Elsie Urquhart has been the Poppy Campaign chairperson for The Royal Canadian Legion Branch #260-100 Mile House for three years and she really loves it.
She especially likes being involved in the annual Poppy Poster and Literacy contests at the area schools.
The contests are open to students from Grade 1 to 12 from Lac la Hache to Horse Lake Elementary School.
Elsie says local winners have their work go to the provincials and the winner of the provincials gets an opportunity to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Ottawa.
She notes the children like it because there are cash prizes and a student from Mile 108 Elementary School made it to the provincials and finished as a runner-up last year.
As for the local Poppy Campaign, Elsie says she likes working with the other Legion members.
She starts preparing for the campaign in September with the first organizing meeting with the volunteers in October.
Elsie adds it slowly gets busier, and on the last Friday in October, they have their Tag Day.
“It’s when we get volunteers to stand in front of the banks and stores with our trays of poppies. We sell poppies in two-hour shifts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and we have seven locations throughout 100 Mile House.
“It’s a very good day for sales.”
She notes the local cadets go out on the following to sell poppies “and they do really well, too.”
“Then we deliver 21 trays of poppies to most locations in 100 Mile House and they’re there until Nov. 11.”
Elsie says all of the money is put into a Poppy Campaign Fund in the bank, and the money is used to help the local veterans.
She notes the Legion bought an Automated External Defibrillator (AED from part of last year’s Poppy Campaign funds.
“We all decided we would use some of the poppy money to buy an AED for the Legion because we felt that if we had four or five seniors in the building, we should have one.”
Asked what the poppy means to her, she says it’s a symbol to honour our veterans.
“Poppies are the sacred symbol of the sacrifice of our veterans.”
Elsie says she likes to go to the community hall and listen to the service and remembering all of the things the veterans did for Canada.
She also likes marching in the parade if she is feeling well.
“Remembrance Day has always been important to me even when I was growing up. We were taught in school all about Remembrance Day.”