The Royal Canadian Legion Colour Party stands with the various colours during the 86th annual Decoration Day ceremonies at the Gadsby Omega Cemetery.

Omega Circle host to another Decoration Day ceremony

Eighty-six years ago, a group of people gathered at the Omega Cemetery in Gadsby and celebrated the first Decoration Day.

Eighty-six years ago, a group of people gathered at the Omega Cemetery in Gadsby and celebrated the first Decoration Day, a Remembrance Day-like ceremony honouring Canada’s war dead and its veterans.

This past Sunday, Aug. 28, a group of about 150 people came to the cemetery and continued the tradition.

According to Debbie Hansel, president of Gadsby’s Omega Circle, the Royal Canadian Legion was looking for a venue in which to hold an outdoor remembrance ceremony when they came across the Omega Cemetery.

“They found it very beautiful,” Hansel said of the grounds, which are to this day maintained with the utmost care and love. “The cenotaph had just been placed,” she added recalling the time of the first Decoration Day.

Since November, the traditional month for Remembrance activities, was “too cold” for the ceremony, the Legion and the original organizers opted to hold Decoration Day on the last Sunday of August, a tradition which continues today.

For the past half-decade or so, a group of army veterans have travelled from across Alberta, and sometimes from out of province, to attend the event in their red-and-black gear. The Canadian Army Vets biker group, also known as the “CAV Unit,” ride their motorcycles into Gadsby and come to honour their fellows during the event.

According to Hansel, the number of CAV Unit members started small, but each year there are more and more.

“It’s really nice to see,” she said.

The turn-out for the annual remembrance ceremony was also gratifying, Hansel said, given the weather at the time. Several of the audience had come with blankets to withstand the chilly, windy and cloudy weather, while others shivered, somewhat unprepared.

Reverend Ross Helgeton, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 59’s Susan Mitchell, and Omega Circle’s Viola Imrie all took turns speaking before Evelyn Shursen, a Legion member and guest speaker, spoke about the importance of the Legion, its history in first Gadsby and then Stettler, and the organization’s future.

After Marvyn Harris played last post on his trumpet and a moment of silence, the colour party departed while the gathered sang God Save the Queen, bringing the 86th Decoration Day to an end.


Just Posted

Watch: Gravel truck turns into wrong off-ramp at Highway 2 Ponoka

The new Highway 2 and Highway 53 intersection at Ponoka caused some confusion for one driver

Stettler armed robber convicted in court Oct. 12

Jayson Marshall gets over two years in jail

CORRECTED Donalda Creamery plans on tap Oct. 23

Architects to answer public’s questions about plans

WATCH: ASIRT investigating officer-involved shooting during crime spree

Shots fired on two occasions during incidents, one suspect remains in hospital with serious injuries

Drumheller RCMP investigate human remains

Police find human remains in burning vehicle near Morrin

VIDEO: Tragically Hip singer-songwriter Gord Downie dies at 53

Downie had been fighting brain cancer for over a year

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Outspoken Mountie assigned to admin duties for refusing to shave goatee

The 15-year veteran of the force said he believes the RCMP is targeting him

Most Read

Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.