PHOTOS: Penticton’s Maggie Secondary puts on powerful Remembrance Day ceremony

Princess Margaret Secondary student Marcus Francisco plays the Last Post to end the Remembrance Day ceremony on the shores of Skaha Lake Nov. 10, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)Princess Margaret Secondary student Marcus Francisco plays the Last Post to end the Remembrance Day ceremony on the shores of Skaha Lake Nov. 10, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Maggie students drummed and sang the Okanagan Song during the Remembrance Day ceremony at Skaha Lake Nov. 10. (Monique Tamminga Western News)Maggie students drummed and sang the Okanagan Song during the Remembrance Day ceremony at Skaha Lake Nov. 10. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Barbed wire fences were put on the shores of Skaha Lake to mimic what Canadian soldiers endured during war. (Monique Tamminga)Barbed wire fences were put on the shores of Skaha Lake to mimic what Canadian soldiers endured during war. (Monique Tamminga)
The Maggie choir sang We Remember at the ceremony at Skaha Lake. (Monique Tamminga)The Maggie choir sang We Remember at the ceremony at Skaha Lake. (Monique Tamminga)
Westbank First Nation elder Rose Caldwell a nsyilxcen speaker and language teacher in School District #67 offered the blessing at the ceremony. (Monique Tamminga)Westbank First Nation elder Rose Caldwell a nsyilxcen speaker and language teacher in School District #67 offered the blessing at the ceremony. (Monique Tamminga)
Maggie Grade 12 leadership students Susie Robinson and Rachel Brown helped organized Wednesday’s Remembrance Day ceremony. (Monique Tamminga)Maggie Grade 12 leadership students Susie Robinson and Rachel Brown helped organized Wednesday’s Remembrance Day ceremony. (Monique Tamminga)

Penticton’s Princess Margaret Secondary held a moving student-led Remembrance Day ceremony on the shores of Skaha Lake Wednesday morning.

Organized by Grade 12 leadership students Susie Robinson and Rachel Brown along with others, the 20-minute ceremony featured an Indigenous blessing from a First Nation Elder, the singing of the Okanagan Song and O Canada, and the Maggie choir singing We Remember.

Westbank First Nation Elder Rose Caldwell, who is also a nsyilxcen speaker and language teacher in School District #67 said the blessing on the shores of Skaha Lake.

Maggie students from Penticton Indian Band drummed and sang the Okanagan Song.

A poem was read out loud by two students about the Indigenous soldiers who gave up their treaty rights to fight in the Second World War and how when they returned they were not celebrated or awarded the same benefits of the other veterans.

The ceremony ended with Maggie student Marcus Francisco playing the Last Post on his trumpet.

“This is our grad year, so we really wanted to do a special Remembrance Day ceremony for our last year at the school,” said Grade 12 student organizer Susie Robinson. “My sister organized the ceremonies before me and now it was my turn.”

“We have been working on this ceremony since September,” said student organizer Rachel Brown.

Hot chocolate and cookies were given to the students after the ceremony.

Maggie Grade 10 student Sarah Hansen read out her poem, Remembrance Lesson. Below is the full poem that is now in the finals for a national poetry competition.

Remembrance Lesson

I feel badly now for grumbling

When Mom said we had to go,

I watched her put her boots on

And a poppy, I thought, for show.

I had to stand there waiting

While she lined up with her “Reds”

And she smiled and introduced me

To some “vets,” was what she said.

I watched some old men struggle

To stand up nice and tall,

And the place got very somber

When I heard the bugle call.

They spoke about my freedom

And the price that it had cost,

All the young men who had fought there

All the things that had been lost.

I felt a lump in my throat

And I saw a single tear

Fall upon Mom’s red serge jacket

As the end was coming near.

I’d never thought about it,

The freedom I have now

And those who came before me

To ensure this all, somehow.

So as I lay my poppy

I will say a little prayer

Thank you, all — forever

I will honour you, I swear.

— Sarah Hansen

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 

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Remembrance Day