Retired Sgt. James Way C.D.

Retired Sgt. James Way C.D.

VIDEO: Williams Lake’s Vimy Ridge commemoration hoping to include Royal Ensign flag

When Williams Lake marks the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge organizers of the hope to include 1868 to 1921 Royal Ensign flag.

When Williams Lake marks the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge organizers hope the 1868 to 1921 Royal Ensign flag will fly outside of city hall during the week of April 6 to 12, 2017.

During a presentation to city council Tuesday, Retired Sgt. James Way C.D., Veterans Liaison officer for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139 talked about the flag’s significance.

When Canadian soldiers fought in 1917 it was the Royal Ensign flag they put up after they successfully took the ridge, Way said.

“I am hoping to get a letter of authorization from the Governor General to fly the Royal Ensign,” he added.

Way told the Tribune originally they were looking at flying the Union Jack flag, but through research learned about the Royal Ensign.

“We decided we would fly the same flag,” he said.

Lieutenant Bill Sheridan with Canadian Forces Cadets Canada told council there are no First World War veterans left in Canada, but their legacy still lives on.

“They are remembered with poppies and by those of us that serve in uniform and are affiliated with cadets,” Sheridan said.

In addition to the Ensign flag, the poppy campaign flag will also be flying outside city hall during the week.

For the commemorative parade planned for Sunday, April 9, Sheridan requested the city close certain streets.

Army cadets, veterans, legionnaires and hopefully the RCMP will march from the Gibraltar Room to the cenotaph at city hall for a wreath-laying ceremony, Sheridan said, noting they will be asking the 202 Chilcotin Sea Cadets and their parents to operate the barricades for the parade.

After the ceremony at the cenotaph the parade will proceed to the legion.

In addition to the parade, Way requested permission for a sunset ceremony to take place on Friday, April 7, in the parking lot at city hall.

“We would like to take down the B.C. flag and fly the Royal Ensign during the ceremony,” he said, noting no street closures would be required. On April 12, they hope to do another sunset ceremony to replace the B.C. flag.

Council authorized the parade, Ensign and poppy campaign flags, sunset ceremony and at the request of Sheridan, proclaimed the week of April 6 to 12, 2017 as Vimy Ridge Memorial Week in the city of Williams Lake.

Way said the Ensign flag, along with the letter from the Governor General, will be auctioned off during a mess dinner and silent auction taking place at the legion on Saturday, April 8.