Thirty-one will be hung and 24 more displayed in downtown stores during Remembrance period
By Pat Payton
A total of 55 Veterans banners will be placed in the downtown core, starting this Friday, Oct. 23. They will remain there during the Remembrance period, which ends Nov. 11.
The banners will depict Veterans associated with St. Marys and help demonstrate the town’s support for the men and women who served our country. In conjunction with the Royal Canadian Legion Perth Regiment Veterans Branch 236 St. Marys, the project was approved by town council in July. Mayor Al Strathdee recently called it a “wonderful, wonderful program.”
Thirteen banners will be hung on Queen Street, and another 18 on downtown side streets. “That’s what the town has brackets for this year that they can attach to poles and put up banners,” Legion president Tom Jenkins noted. The other 24 banners will be displayed in store-front windows.
Andy Forman, of Forman Electric, has been hired by the town to put up the Legion banners and also take them down. It’s expected to take two days to hang the banners.
Thrilled with response
Jenkins told the Independent that he was thrilled with the response to the first-time town endeavour.
“By all means,” the president said. “We had no way of knowing, we weren’t sure we’d sell the 13 on the main street. To get 55 of them, that’s fantastic.”
“The term ‘Veteran’ includes more individuals than those who have fought in wars,” Jenkins explains. “Anyone who has served in the military, completed basic training, and been honourably discharged — including reservists and currently serving members of the military or the RCMP — are veterans as defined by both Veterans Affairs Canada and the Legion.”
The Legion banners are 24 inches wide and 46 inches tall, and shows a photo of the Veteran with his or her name, what part of the service they served in, and who sponsored the banner.
Total cost of a banner is $206.90. The cost breaks down as follows: banner cost – $130; HST – $16.90; and banner hanging and removal – $60.
The banners, which are mostly in colour, are made of heavy-duty vinyl and are printed on both sides. They’ve been made by Ben Gerber, who owns a small business in St. Marys called Distinct Decals. Gerber, who works out of his Church Street South home, started constructing the banners Sept. 24.
“I appreciate the Legion going with a local business,” Gerber told the newspaper.
Content varies from town to town, but is generally detailed on three areas of the banner. A top strip contains a Canadian flag and the words, “Lest We Forget.” Below that is a black-and-white photo of the Veteran with his/her name, what part of the military they serve(d) in, and the name(s) of the personnel sponsoring the banner. The bottom strip can contain logos of the organizations running the project, such as the Legion, the town, and the BIA.
The Legion, meanwhile, will not profit from this project, and sponsors are only charged the amount required to cover the costs.
“I’m sure the banners will get a lot of interest and we’ll have even more submissions next year,” president Jenkins says.