Regina to host single Remembrance Day ceremony with limited capacity

·2 min read

Remembrance Day ceremonies will go ahead in the Queen City this year, but in a limited fashion.

Ron Hitchcock, president and CEO of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 001 in Regina, says up to 150 people will be allowed to attend, but he is discouraging people from trying to attend in person.

The ceremony will be broadcast online and on the Legion's Facebook page, he says.

"We'll have a barricade around the perimeter of the walk area [around the cenotaph], and only invited guests that are participating are inside the safe area," Hitchcock said.

Those who choose to attend the ceremony at Victoria Park should wear masks and keep their distance from each other and the barricaded cenotaph area, he says, adding there won't be a ceremony at the Brandt Centre due to the limit of 150 people.

"The military people who were typically there are going to be here [at the cenotaph] but not marching, not parading," Hitchcock said.

Legion feeling pandemic's effects

Remembrance Day changes aside, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the Legion in different ways.

Hitchcock says the organization's bar and cafe, like other businesses, had to shut down in the spring. It reopened for a short period of time, but has since closed.

"We exhausted every grant and every loan that we possibly could just to keep paying our bills, paying our operating costs," he said. "Now it's closing again because that business has died off."

In order to help pay some bills, Hitchcock says, the Legion is hosting a fundraising raffle.

On a brighter note, he says the pandemic has also brought more younger veterans to the organization who are seeking relief in a variety of ways.

"The Legion is not a building," he said. "It has a purpose and the purpose is to help veterans and their families, including current members of the armed forces and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police."