Sandspit Remembers

  • Nov. 17, 2003 5:00 p.m.

Submitted by the Sandspit Remembrance Day Committee-This cold and windy November 11 Remembrance Day started off with a warm breakfast held at the Willows Golf Course for those who served. A chance for the veterans of the community to come together to remember those who fought beside them and those who did not return.
At the Sandspit Airport people gathered, bundled up against the weather as we waited. Soon the parade rounded the corner on to the airport road. As you watched the parade march in you, a sense of pride washes over you. The parade’s color party consisted of Junior Ranger Evan Putterill, RCMP Mark Shaw, and US Marine Corps. (retired) Jim Henry. Followed by Sergeant at Arms Bill Sheridan. Mr. Sheridan led the parade as he gave them commands; they halted in front of the cenotaph. Each member the parade stood at attention with a look of pride and honour on their faces. As the service began, we were blessed with a prayer given by Neil Carey. Our MC Bill Beldessi began with what this day means to us as a community, a nation and to each individual. Remembering those who fought and those who gave their lives to protect our freedom. Later we listened as Chesly Levirs read In Flanders Fields. We also paid tribute to all those service and non- service members who fought the fires this summer in our province. Fire fighters and service personal again put their lives on the line to protect what we hold sacred. Human life.
Members of the community laid wreaths to pay respect at the base of the Cenotaph. Bob Baulch Veterans, Reg Brady – Sandspit Volunteer Fire Department. Norm Lager -RCMP, Bob Ells- Transport Canada, Gae Houston -BC Ambulance, Shandra Konkin and Chesley Levris – ALM Mathers School, Dean Olsen- SuperValu, Linda Clark -Royal Canadian Legion, Warren Foster JS Jones, Bill Sheridan- Remembrance Day, Gail Henry -MIMC, Ian Benoit -Sandspit Junior Canadian Rangers, and Laurel MacNiel- Sandspit Canadian Rangers. Finally I have to mention one last wreath that was laid. I left this one until last because of the moving gestured that was made during the laying of this wreath. Alex Sheridan, age 6 laid the wreath on behalf of the Gwaii Trust. Upon the completion of this task young Mr. Sheridan took a step back and began to cry. This was the undoing for most of us watching. Later when I asked Alex’s dad, Bill Sheridan what had caused this outburst of tears wehther it was fear or the memory. Mr. Sheridan said even thought fear played a part, he and his wife explained what this day was about to their son. The also watched a show on TV where Alex saw a friend of Mr. Sheridan from his squad in Vancouver. When Alex laid his wreath he made the connection between the day and this person. Finally we returned to the community hall for a light lunch and a chance to thank those who served in person.
The Remembrance Day Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people. Parade members as follows: RCMP, Transport Canada, Sandspit Junior Canadian Rangers, Sandspit Canadian Rangers, BC Ambulance, SuperValu, and the Sandspit Volunteer Fire Department. We would like to also thank the following: Hawkair, Comox Valley Flowers, Budget Rent a Car, Willows Golf Course, SuperValu, Java On Spit, Beta Sigma Phi, Sandspit Hall Commission, Neil Carey, Chesly Levris, Bill Beldessi, Marie Kwasniki, Denis Brady and Sharlene Scofield.
As always there are many people to thank if we have forgotten you. We apologize. We would also like to thank the community of Sandspit for attending. But most of all we would like to thank the veterans and those who served for defending our right to live our lives the way we choose to.