Rector Daniel Fournier of St. Luke Cedar Hill Anglican Church reads out the names of veterans buried at the church’s cemetery during a Service of Remembrance. Spencer Pickles/Black Press

Saanich church remembers veterans

The playing of O Canada and a closing prayer concluded service that begun inside St. Luke’s Church

A cold November wind stroked the skin of parishioners as Rector Daniel Fournier read out the names of veterans buried in the cemetery of St. Luke Cedar Hill Anglican Church Sunday morning during a Service of Remembrance.

“John Gorden Anderson, Ernest Charles Ashton, Allan David Ballantyane…”

As Fournier read out more than 90 names, a group of children darted among the graves, as the wind lifted up fallen leafs. Silently and carefully, they placed a small, solitary rosemary bush topped by a Canadian flag on each of the graves.

“James Ince, Delbert John Irvine, Richard Johnson…”

Some 100 parishioners, many visibly deep in thought, stood and listened in silence as Fournier read the names.

“Phillip Martin Saville, George Herbert Scarrett, John Charles Durrant Scholefield…”

Once Fournier had finished the list, a trumpteer played the Last Post to usher in two minutes silence broken by Reveille.

Readings of poetry by Laurence Binyon (For the Fallen), John McCrae (In Flanders’ Fields), and Debbie Holick (In Gratitude of Silence) followed.

The playing of O Canada under a blue sky and a closing prayer concluded a service that had begun inside the church, with a reminder from Fournier that the cemetery holds a special place.

On its own, the cemetery appears just as a parcel of land that might lack meaning, he said. But the fact that it memorializes some thousand fore-bearers, ancestors, family members turns it into a deeply significant treasure filled with meaning.

“But on this this day, its importance is raised to even a higher level, because today we honour those who have gone before us, and who have put their lives on the line and served our country in times of conflict and peace,” he said. “And so how blessed we are to have this place of remembrance, this sacred place. How blessed we are to enjoy the freedom to live in such a beautiful place in such a diverse nation.

But Fournier suggests that this “gift of freedom,” earned by many paying the ultimate price, faces threats in alluding to the current climate of political instability.

“Friends, as we remember today, as we thank God for this time of encounter, we are also very aware of the context in which our world is currently in. There are certain realities that exist in our world that certainly would grieve the heart of God. We must never, never give up on the ways of peace.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unemployment surpasses historic high in Greater Victoria, tourism hit hard

Hospitality and tourism sectors hurting as pandemic continues

Victoria tattoo shops respond to sex assault allegations against male artists

Carne Tattoo and Painted Lotus Studios respond to allegations

‘I love my animals very dearly,’ says man at centre of Saanich park allegations

Man accused of assault after being approached for allegedly mistreating his dog

Mayor not in favour of low barrier housing at Oak Bay Lodge

Process is already in place to determine future of Oak Bay Lodge

Victoria seeks court order to enforce sheltering rules in Beacon Hill Park

People being asked to move out of environmentally sensitive areas of park

VIDEO: Langford cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Most Read