North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring and Chemainus Legion Branch 191 president Mike Beggs with the first poppy to officially launch the 2021 poppy campaign. (Photo by Don Bodger)

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring and Chemainus Legion Branch 191 president Mike Beggs with the first poppy to officially launch the 2021 poppy campaign. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Legion’s poppy campaign starts to flourish again

Branch counting on community support to be strong again during trying COVID times

The 2021 poppy campaign is underway in Chemainus.

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 191 volunteers sorted poppies Thursday at the Legion Hall.

President Mike Beggs, replacing Len Lavender who moved to Calgary, pinned the first poppy on North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring.

It’s an extra special year, being the 100th anniversary of the poppy and also the 75th anniversary of Chemainus Branch 191.

Tag days for poppies will be at the 49th Parallel Grocery Store in Chemainus and the Public Market in Chemainus Oct. 28-29 and Nov. 5-6.

Poppy campaign chair Janet Mitchell is hoping the public will continue to show its strong support, particularly in this trying time for Legions during COVID-19 when fundraising opportunities have been limited.

Last year’s campaign raised $24,000 which was quite remarkable considering COVID restrictions, with a boost from special fundraising. The Legion will be thrilled with a total anywhere near that again.

The Chemainus Coastal Community Credit Union kicked off the corporate donations with a $500 cheque for the Legion Thursday.

“We have to make an application to the credit union to get the donation,” explained Mitchell.

Chelsea McCaw, member service representative, was on hand to make the presentation. “Always happy to support the community,” she said.

Upcoming events include the St. Michael’s and All Angels Anglican Church parade at 10 a.m. and cemetery service at the Chemainus Cemetery at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 7.

What exactly is going to happen on Remembrance Day, Thursday, Nov. 11, remains to be seen.

“The ceremony itself, we’re still tracking it,” said Mitchell.

“We’re still kind of up in the air. We’re changing week by week. Every time something changes, we’re re-editing what we’re doing.”

Remembrance DayRoyal Canadian Legion

 

Chemainus Legion Branch 191 president Mike Beggs pins the first poppy on North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring to officially launch the 2021 poppy campaign. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus Legion Branch 191 president Mike Beggs pins the first poppy on North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring to officially launch the 2021 poppy campaign. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus Legion Branch 191 president Mike Beggs pins the first poppy on North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring to officially launch the 2021 poppy campaign. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus Legion Branch 191 president Mike Beggs pins the first poppy on North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring to officially launch the 2021 poppy campaign. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chelsea McCaw, member service representative, presents a uniquely-shaped cheque for $500 to Chemainus Legion 191 president Mike Beggs on behalf of the Chemainus branch of the Coastal Community Credit Union for the 2021 poppy campaign. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chelsea McCaw, member service representative, presents a uniquely-shaped cheque for $500 to Chemainus Legion 191 president Mike Beggs on behalf of the Chemainus branch of the Coastal Community Credit Union for the 2021 poppy campaign. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus Legion 191 office manager Janice Dexter, left, and Dorothy McHattie sort poppies at the Legion Hall Thursday before distribution to businesses Friday to start the 2021 poppy campaign. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus Legion 191 office manager Janice Dexter, left, and Dorothy McHattie sort poppies at the Legion Hall Thursday before distribution to businesses Friday to start the 2021 poppy campaign. (Photo by Don Bodger)