The annual Remembrance ceremony at Macdonald Campus is one of the most anticipated events in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. Organized by Mac Campus, John Abbott College and Macdonald High School, the ceremony brings together hundreds of students, staff and faculty from all three institutions, as well as local elementary schools and members of the community.
Of course, the guests of honour are veterans of the Canadian military, many of whom are bussed in from the nearby Ste Anne’s Veterans Hospital.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has made it impossible to hold the ceremony this year, which is held around the permanent memorial honouring the 34 students from Macdonald College (Now Macdonald Campus), who were killed in WWI.
This year, in lieu of the ceremony, a special video and a letter-and-postcard campaign has been prepared for veterans.
The Mac ceremony is light on the military pomp and circumstance and heavy on community touches.
Members of the Mac, John Abbott and Mac High community are led to the site by a piper and flag-bearing cadets. As the Mac High band plays, arriving veterans are escorted to their seats arm-in-arm-arm by students, led through a phalanx of John Abbott Police Tech candidates.
Veterans read In Flanders Field, the Act of Remembrance and Act de souvenir, after which the Last Post is played by a bugler and Lament is played by piper.
Hundreds of students from local elementary schools ring the site, each holding a small Canadian flag. At ceremony’s end, the students break ranks to plant their flags around the memorial. Some approach the vets, pointing to medals and asking questions and, as with every year, the solemnity of the moment gives way to smiles and laughter and the mingling of old and young.
Here is a selection of photos taken at Mac Remembrance Day ceremonies from past years.