It’s a busy time again with all the Christmas events getting started. Over this upcoming season we have our Hall and facility booked throughout this time. As members, I hope you will have some patience as this might make it tight in some areas of the Branch. We appreciate your willingness to move and allow the Branch the opportunity to hold these functions.

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As an update from our New Building Committee, over the last month the committee has held many meetings with different partner groups to discuss our options and plans for the future. We feel these discussions have led us to some great expectations for our Branch’s future. Currently, we have a drawing completed by TL Housing which gave us some great discussions as to the direction TL Housing was pointing out was the direction the Branch was headed. We know now that we are much further along than what we thought, but our main issue is to have someone on our committee who has knowledge in the aspect of doing such a project. We currently are in discussion to get a feasibility study done on our Auditorium to prove our sustainability on the profit and size of the hall. We need this info to prove what is needed for the future of the Branch. We have done some financial analysis over what percentage of our overall sales for the Branch relate to the auditorium and have found it to be around 25% of our total Branch income. The committee is still looking for volunteers so if you are interested, please let me know.

Our 1st Poppy presentation was a total success for the Branch. We had the Premier of BC attend with Mayor Hof Colwood. Both received their Poppy with honor and thanked the Branch for inviting them. We also have our Premier at our Remembrance Day ceremony this year.

This past week we had a ceremony to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge. This ceremony highlighted the planting of our Vimy Oak Tree which was grown from an acorn from Vimy. We had our Color Party, Padre, Piper there along with the Mayor, Langford Council, and Victoria Maintenance Contractor. I would like to thank the members who turned up to honor this accession. More yet to come to complete the year of Vimy at our Remembrance Day activities.

November 11th is coming up and the day of remembrance is a day we all need to respect and give time to think about the fallen who lost their lives in the years past. We ask that you take the 2 minutes of silence at 11am on November 11th to remember these fallen men and women.

As a bit of history, Armistice Day was inaugurated in 1919 throughout much of the British Empire, but on the second Monday in November. In 1921, the Canadian Parliament passed an Armistice Day bill to observe ceremonies on the first Monday in the week of 11 November, but this combined the event with the Thanksgiving Day holiday. For much of the 1920s, Canadians observed the date with little public demonstration. Veterans and their families gathered in churches and around local memorials, but observances involved few other Canadians.

In 1928, some prominent citizens, many of them veterans, pushed for greater recognition and to separate the remembrance of wartime sacrifice from the Thanksgiving holiday. In 1931, the federal government decreed that the newly named Remembrance Day would be observed on 11 November and moved Thanksgiving Day to a different date. Remembrance Day would emphasize the memory of fallen soldiers instead of the political and military events leading to victory in the First World War.

Norm Scott
President.