A member of the British Legion – Bahamas Branch, along with a Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF) Officer and a Veteran made a courtesy call to the Island Administrator and to the Abaco Chamber of Commerce while seeking to rally greater awareness for the upcoming Remembrance Day celebration.
Adina D. Munroe-Charlow 1st Asst. Secretary-RBDF Representative, spoke to Island Administrator Maxine Duncombe concerning the history of the British Legion in The Bahamas and the potential to have greater recognition of the World War I Veterans of Abaco and The Bahamas as we are close to the one hundredth anniversary of the end of that significant event.
Ms. Duncombe was especially keen to assist and suggestions were made to hold a church service a few weeks before the day to help raise the awareness of residents about those who served in the War(s). She said she would do her part to encourage and support such an event.
Abaco has many known persons who contributed to the second World War, with Captain Leonard Thompson among the most famous of them, but information on persons who served in the first World War – most of whom are now deceased – is scarce.
Chamber member, and Veteran Keith Bishop, along with present Abaco Chamber of Commerce President Kenneth Hutton (also a veteran) held a meeting with Mrs. Munroe-Charlow to discuss how best the Abaco Chamber could assist the promotion of an event for Remembrance Day as well as to assist with the annual sale of poppies.
Abaco has been a great contributor in years past, according to Mrs. Munroe-Charlow. Abaco District Schools in 2017 collected nearly $2000 to assist Veterans.
This year along with Poppies being made available in Abaco, there will be “Lest We Forget” Bracelets available as well.
The British Legion – Bahamas Branch is interested in any information concerning any WWI Veterans who are from Abaco, and anyone with information can contact the British Legion or get in touch with Mr. Bishop or Hutton at the Abaco Chamber of Commerce.
The Royal British Legion was founded in 1921 as a charity to provide financial, social and emotional support to the surviving veterans of the Armed Forces and their dependents.
Over the years, the Legion has been the champion of the nation’s efforts – through its fund raising, welfare and educational work and the organization of Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day) both in London and in different parts of the country – to remember and honor those who lost their lives. In total, there are some 2,500 British Legion branches in Britain and in the countries of the Commonwealth.
Remembrance Day is always on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year when the Armistice was signed in 1918 to end the First World War. The poppy was chosen as a symbol of remembrance following a famous poem written in 1915 called “In Flanders Fields”, the author of which was inspired by the sight of red poppies growing in the battlefields despite the devastation – and the red came to signify bloodshed.