Tofino and Ucluelet to hold seperate Remembrance Day ceremonies

Communities’ growth leads to break from tradition.

Tofino and Ucluelet will honour Remembrance Day at two separate services this year.

Tofino’s will be hosted by the Tofino Legion and Ucluelet’s will be hosted by the Army, Navy and Airforce Veterans Club. The two towns had traditionally held one shared ceremony, with each one hosting in alternate years, though that tradition was first broken in 2015 when two ceremonies were held.

Last year’s Remembrance Day was hosted in Tofino, but the Tofino Legion’s past-president Whitey Bernard cited logistics as the primary reason for two services this year.

“The number of people that are coming out and remembering on Remembrance Day is increasing all the time,” he said. “Last year, when we did the service up here, the Legion was full to capacity and the church was full to capacity.”

He added hosting an event in each town will help local families attend without having to take a road trip along the Pacific Rim Highway to their neighbouring community.

He acknowledged the two towns had alternated ceremonies together for the 55 years he’s been involved with the Legion, but said each now gets solid turnouts on their own and that spreading it out is the right thing to do.

“It’s a good thing, I think, for the individual communities,” he said.

“We’re both big enough to have a service on our own and, that way, more people get involved…To expand it into both communities is a good idea.”

He added this year’s Remembrance Day will recognize both the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and Canada’s 150th year of Confederation.

“Anybody that has ever gone to Vimy, or gone to the graveyards in France and Belgium and even the German graveyards, and read about the history and, for a small country, what Canada actually achieved there, would want to remember them and remember the effort,” he said.

“People shouldn’t ever, ever, forget that.”