GUYSBOROUGH – As time marches on, the soldiers who once marched for us in the First World War and Second World War become fewer and fewer. This year, there are only two Second World War veterans living in Guysborough. To ensure that their sacrifices, names and faces are never forgotten, a new initiative has begun in the village – hanging banners representing those who served in the world wars. This year, banners representing Gerald Fitzgerald and Roy Simpson can be seen on Main Street near the Broad Street intersection.
Paul Long, volunteer and Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) District 1 councillor, is working on the community-led project, and spoke to The Journal last week about the banners.
“They’re being well received by the people that are seeing them in the village. There have been a number of people inquiring already about purchasing them for their own family members.… We started off with the world war veterans. It is certainly open to anybody that wants one. I hope we run into the problem that we don’t have enough signposts and lampposts to put them on,” said Long.
That may well be the case, as Long points out the video montage typically shown at the Chedabucto Performance Centre on Remembrance Day, which was cancelled this year due to COVID-19, has more than 100 names of community members who served in the Canadian Forces.
“There are many faces up there. The memories will never be lost as long as we have those banners displayed throughout town. It is certainly a great thing to do.”
Long said Royal Canadian Legion Branch #81 in Guysborough is on board with the plan.
“The intent was to have them on display through the Remembrance Day season this year and follow through with getting many more next year,” he added.
The first two banners erected this year will help work out details – such as storage and brackets for lampposts – in the coming year. The banners are designed and made by Waterline Graphix in Whitehead.
The estimated cost per banner is between $150 and $175.
“When that is shared out amongst families – I know I’ll be putting one out for my father – my brothers and sisters will want to share in that, so it is not like it is a huge cost for one person…. Hopefully, the cost doesn’t become a deterrent for anybody and, if it does, we’ll find a way to make it work for them. I’m sure there may be some families that wouldn’t be able to afford it; if we hear about that, we’ll be looking into ways of making sure that person’s banner is up there; one way or another.”
Long said each community in the MODG may want to hang their banners close to home instead of in the village of Guysborough.
“They may decide that they want to put these up in their home community; because I don’t know if we have a hundred light poles to hang them all on going through town …. The more that are there the better; I would say that in the village here, there will be quite a few.”
People who are interested in buying and hanging a banner for next year can contact Long at firstname.lastname@example.org.