WEDGEPORT, N.S. – On a day when it honoured some of its own, the Wedgeport branch of the Royal Canadian Legion also heard from a local cadet who travelled to France this year for Vimy Ridge activities.
Branch 155 held its annual Remembrance Day banquet Saturday, where the guest speaker was Sgt. Mariah Smith, a member of the 110 Royal Canadian Army Cadets in Yarmouth and one of seven members of the local corps who went overseas to help mark this year’s 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
“It was an amazing trip,” said Smith, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School.
The journey was a chance for participants to visit the site of one the most significant chapters in Canadian history.
Asked if the experience might make Remembrance Day an even more meaningful time for her, she said, “Seeing the battlefields and everything, yes ... Seeing all that definitely made a difference.”
Smith and her fellow cadets got to do some sightseeing on the trip and she shared some pictures with those attending the Wedgeport banquet.
For Branch 155, the day included a number of presentations, including one to Gerald MacKenzie, former Branch 155 president, who received a life member award for outstanding service to the legion.
MacKenzie was president of the Wedgeport branch for four years and helped it get on stronger footing. The branch’s future was uncertain a few years back, but it’s on much firmer ground today and MacKenzie was thanked for his leadership in the branch’s rejuvenation.
Other award presentations included the Wedgeport legionnaire-of-the-year award, which went to Susan Atkinson, president of the Branch 155 women’s auxiliary, and a certificate of excellence, which went to Bev Boudreau, the auxiliary’s secretary.
Wedgeport legion activities on Nov. 11 included a mass in the morning at Saint Michael’s Church, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony.