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Remembrance Day services to be held across the city; 102-year-old POW scheduled to return to lay wreath

Ceremonies to be held in Cloverdale, Whalley, Surrey Centre Cemetery, Port Kells, and Crescent Beach
Richmond “Dick” Deck is seen in his home in Langley in 2022. The new 102-year-old WWII veteran and former POW will lay a wreath for POWs at the Cloverdale Cenotaph this Remembrance Day. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

A now 102-year-old veteran is scheduled to return to lay a wreath at the Cloverdale Cenotaph this Remembrance Day.

Richmond “Dick” Deck will lay a wreath Nov. 11 to honour his fallen comrades. It’ll be his third year in a row laying a wreath in Cloverdale for the centenarian.

Deck, a World War II airmen and former POW, told the Cloverdale Reporter last year he’s planning on laying wreaths for years to come.

“I think about what I’ve got to be thankful for, and I’ve got so much to be thankful for,” he said in 2022. “I’m kind of a religious person in a way. I say my prayers every night. I give thanks for everything I have and what’s happened with my life and my family.”

The Remembrance Day service in Cloverdale will have three stands set up this year, each one will be able to seat about 500 people said Earl Fraser, service officer for the Cloverdale Legion.

“We’ll have our three portable stands back in and I expect we’ll see about 3,000 people that Saturday,” said Fraser. “I just hope the weather holds.”

Fraser is encouraging everyone to come out to attend Remembrance Day.

According to the Cloverdale Legion, the RCMP E Division Pipe Band will perform during the ceremony and Chris Ahen will bugle the Last Post and the Rouse. There will also be a fly past by the Harvard Canadian War Birds.

The Legion also noted members of Surrey RCMP and its Auxiliary Constables, Surrey Police Services, B.C. Corrections, Frontiers Men, various cadet corps, Girl Guides, Scouts, Cubs, Brownies and the Indian Ex-Servicemen of B.C. will also be in attendance.

SEE ALSO: Former POW Richmond Deck spent several months in German prison camps

Fraser is encouraging ceremony-goers to get down to Veterans’ Square between 10 a.m. and 10:25 a.m. in order to be ready for the service. Anyone wishing to get a seat in one of the bleacher areas, should be there by 10 a.m. “at the latest,” he said. “Get your seats early because the parade with march on the square before 10:30.”

Fraser noted Silver Cross Mother Sian LeSueur will be back to lay and wreath as will Mayor Brenda Locke and other local politicians and dignitaries.

After wreaths are laid and the ceremony is completed, there will be a “march past” from Veteran Square back to the Cloverdale Legion where entertainment is scheduled as well as the bar will be open for refreshments and the kitchen will open to serve food.

Fraser said as in previous years, he’s encouraging everyone who attends the service in Veterans’ Square, the one at Surrey Centre Cemetery, or anywhere else in Surrey or Langley, to head back to the Cloverdale Legion afterwards, or their local Legion.

“All are invited,” he added. “It’s always a great atmosphere with food and music and camaraderie. Doors will open at noon.”

The Cloverdale Legion is located at 17567 57 Avenue.

City-wide Services

Many Surrey residents will attend ceremonies across the city on Nov 11. Services will be held at:

Veterans’ Square

Cloverdale will host a ceremony in Veterans’ Square that begins with a procession at 10 a.m. and a service at the Cloverdale Cenotaph at 10:25 a.m. (17610 56A Avenue).

Surrey Centre Cemetery

A Remembrance Day service will be held at the Surrey Centre Cemetery (16671 Old McLellan Road).

Whalley Cenotaph

The Royal Canadian Legion in Whalley will host a ceremony at the Whalley Cenotaph (10767 King George).

Port Kells

Remembrance Day service will be held at the Port Kells Community Hall (18918 – 88 Ave.) with a procession beginning at 10 a.m. and a service beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Crescent Beach

The Remembrance Day service will be held at the Crescent Beach Legion (2643 128 Street) with a procession beginning at 10 a.m. and a service beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Malin Jordan

About the Author: Malin Jordan

Malin is the editor of the Cloverdale Reporter.
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