Nicholas Enns, 11, believes it’s important to honour Canada’s veterans even though a great-grandfather is his only family connection to a military past.
With this in mind, Enns, a Grade 6 student at Domain Elementary, wrote an award-winning poem entitled Lest we forget.
Through the Royal Canadian Legion’s Domain Branch #208, he entered his poem into the national literary and poster competition held last year. He said he was surprised to see his work place first at the district and zone levels.
Domain Branch president Don Johnson said Enns’ entry is exactly what the branch’s members are trying to encourage.
"We’re trying to get the young people involved," he said.
They make an effort to have youngsters participate in their annual Remembrance Day service, with local Brownie, Girl Guide, Cubs and Scouts members involved in previous years.
The Sanford Legion Branch #171 members also sponsor the annual literary and poster contest, according to branch president Roy Switzer.
Regular activities held at the branch include whist card night, Macdonald seniors’ meetings, and a coffee morning on weekdays. The hall is available for community events and rentals.
"Our major fundraising drive is our annual Whole Hog Roast held every May. We average 250 guests for this event," Switzer said.
The funds raised are used to provide three $500 bursaries awarded to Sanford Collegiate graduates, for various community projects and events, and to cover the branch’s operating costs.
The Domain branch members raise money for the Military Families Fund, which provides support for military families. They also donate to the Caring Circle at Deer Lodge Centre in Winnipeg to provide veterans with transportation and social support.
The members also provide a scholarship for advanced mathematics, which is awarded to a Sanford Collegiate graduate.
Below is the text from Enns’ winning entry:
Lest we forget
Lest we forget the soldiers that died for us as they served our country.
Lest we forget the doctors that toiled for us as they healed the wounded.
Lest we forget the families that suffered from their loss.
Lest we forget the peace keepers that tried to make peace.
Lest we forget the nurses that helped people that were injured.
The one thing that we should not forget is all the people that had gone to war to save our country and make peace with people who want to take our freedom.
That’s why we have Remembrance Day to remember that.
Lest we forget
— Nicholas Enns