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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Legion Week demonstrates all the local branch does for the community, veterans

- Poppy Campaign, Remembrance Day ceremony, and vigil planned -

by Sylene Argent

On Sunday afternoon, residents gathered around the Essex Centre Cenotaph to celebrate the traditional Legion Week kick off, with the annual wreath laying ceremony.

  Every year, the Essex Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 201) joins branches from across the nation to celebrate Legion Week, which is designed as a multiple-day awareness campaign that demonstrates all the local organization does to not only support the community, but veterans’ needs as well.

  In addition to engaging the community, it is hoped through Legion Week, the local Branch could attract a few new members.

  Legion Week always kicks off with a wreath laying ceremony. Fun, community engaging activities are then held throughout the week. This year’s festivities include a special trivia matchup tonight (Thursday) and a perch dinner on Friday evening. Saturday’s festivities include the Big Daddy Meat Draw and the always anticipated Kinger’s Crazy Golf event.

  During the wreath-laying ceremony, Essex Legion President Erroll Caza took a moment to recognize all of the Legion’s comrades and veterans who have passed away over the last year.  

  “We who are left will continue the traditions in comradeship as the start of another Legion Week commences,” he said, adding with the Essex Legion, like many other businesses and organizations that have recently reopened, there have been many challenges to face, understand, and comprehend. Adjustments also had to be made to adhere to the new norm. “This will, however, not detour us, and indeed we are slowly getting back to holding events such as this.”

  The Legion’s first indoor event since the start of the pandemic took place Sunday afternoon, after the wreath-laying event. Caza added the Ladies’ Auxiliary is a strong and viable support to the Branch, and its membership is ready and willing to once again support functions in the banquet room.    

  Caza thanked all of the volunteers who ensured the Legion was well maintained while it was closed to the public.

   “Despite the changes, which have affected our ways, we shall overcome and remain a strong and viable entity,” Caza said, while addressing those in attendance. He added the local Legion’s continued success is attributed to the organization’s outstanding, and second-to-none, volunteer membership.

  Caza noted the main focus of the Legion is supporting veterans and their needs. He said the annual poppy campaign and Remembrance Day celebrations will definitely occur. He urged everyone to keep an eye on the Essex Legion’s bulletins and social media for more info as details are finalized.

  In addition, the Essex Legion also plans to host a vigil, like the one hosted in 2018, again this year, leading up to Remembrance Day. More details will be released in the coming weeks.  


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