Centreville honours vets, unveils banner program

by | Nov 14, 2023

Victoria Park hosts remembrance service and displays new tribute to area veterans

Amidst chilly winds and snow flurries, Village of Centreville residents honoured serving members past and present at the Remembrance Day ceremony held at Victory Park.

Richard Woollen, Padre for Centreville’s Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #84, led the ceremonies. Legion member Barb Swim read the memorials, and Mitch McMillan led the music.

Members of the 5th Canadian Division Support Group Maintenance Company from CFB Gagetown were also in attendance.

Various dignitaries, including MP Richard Bragdon, laid the official wreaths on behalf of High Royal Highness, King Charles, the Government of Canada’s Veteran Affairs, the District of Carleton North, the 5th Canadian Division Support Group Maintenance Company, the Canadian Border Services Agency for Royalton-Bridgewater, and the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #84.

Carleton-Victoria MLA and Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Margaret Johnson had previously donated a wreath “in remembrance and with deep gratitude for those who gave their ultimate gift for their country.”

Following the ceremony, the Centreville Legion hosted a lunch at the Florenceville Kin Centre for the attending troops and local veterans.

For the first time, memorial banners commemorating Centreville-area veterans surrounded Victory Park.

Many communities along the Upper River Valley started banner programs in recent years. Legion members and sisters Bev Haines and Barb Swim spearheaded the move to bring the program to Centreville.

“It was important to have our veterans represented in our town,” said Haines.

The community formed a committee which included Haines, Swim Andrea McAloon-Callahan, Debbie Taylor, Jessica MacLeod, and Jeanne Brooker-Charchuk.

Haines said that with McAlloon Callahan’s assistance, the committee applied for various grants to help with funding. They also received donations from local businesses.

Centreville residents Gladwyn and Christopher Piper designed the display poles, and Dustin Peterson from Upfront Designs provided the banners.

To give the park a facelift in preparation for the installation of the banners, the committee hired T’s Tree Services to trim trees and remove dead trees from the park. It was decided to install the initial banners where the dead trees had stood. 

The committee created a Facebook page to advertise the project. Haines said families soon started reaching out for banners.

She said the park displayed 31 banners this year, but that number will grow in the future. 

“Our families near and far have been very supportive of this project,” Haines said.

Centreville Legion member Barb Swim reads the list of memorials. Padre Richard Woollen stands nearby. (Sandra Hanson photo)
The 5th Canadian Division Support Group Maintenance Company members from CFB Gagetown attended the Remembrance Day ceremony at Victory Park in Centreville. (Sandra Hanson photo)
Centreville’s Victory Park features 31 new memorial banners thanks to the efforts of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #84. (Sandra Hanson photo)
Following the Remembrance Day ceremony, the Centreville Legion hosted a lunch for veterans and CFB Gagetown forces. (Photo courtesy of Bev Haines)

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