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Written by MARNI WALSH
Close to fifty Hometown Hero banners will fly high about the streets of Shelburne as November 11th approaches, and those who gave the best they had for their country are remembered. The Royal Canadian Legion banners, with the names, ranks and photos of veterans, will be hung from street poles for the month of November once again, with four new banners to appear this year.
“The banners really bring it home for a lot of people,” the Legion's Linda Orvis told the Free Press when the project first launched in 2016, “It makes it personal.”
Initially, the banners were limited to veterans from Dufferin and Grey Bruce Counties, but as residents came forward wanting to honour the veterans in their families, who were not from the area, the concept expanded to include them. Shelburne Legion President, Lesa Peat is such an example - her Grandfather was a veteran, and although he is not from the direct area, his banner now hangs amongst other local heroes.
Two of the new banners for 2018 are of World War I veterans, and Lesa says the lithographs from the time present a challenge to Kyle Fegan, the artist who takes care of the printing. Mr Fegan is a member of the Hometown Heroes committee along with Lesa Peat, Ken Bennington, Linda Orvis and Dan sample.
The banners are a joint celebration of veterans with the Shelburne Legion and the Town of Shelburne. The Town covers the costs of the brackets and their staff hang the banners each year. After November, the banners are re-hung by Branch 220 Legion members in Warrior's Hall, where they remain for the rest of the year.
“We want to keep bringing history back to the residents of Shelburne,” says Lesa Peat. “This town has lost many people in wars.” The Legion encourages area residents to sponsor a banner in memory of their family's veterans, or friends of their family, or honour all service personnel by donating to the project.
Sponsoring a banner requires completing a form and supplying a photo along with a fee to cover the costs of printing the banner. For more information, please contact the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
William Roberts Stevenson WWII Flight Instructor, (deceased) Legion President Lesa Peat's grandfather, who says that although her grandfather was born on Toronto Island, he is still her “Home Town Hero”. Other new banners this year include: Victor Earl Wattam Pte. WWI (Primrose, Ontario then Shelburne) deceased; Burton Earl Trevors Sgt. Canadian Armed Forces/Korean War (lives in Shelburne); William G Bennett L.C. WWII (Fenlon Falls - Son WWII Vet William Bennett lives in Shelburne;) Norman Bell Pte. WWII (Dundalk) deceased; Harold Wright Pte. WWII (Toronto) deceased. Photo contributed. Home Town Hero Banners by Kyle Fegan of Impact Kreative.
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