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Despite the cold and the strong winds there was the usual large gathering in the small, rural community of Wheatley River for its annual Remembrance Day Service.
The service began at the cenotaph with chairman Don Matheson leading in the singing of O Canada. After the honour roll, wreath laying and prayer, the service moved to the Wheatley River Hall.
It was 100 years ago to the day that armistice was declared, ending the First World War. Matheson spoke of his wife’s family, who served in the First World War. He noted this readiness to serve was typical at the time.
Rev. Gary Clark, whose father served in the Navy during the Second World War, told the gathering he still remembers the sign in the local legion in Mount Stewart, which read: “If you can’t remember, think.”
Rev. Cathy Kay’s father also served in the Second World War, and he, like other veterans, seldom spoke about his experiences, probably because they were too horrible.
Others taking part in the service included Colton Green of the 323 Blue Heron Sea Cadet Corps, who stood with grounded rifle during the service, and bagpiper Ryan Simpson, who played during the laying of the wreaths. The music for the service was provided by a community choir with Shirley Weatherbee as the pianist.
The service at Wheatley River is organized each year by a committee of interested individuals, which has been chaired for many years by Melvin Ling. A luncheon followed at the Glasgow Road Church Hall hosted by the Mission Society. Wreaths were laid on behalf of the P.E.I. Government, Malpeque MP Wayne Easter, the Office of the Official Opposition and District 18, Rustico-Emerald, District 15 West Royalty-Springvale, the Malpeque Conservative Association, the RCMP, the Wheatley River Improvement Group, the Wheatley River Women’s Institute, the Wheatley River 4-H Club, the Prince of Wales Masonic Lodge No. 18, Crystal Chapter No. 1 Order of the Eastern Star, the New Glasgow Fire Department, the Cymbria Lions Club, the Hunter River District Girl Guides, the Watts/Gamester families, and the Coles/Bulman families.