WHALLEY — Some football play-calling marred the Remembrance Day moment of silence at Whalley Legion.
BC Lions players preparing for a playoff game continued practicing at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, upsetting some of those who attended the ceremony at the nearby cenotaph.
Tiffany Fisher was there with her son, a Scout, and she wasn’t impressed by the interruption.
“It wasn’t entirely disruptive, but you could clearly hear them going, ‘Hut hut, 19, 12, hut hut!’ – all the plays being called, and it really took away from that two minutes,” she told the Now.
“We were all looking at each other, like, ‘Is it the Lions or is it teenagers playing? It can’t be the Lions, can it?’ Some people were upset by it, definitely.”
Fisher’s mother, Sylvia, was also disappointed by the noise coming from the team’s practice facility on 135th Street.
“There was a band playing at the ceremony, music and singing, so if we could hear the football players, I’m sure they could hear the music on (the Legion’s side) of the street,” she said. “They should have stopped playing.”
Wally Buono, the team’s GM and vice-president of football operations, said he takes responsibility for an error in timing.
“I talked to coach to Coach (Jeff) Tedford to make sure there was a moment of silence at 11:11, so they had that moment of silence, that reflection, at that time” Buono told the Now.
“Unfortunately, the ceremony had their moment of silence earlier, at 11…. I made the assumption that the moment of silence was at 11:11.”
Buono was at the ceremony at the Legion (“I go every year,” he noted), and said he cringed when he heard practice continue at 11 a.m.
“It was unfortunate that it occurred, and we did have some people call us, and I did apologize to those people.”
He said he also went to the Legion the following day to personally apologize for the gaffe.
In the future, if and when a practice is held on Nov. 11, Buono said the team will observe the moment of silence at 11 a.m., not 11:11 a.m.
On Sunday (Nov. 15), the Lions lost 35-9 to the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL’s Western Division semi-final, ending the local team’s 2015 season.