Murrayville Remembrance Day ceremony goes ahead for third year

More than 700 people attended at the ceremony at the Murrayville cenotaph last year

The third annual Remembrance Day ceremony at the Murrayville Cenotaph will be held on Monday, Nov. 11.

A procession will gather at the south end of the cemetery and at 10:30 a.m. and proceed to the cenotaph.

The ceremony is organized by a committee of Murrayville residents, including Grace Muller, who will be performing master of ceremony duties on Nov. 11.

“This is our third year – when the first one started, we were winging it, ” Muller said. “There hadn’t been an official ceremony at this cenotaph before. We printed 100 programs the first year and three hundred people showed up. Last year, more than 700 came.”

Muller was quick to say the community support has been amazing – financial support is provided by the Canadian Veterans Affairs Department as well as donations made by Murrayville businesses and individuals.

She said University Printers Ltd, Mickey Caulter, EDS Pumps and Water Treatment, Murrayville Branch Aldergrove Credit Union, and personal donations by Judith Hunter, Nancy Pinchin, and Seanna Miller made the ceremony possible.

Students from Langley Fundamental School and James Hill School assist Township staff with the cleaning of veterans headstones and placing Canadian flags on each.

Boy Scouts and Girl Guides will be joining the procession at the Murrayville cenotaph to lend their support.

The 746 Lightning Hawk Royal Canadian Air Cadets will again be providing the Honor Guard at the Cenotaph.

The ceremony will begin at 10:40 a.m. and include songs, remembrances, wreath laying, a reading of In Flanders Fields by John McCrae and Last Post, and a fly-past of the Fraser Blues Formation Team.

Muller said their program runs shorter than most as the Murrayville ceremony will only have one prayer instead of the typical four; an original work written by Muller herself.

“Because the cemetery is older and designed in such away, people will have to talk over people’s graces to get to the ceremony, which of course many people view as disrespectful,” Muller cautioned as people make their way across the grounds.

A special poem written by Aldergrove resident Fred Dalkeith, is to be part of the program, specifically chosen as it highlights soldiers at people’s feet.

Read More: Langley City soon to feature veterans banners

For the first time, a parking attendants will be onsite to help park vehicles at the nearby Langley Golf and Banquet Centre or along nearby streets.

Veterans, seniors, and physically challenged persons are invited to park along the cemetery driveway and will be helped into the ceremony site.

Muller said the use of parking attendants is a sign that the relatively new ceremony is consistently growing larger.

“It’s a simple but meaningful program. We’re not in competition with any of the other ceremonies and anyone is welcome to attend,” Muller noted.

The Murrayville and Fort Langley cemeteries feature twin cenotaphs that were erected in 1921. More than 500 veterans are buried in those two cemeteries alone.

Following the ceremony coffee & cookies are available at the United Church at 216th & 48th street (Murrayville five corners).

“It’s supposed to pour rain on Saturday and so that may change numbers,” Muller said. “Only the good lord knows what will happen.”

The Murrayville cemetery is located at the end of 44th Avenue west of 216th street.

Muller and Murrayville committee member Rosemary Genberg referred to the cemetery as “the most peaceful place.”

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Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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