, 750 Devonshire Avenue. Their phone number is 450-681-6703.
Legion members stop selling poppies after Nov. 11.