Every year for the last three decades there’s been a Remembrance Day ceremony held at the Royal Canadian Legion in Port Moody.
Today was no different except it was a special ceremony since it will be the last one at the aging facility as the site is slated for redevelopment.
Bugler Robyn MacDonald, who sounded the last post in Port Moody, knows this will likely be her last Remembrance Day there. This time next year, the cenotaph will be in storage.
“It is incredibly sad because this is such an important part of the community,” MacDonald said.
“The legion is my second home on Remembrance Day. It is so many people’s second home.”
The Port Moody Legion is being torn down to make room for condos. Declining memberships and declining revenue has meant the legion needs to find a new way of doing business.
“We have sold the development rights to the property,” Wendy Swalwell, who is an executive at the Port Moody Legion.
“We get the parking, five commercial rental spaces plus a mortgage free legion. The developer gets four floors of market-assisted housing.”
The Port Moody Remembrance Day ceremony draws 4,000 people a year. For Leo Braniff, who has been the Sergeant at Arms in Port Moody for 40 years, says change is a good thing and it is coming whether the legion is ready for it or not.
“It has worked elsewhere,” Braniff says. “There will still be a cenotaph; there will still be a parade.”
There will be a Remembrance Day in Port Moody in 2016 and although it will not be at the Port Moody Legion, it will look similar to what it did today.