Fergus Legion launches memorial banner program

FERGUS – The Fergus branch of the Royal Canadian Legion is hoping to turn 2020 into a banner year.

The Legion is inviting local businesses, families, and individuals to sponsor memorial banners to honour local war veterans.

The banners will hang from light posts in downtown Fergus in the days and weeks leading up to Remembrance Day.

“Other branches have been doing this for a while and we’ve been talking about it for a couple of years,” said Barbara Slater, public relations officer with the Fergus branch.

“It’s really a nice way to honour veterans and the banners will spruce up the town.”

Each banner will highlight a specific veteran, featuring their name, a photo, era of service, military branch and the name of the banner sponsor.

The banners will be double-sided and in full colour.

They will be placed on the light standards in the downtown area each year in October, and taken down after Remembrance Day.

The banners cost about $150 each and are expected to last about 10 years.

Brian Bielby, who is coordinating the project, said the Fergus branch compiled a Second World War anniversary book that includes many of the names listed on the Fergus cenotaph.

“We have 20 or 30 photographs from that project,” he said. Families can also choose their own ancestor and provide their own high resolution photos if they have some.

Slater said COVID-19 has thrown a big question mark on Remembrance Day this year.

“We don’t know if there can be a parade, if we can gather at the cenotaph, or how to sell poppies,” she said.

“There will likely be no Remembrance Day dinner at the Legion. Even Legion Week will have to change this year.”

But we will remember on Nov. 11, she said, “and the banners are a really nice tribute.”

To sponsor a banner, contact Brian Bielby at bielby626@gmail.com or 519-843-5662.

Orders must be placed by Aug. 21.