Governor John Rankin today (FRI) launched the annual Poppy Appeal to raise funds for war veterans and their families.
Mr Rankin bought the first poppy from Bermuda Legion welfare case worker Carol Everson and two woman veterans of World War Two, Isobel Flood, 94, who served with the Royal Canadian Air Force and Betty Vincent, 93, who joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service, known as the Wrens.
The Governor said after the Government House event: “I am always pleased to support Poppy Day.
“Our veterans have given huge service and it’s right both to remember that, but also to assist and support them and all those who have served.”
Ms Everson added: “It’s absolutely vital...and there are still conflicts in various parts of the world today.”
But she said: “We hope Bermuda will never again have to send Armed Forces to war because of the sense of duty and sacrifice of our present and past war veterans.”
The annual Poppy Appeal, inspired by “In Flanders Fields”, a poem by World War One Canadian Army surgeon Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, is used to raise funds for veterans in the run-up to the November 11 Remembrance Day commemoration of all those who fought in conflict or died on active service.
The appeal, backed by the modern-day Royal Bermuda Regiment, whose predecessor units saw action in both World Wars, will hold a tag day in Hamilton on November 6, with Mr Rankin, Lieutenant Alex Gibbs, his Aide-de-Camp, and other soldiers from the Royal Bermuda Regiment on the streets selling the distinctive red poppies alongside civilian volunteers.
Major Ben Beasley, second-in-command of the RBR, said: “Remembrance Day is a poignant event for reverence and solemn reflection on the sacrifice that the generations before us made.
“We enjoy freedoms that were only possible because of those who gave much, and often everything, so many years ago and in conflicts since then.”
Maj. Beasley added: “As members of the RBR, we’re honoured to be able to continue the tradition of commemorating those who went before us.”
He said that the RBR had its own tradition of service to others, especially in hurricane relief in Bermuda and abroad.
Maj. Beasley added: “It is also a time to remind ourselves that our duty is to put others’ needs before our own, at home and overseas.”
A special gala concert, featuring the Somerset Brigade Band and guest performers, will also be held at the Anglican Cathedral in Hamilton on November 9.
Concert tickets are available from the Royal Bermuda Regiment headquarters at Warwick Camp or the Bermuda Legion.
Ms Everson said that there were still more than 140 surviving World War Two veterans or widows of veterans in Bermuda who needed extra support as they became increasingly infirm.
Tickets for the concert can be obtained through the same e-mail address and phone number.