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Acton Remembrance Day Parade Cancelled, Smaller Ceremony to Be Live-streamed

Remembrance Day in Halton Hills will be very different this year. Because of the on-going pandemic restrictions, parades in Acton, Glen Williams and Georgetown have been cancelled. Acton Legion Branch 197 will be holding a scaled-back memorial at the cenotaph on Mill Street East, and they are asking the public not to attend.

However, Acton UP will be live-streaming the event on Acton UP's Facebook Page and the Legion's Facebook Page, beginning at 10:30am on Nov. 11. Mill Street East will be closed between Elgin and John Streets, and the ceremony is expected to run from 10:45 to 11:15am.

“We're allowed to have a gathering of up to 100 people, but we don't want that many. We're desperately trying to keep it under 50,” said Dave Maloney, publicist for Branch 197. “But since Acton UP will live-streaming, people will be able to stay at home and still attend the ceremony, so to speak. I'm absolutely thrilled that Chris is doing this. The video he produced last year was outstanding.”

Acton UP went and purchased equipment to live-stream the event to hopefully negate any internet issues and to use their better cameras.

"This will be our biggest production of a live streamed event yet. We wanted this to be special for the community and veterans as we have already lost so much due to COVID restrictions. Obviously things won't be the same this year, but this will at least be something for those who can't attend. I also want to thank Trinity United Church for providing us with internet, and also a big thank you to The Acton Legion, Alex Hilson and Noah Edwards for their dedication to the production." said Chris Golden, Founder of Acton UP and Producer/ Director of the live-stream.

The ceremony at the cenotaph will be much abridged. “What takes up most of the time is the laying of the wreaths, and that will be done the day before,” said Maloney, “Reading the names is probably the only normal thing we will do.”

The Remembrance Day ceremony is a popular event that has grown in the last ten years according to Maloney. “Last year we were covered in snow and had maybe 200 people,” he said. “Those people who still want to attend have been asked to call the Legion and preregister. I'm collecting the names so I can provide a list for contact tracing. It's going to be difficult to maintain social distancing and everybody's worried about the latest numbers. The best option, of course, is to stay home and watch the livestream.” added Maloney.

The Legion colour guard will also be much reduced this year, with only five or six legion members instead of the usual eight or ten, according to Sergeant-at-arms Bill Mathers. “The Lorne Scots will also be supplying their colour guard. The Acton Citizens' Band is sending bugler Alec McBurney, and the piper will be Jane Cartwright from the Georgetown Pipe Band. This year we won't be having any dignitaries or representatives from the government, although we're expecting the two local councillors to attend,” he said.

“There will be no firefighters, air cadets or anything like we have experienced over my lifetime anyway,” said Mayor Rick Bonnette. The Mayor is urging people to take two minutes at 11:00 am, “To honour those men and women who have fought for our country.”

You can watch the live stream here on Acton UP's Facebook page, or here on the Legion's Facebook Page.


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