The first year that First Fort Langley Scouts decided to clean the headstones of the fallen before Remembrance Day in 2017, about a dozen took part. This year, four troops will be participating. (Langley Advance Times file)

More take part in annual cleanup of veteran’s headstones in Fort Langley

Since the initiative by local scouts started in 2017, the numbers have quadrupled

On Saturday, Nov. 2, nine days before Remembrance Day services are held at the Fort Langley Cemetery and Cenotaph at 23105 St. Andrew’s Street, three scout troops and one Girl Guide section will spent several hours using water, brooms, brushes and toothbrushes to gently and respectfully clean each veteran’s headstone.

Since it started, interest in the cleanup project has grown, and so has the number of participants, said Scout leader Johnathan Meads.

“It’s amazing,” Meads commented.

His scouts didn’t need any prompting when he brought it up this year, he observed.

“They said, ‘of course we’re going to do it.”

In 2017, the first year, it was a trial run with just Meads and the newly-formed First Fort Langley scout troop (formerly part of the Walnut Grove troop) who tended tended to the veterans headstones.

A year later, the number doubled, with the Walnut Grove scout troop joining.

Langley author and historian Warren Sommer attended to educate the participants about the the history of the cemetery and the cenotaph.

Now, the number has doubled again, with the addition of Willoughby scout troop and the Willoughby District Guides.

“We can actually do a full garbage sweep [this time],” Meads noted.

“We can also clean up the leaves.”

The clean-up is not open to the public.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Scouts clean headstones in Fort Langley veterans cemetery

READ MORE: Scouts honour the fallen of Fort Langley

On Remembrance Day, the cemetery will be the site of what is expected to be the largest memorial service in the Langleys, with thousands expected to attend.

In 2018, the federal government approved $24.4 million for Veterans Affairs Canada and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to spend over the next five years to address urgently needed repairs to more than 57,000 veterans gravesites and grave markers.

In B.C. about 22 per cent of the repairs have been completed to date.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Giants co-owner Michael Bublé to receive Order of B.C.

Canadian artist joined ownership group in December 2008

Real estate sales spike in Langley in July

People are busy buying and selling properties again

Heavy police response at Aldergrove army base after single-vehicle incident

Vehicle rolled over into ditch near 40 Avenue on 272 Street Sunday afternoon

A ‘passionate’ athlete and student is recognized

Winner of Langley’s Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award often asked how she finds time

VIDEO: Langley’s first Pride Fest considered a sign of progress

Because of COVID-19, the event had to be virtual

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Salmon arrive in larger numbers at Big Bar landslide

Arrival follows historic hihg-water levels that halted migration runs

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

COVID-19 exposure at Surrey rave prompts warning from Fraser Health

Party was held at Royal Beauty Supply in Whalley

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Most Read