25th Anniversary of Gabriola’s Remembrance Cairn 2020

Gabriola Veterans Association

Submitted Article

Wednesday, October 14 2020

This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the end of WW II. 

Significantly, it also marks the 25th Anniversary of the Memorial Cairn. In 1995, a dedicated group of Gabriola Veterans got together to establish a permanent memorial to those Canadians who had died in the conflict, during the two World Wars, the Korean War, and Canada’s peacekeeping missions around the world. The Cairn became the focal point for Remembrance Day ceremonies and also those Military and RCMP members who have served their country.

The Gabriola Memorial Cairn Committee was led by Peter Eastick and included Don Adair, Doug Chapman, Len Cross, Wendy Hobbs, Steve Mercer, Ray Morford, and John Sabine. Their determination and dedication resulted in finding a suitable Gabriola “stone”, getting permission to locate it, and then working to set it in place in front of the RCMP building.

On VE Day in 1995, Peter Eastick (representing the Gabriola Veterans), Senator Ray Perrault (representing the Government of Canada), and June Bobbie (representing Canada Remembers) unveiled the Cairn in front of approximately 300 Gabriolans.

Gabriola’s annual Remembrance Day Ceremony still follows the original service plan. The Island Singers still participate, as do the local RCMP. Numbers of those attending has varied, but recently over 400 Gabriolans have been present. Also, Gabriola is home to over sixty Veterans.

This year, unfortunately, a 25th Anniversary service cannot be conducted as it normally would. COVID 19 has not only disrupted the ceremony, but also the Poppy sales. 

Although the Gabriola Veterans will not be manning the usual Poppy sales locations, please do collect a poppy from one of the unmanned trays in the local shops. This year we would ask that you donate a toonie, rather than a loonie, as our revenue will likely be less than previous years. Remember that the Poppy Patrol raises money to support Veterans through the Royal Canadian Legion.

 On Nov. 11th, the wreaths and flags will be on display along with the lowering of the Canadian flag to half-mast, from 10:30-3:30. You are invited to partake in your own act of Remembrance by placing your Poppy on the Cairn during those hours. If others are present at the same time as you, please practise Social Distancing. Thank you Gabriola, for your continued support.