By Frank Bucholtz/Special to Langley Advance Times
Canadian participation in past and present conflicts will be remembered at the Murrayville Cemetery on Remembrance Day, Friday, Nov. 11.
It will be the sixth such ceremony at the cemetery, which is home to one of the two Langley cenotaphs erected in 1921 to remember the fallen after the First World War.
Rosemary Genberg, one of the founders, recounted how the services in Murrayville came to be.
Much like the Fort Langley services, that now attract close to a thousand attendees, this Murrayville ceremony grew out of two strangers meeting up at the cenotaph one Nov. 11 morn.
On this particular day in question, Genberg made the acquaintance of a bugler, Brian Parkinson, who lifted his trumpet at 11 a.m. to play The Last Post (much like he will do this Remembrance Day, as part of a larger service).
“Him and I decided we needed a service here at Murrayville,” Genberg explained in past to Langley Advance Times. “We decided, it was time we got all together as a community to make a wonderful service – something simple but meaningful.”
Subsequently, a community committee came together to offer the chance for people in that area to gather at an historic location with deep meaning for Langley. And services have been held there every fall since – even with restricted attendance and livestreaming options only during COVID.
Back to full, in-person services this year, the Nov. 11 ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a procession led by piper John McCallum.
Grace Muller will again serve as the master of ceremonies.
There will be music from soloist Krystal McEwan. Poems remembering the fallen will be read by committee members. This will be followed by the Last Post played by Parkinson, after which there will be two minutes of silence.
And the services will officially conclude with the laying of wreaths.
After the event has concluded, a reception will follow at the Murrayville Hall.
Many different community organizations assist in making these ceremonies meaningful, Muller explained.
On Saturday, Nov. 5, the 2nd Langley Scouts will be at the cemetery to clean veterans’ headstones. Pathfinders will assist in handing out programs on the day of the event. Aldergrove legion is providing poppies, which will be available by donation at the event. The 746 Lightning Hawks Squadron Air Cadets will provide the honour guard. And MP Tako van Popta’s office has provided small paper Canadian flags to place by veterans’ headstones.
Murrayville Hall society is assisting in providing tables and offering the hall for the reception afterwards, while Langley Township cemetery workers will be cleaning the grounds before the ceremony and are helping in a number of other ways.
Former Township councillor Bob Long is again taking care of the sound, and the event will also be livestreamed through the skills of Ryan Barnes, for those who want to take part from their homes.
It will be available to view on the website MurrayvilleRemembranceDay.ca.
Parking for those who are attending is available at the Langley Golf Centre, at 216th Street and 44th Avenue. This offer of parking spaces is greatly appreciated by the organizers. There will be traffic control on 44th Avenue, and a very limited amount of parking will be available at the cemetery. This will be restricted to veterans and those who are unable to walk to the cemetery.
More information and any updates will be available on the committee website.
- with Langley Advance Times files
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