It’s official. Murrayville will have its own Remembrance Day ceremony on Saturday.
While a handful of Langley residents have been gathering on Remembrance Day at the cenotaph in the Murrayville cemetery for years, this year will mark the first time an official ceremony is being held.
The decision to host an official community service in Murrayville followed the restoration of the cenotaph earlier this year.
In 1921, two identical cenotaphs were erected in Langley. One in the Fort Langley cemetery, and the other in Murrayville.
“The cenotaph is a character-defining element of this historic cemetery,” said Township of Langley heritage planner Elaine Horricks, “and a monument of national importance that is included on the National Inventory of Canadian Military Memorials.”
However, the passing of time and water and frost damage have taken their toll on the structure. The concrete pedestal stairs that make up its base, support the granite structure, and serve as a place where people can lay commemorative wreaths, were crumbling, cracking, and breaking off at the corners.
The preservation project was wrapped up at the end of July, and the idea for a Remembrance Day was floated a short time later.
Several residents with the encouragement of the Langley Heritage Society and the Township of Langley formed a committee to organize a simple but meaningful service, explained committee chair Rosemary Genberg.
“My grandfather is buried in Murrayville. He was a First World War veteran. It has bothered me that there has not been a service at the Murrayville cenotaph. So this year I decided to do something about it,” she said.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony which will start at 10:45 a.m.
A simple but meaningful ceremony will include flags, words, song, and remembrances, Gerberg said.
The Murrayville cenotaph located at the far end of the Murrayville cemetery honours veterans who were Langley residents and who lost their lives in war.
Many are buried there, she explained.
The cenotaph is located in the Murrayville cemetery at the end of 44th Avenue, west of 216th Street. Anyone needing to sit for the services is asked to bring their own chair.
Other Langley services are being held in Langley City at Douglas Park, in Fort Langley at the cemetery, and in Aldergrove, at the legion.
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