This year the annual approximately hour long Bentley School Remembrance Day performance, which is always open to the public, was staged on November 6.
Although the crowd was smaller than usual, the event was as reverent as ever.
A lone piper, Murdoch Cameron from Red Deer, led the march in instead of the usual members of the Red Deer Royal Canadian Legion Pipe & Drum band that have been attending for years. It was a little disappointing for director Marla Kolybaba but she said she was thankful for the piper.
The color party was also smaller but still included a few members of the Lacombe Royal Canadian Legion Branch #79 and some ladies from the Legion Auxiliary who have helped out by attending for so many years. As the number of Legionnaires continues to decrease, it is harder for them to fulfill their commitments to help in so many locations.
The RCMP was represented this year by Corporal Hallwin, dressed in full red serge from the Sylvan Lake detachment. Bentley Mayor Lynda Haarstad-Petten, the Bentley District Fire Department / school assistant principal Stephen Lush, members from the Bentley Sparks, Brownies, and Guides and leaders, and some Beavers and a Cub who attend Bentley school and a leader made up the rest of the procession.
Some Bentley Care Center residents were in attendance along with the gymnasium full of students, staff, and community members.
The singing of “Oh, Canada” was led by Ava Brown who is in grade two.
“In Flanders Fields” was read by Finn Haarstad and Wellington Sheppard also from grade two.
Kelsey Vig from grade 8 led the “Lord’s Prayer”.
The Bentley school handbell team from the Junior High Fine Arts Option played “It’s A Small World”.
Vivien Schunk, Christianna Alapo and Chris McLaren sang “We Need Each Other”.
Ashley Cumming from grade 11 gave a talk called Reflections that was based on the story of her great uncle and how he survived the Great War and was able to come home. It is documented in a family history book.
This year the traditional laying of the wreaths included mostly handmade wreaths and the grade two’s and three’s had each made their own wreaths for a special display area of their own.
Grade 5 student Kesaly VonKuster led the closing “God Save the Queen” before the piper led out the color party.
It was another great time of reflection involving the entire elementary school and the public and was another admirable production under the direction of fine arts teacher Marla Kolybaba who said each year is a challenge but she is happy to be able to do it.