By Tracey Arial
This week is busy for members of Royal Canadian Legion Hon. John G. Diefenbaker Branch 216 in Laval West.
The branch has only 128 members and 13 of them are World War II veterans. Three of their members, including a father and son, are also part of the Provincial Command Colour Parade that will take place in downtown Montreal on Tuesday, Nov. 11.
Members have been selling poppies daily, while also preparing for their Remembrance Day supper on Saturday night, Nov. 8 and their service and parade the following morning.
“Everyone takes Shifts,” says branch president Madonna Boch. “Some of them will be working from nine in the morning and they’ll go straight to dinner. The stores usually close at five on a Saturday.”
The Saturday night supper begins at 6:30 p.m. says Boch. It takes place in Branch 216 Legion Hall, 861 St. Rose Blvd. Usually 40-60 members attend, depending on the year.
“We have opening ceremonies and march in the colours. We sing O Canada. It’s an opening for Remembrance Day. Before dinner starts, we toast the Queen, toast Canada and toast our fallen comrades.”
On Sunday, Nov. 9 at 10:30 a.m., members meet at the corner of 27th and St. Rose, right near Raymond Elementary School.
“We have the cadets and a piper and municipal people,” says Boch. “Mr. Ouimet, our Federal MP, Mr. Pilon, our MPP and a municipal representative will also attend.”
“After service, we have soup, donuts and coffee at the branch.” Robert Michaud, 53, his son Daniel, 26, and sergeant-at-arms Sharon Trainor are the three 216 Branch Members who form part of the five-person Provincial Colour Party. All three will participate in the parade in downtown Montreal on Tuesday, Nov. 11. Other members may also attend and Boch says that their branch always sends a wreath.
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