Marjorie Mazerall and her family picked up the old street banner gifted to her by the Downtown Langley Business Association. A new banner, boasting her likeness, now hangs on the one-way street. (Downtown Langley Business Association/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Langley veterans and families grateful for the gift

Recipients touched to receive Remembrance day tribute banners, more sought

Marjorie Mazerall might be suffering from dementia, but that didn’t stop the 97-year-old army veteran from trudging into the Downtown Langley Business Association offices Monday to pick up a “priceless” gift.

Mazerall, who served with the army on the homefront in Kitchener, Ont. during the Second World War, was one of 25 Langley veterans whose likeness was selected for a series of banners hung on City’s street posts in the days leading up to Remembrance Day each year.

RELATED: Langley business group looking for veterans and families for special gift

Ten years ago, the business association kicked off the banner project by commissioning the creation of the special cloth tributes. Initially 25 Langley veterans were profiled – several have since passed away.

As the DLBA prepared to replace the decade-old banners with new tribute banners this year, executive director Teri James made a plea to find any of those initial veterans or their families – to gift them the old banners.

The response, James said, was swift and overwhelming after the initial Langley Advance Times story.

Five pictures of veterans appeared in the paper, and within as many days, those veterans – or family members – had reached out to claim the banners bearing their pictures.

Mazerall was among a handful of veterans or loved ones who have since collected the huge fabric photos.

Grateful for the gift, she and her daughter Brenda, son-in-law Marvin, and grandson Mike, picked up the banner in person this week – and while doing so stopped to admire the new series of banners hanging along the main drag.

They were all a little taken aback to see the old banner – which Mazerall was given – as well as a new banner, both emblazoned with huge picture of her.

Similarly, H.D. Freeston saw the initial newspaper story last month, where James was reaching out to connect with portrayed veterans or their families.

Freeston, a resident of a Walnut Grove care home, picked up his banner a few days later when he came downtown for his regular hair cut at Friends Barbershop.

He was beaming when he received the banner, James recounted.

“He was just stoked, showing everyone in the barbershop and anyone else around,” she said.

“They’re heroes, and they served our country. It seems the very least we can do… it’s so worth the effort to give them these banners.”

RELATED STORY: Langley City soon to feature veterans banners

James also heard from the great granddaughter of one of the female veterans portrayed on the banners, Dorothy Kelley.

The young relative was reading the newspaper while sitting with her great grandmother in hospital. That’s when she spotted the matriarch’s picture and learned of the banner giveaway.

She went down and picked up the banner almost immediately, and was able to share it with her great grandmother prior to her passing a short time later.

James said the families genuinely seem to appreciate receiving the banners.

“Judging from the expressions on people’s faces when they pick them up, it’s worth the effort to find the homes for these.”

There are still 20 banners that she hopes will be collected, including three depicting veterans that James doesn’t have names for.

The others that she’s hoping to reach are Bob Baker, Robert Blair, James Ferguson, Velma Green, Michael Harvey, Arthur Henri, Arthur Johnson, Enice Lahraman, Theodore Lahraman, Reggie Lewis, John McTaggart, Alexander Myscouth, William O’Dribege, Phil Peterson, Geoff Seivewright, Lionel Silver, and William Wiley.

“We would love for the families to have the banners that honour our Langley veterans,” James said.

“It’s just a warm, fuzzy, feel good kind of thing,” she said, speaking to her desire to connect with as many as possible.

“If someone recognizes a name or a picture, please spread the word so we can get these out to the veterans or their loved ones,” James said, asking people to call the DLBA at 604-539-0133.

“At the end of the day, we just want to make sure these banners get back to their families,” she concluded. “They’re all in great shape… it was just time to replace them with new ones.”

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

roxanne.hooper@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

William O Dribege

Velma Green

Robert Blair

Reggie Lewis

Phil Peterson

There are a few banners with pictures of veterans who have yet to be identified to the Downtown Langley Business Association.

There are a few banners with pictures of veterans who have yet to be identified to the Downtown Langley Business Association.

There are a few banners with pictures of veterans who have yet to be fully identified to the Downtown Langley Business Association. This gentleman is only known as Theodore.

There are a few banners with pictures of veterans who have yet to be identified to the Downtown Langley Business Association.

There are a few banners with pictures of veterans who have yet to be fully identified to the Downtown Langley Business Association. This gentleman is only known as Mr. Wiley.

Michael Harvey

Marjorie Mazerall

Lionel Silver

John McTaggart

James Ferguson

Geoff Seivewright

There are a few banners with pictures of veterans who have yet to be fully identified to the Downtown Langley Business Association. This woman is only known as Enice.

Bob Baker

Arthur Johnson

Arthur Henri

Alexander Myscouhg

Dorothy Kelley

H.D. Freeston

Just Posted

Volunteers needed to help make Aldergrove shine

Business association will host downtown clean up day and will survey owners and residents on Oct. 3

WEATHER: Strong winds, heavy rainfall and risk of a thunderstorm forecasted for Langley

Special weather statement is in effect for Metro Vancouver, including Langley

Time to look at separate RCMP detachments for Langley Township and Langley City, councillor says

Eric Woodward said the Township ‘lost a good superintendent’ over City controversy

First rainstorm of the season pelting the Lower Mainland

Batten down the hatches as heavy rains, wind, and some localized flooding possible

UPDATE: Teen missing since early Monday in Langley has been found

Police released information about a 14-year-old girl who has been found safe

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

Attorney General of Canada defends Kelowna Mountie involved in rough arrest

Tyler Russell filed a lawsuit against Const. Siggy Pietrzak in June of this year

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Refresh of Liberal government’s agenda comes amid new looming COVID-19 crisis

Lockdowns saw fed spending soar to historic levels in effort to offset pandemic’s blow to Canadians’ livelihoods

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

Most Read