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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day Sunrise Service (Prospect Cemetery) Photos

Service Sponsored by Earlscourt Branch 65, Royal Canadian Legion

This year was the 81st sunrise service organized by the Earlscourt Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, at Prospect Cemetery near St. Clair Avenue West and Lansdowne Avenue in Toronto. The service actually begins at 8:00 a.m., though they used to hold it at sunrise in an attempt to hold it as close as possible to the "Eleventh Hour on the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month" the armistice was signed in France in 1918.

It is not a well-publicized ceremony, so is unfortunately not very well attended (usually well under 100 people). But there are always several news cameras, because it’s the only early service in Toronto and hence a good live event for morning television. CP24's "Camera" Woolley was covering the event. The service also attracts a number of west-end Toronto politicians. Today I spotted MP Alan Tonks, MPP Mike Colle, Councillors Bill Saundercook and Cesar Palacio and separate school trustee Rob Davis.

This year a gentleman handed me a lapel pin with explanatory card from Veterans Affairs, the pin comprised of two poppies sandwiching a gold maple leaf. I don’t think they were handed to everyone. Perhaps it was because I was taking pictures.

We were lucky to have sunshine today, as in other years it has been grey or even raining. Though when shivering from cold or damp I like to admonish myself by imagining what it was like in the trenches in World War I, with no prospect of a hot coffee or breakfast in less than an hour.

Update: speaking of cold, guess whose furnace wasn't working when she got home? Serves me right. Furnace guy is coming today though.

Prospect Cemetery is a going concern as a cemetery and mausoleum, so in recent years has taken the opportunity of the sunrise service to engage in some low-key promotion, i.e. offering free coffee and Timbits, pens, etc. and having their manager make some brief remarks during the program. I have no problem with it, but I don't like to take any of the freebies, just out of superstition!

Hope you all take the opportunity to remember today.


The parade waits to enter the cemetery from St. Clair Avenue West. FYI, they are standing on the concrete right-of-way built for the much-delayed and still-unfinished St. Clair light rail line.




Parade approaching the Cross of Sacrifice inside the cemetery




Guarding the Cross of Sacrifice





Retiring of old flag




Wreaths waiting to be placed on cross by representatives of veterans, Canadian Forces, police, fire and elected officials




Wreath laying

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the posting of the sunrise ceremony. I live in a small community in central B.C and am very proud of to live out here.
I expect the Ceremony here to be standing room only. Our tradition is for almost every one to join to honour our heroic defenders.
You may want to read a news column I wrote at www.lakecountrycalendar.com
under community and titled. "a tome to remember"
Thank you from a not so ananymous
Mel

11:52 AM  
Blogger DMacF05 said...

Joan Tintor,

Thank you for posting this and please continue to cover the Prospect Cemetery Remembrance Day Service, each year.

My father, Thomas (Tommy)MacDonald, Jr. helped to run this service for over 25 years, during his lifetime with the Earlscourt Legion Branch 65.

He died in 2002 and I am so happy to know that it continues!!! I have pamphlets and leaflets dating back 60-70 years, associated with this Service.

My brother and I spent our lives growing up surrounded by the Legion and its members, as it was something my father was active in, and took a great deal of pride being a part of.

I have moved away from Toronto and can longer attend the service at Prospect so what a joy to see pictures and hear about it.

What a wonderful flood of old memories!!! Thanks so much.

Darlene

8:37 AM  
Blogger DMacF05 said...

orkfaccJoan Tintor,

Thank you for posting this and please continue to cover the Prospect Cemetery Remembrance Day Service, each year.

My father, Thomas (Tommy)MacDonald, Jr. helped to run this service for over 25 years, during his lifetime with the Earlscourt Legion Branch 65.

He died in 2002 and I am so happy to know that it continues!!! I have pamphlets and leaflets dating back 60-70 years, associated with this Service.

My brother and I spent our lives growing up surrounded by the Legion and its members, as it was something my father was active in, and took a great deal of pride being a part of.

I have moved away from Toronto and can longer attend the service at Prospect so what a joy to see pictures and hear about it.

What a wonderful flood of old memories!!! Thanks so much.

Darlene

8:47 AM  
Blogger DMacF05 said...

Joan Tintor,

Thank you for posting this and please continue to cover the Prospect Cemetery Remembrance Day Service, each year.

My father, Thomas (Tommy)MacDonald, Jr. helped to run this service for over 25 years, during his lifetime with the Earlscourt Legion Branch 65.

He died in 2002 and I am so happy to know that it continues!!! I have pamphlets and leaflets dating back 60-70 years, associated with this Service.

My brother and I spent our lives growing up surrounded by the Legion and its members, as it was something my father was active in, and took a great deal of pride being a part of.

I have moved away from Toronto and can longer attend the service at Prospect so what a joy to see pictures and hear about it.

What a wonderful flood of old memories!!! Thanks so much.

Darlene

11:59 AM  
Blogger Joan Tintor said...

Thank you for your kind feedback Darlene.

The ceremony seems to be better attended in recent years and its timing means that it is usually on the local breakfast and lunch news shows.

12:57 PM  

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