The City of Parksville will be honouring veterans who served in the world wars with commemorative banners this fall. The banners will be displayed from Oct. 13 through November along Highway 19A between McMillan and McVickers streets, according to Deb Tardiff, manager of communications for the city. Council approved the banner program earlier this year to honour the veterans whose names are listed on the Parksville Cenotaph.
“As a community, it is important we remember and recognize the ultimate sacrifice made by our veterans. The city is extremely proud of this project and honoured to launch this ongoing memorial banner project. As residents drive along Highway 19A, we hope they will take a moment to reflect on the significance,” said Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne.
There are sixty names on the cenotaph from the two world wars and the city was able to obtain images and information for 31 veterans. Research for the project began in April and was a challenge because archives across the world were closed for months due to the pandemic, according to Tardiff.
Researcher Valda Stefani established relationships with military museums and other researchers and conducted interviews to ensure the project put faces to as many names as possible. Many of the local young men who enlisted, especially in World War I, had recently arrived from places as far away as the United Kingdom and Australia and were too young to have started families, which added to the challenge of finding photographs.
The city received images from archives in England, Ireland, Parksville Museum and Archives, UBC Archives, Times Colonist and personal collections.
Many residents shared personal stories and valuable information about family members — information not otherwise obtainable through archives or museums.
The research will continue over the next year and the city will share more photographs and stories on its website, according to Tardiff.
The city ask anyone who can help with missing information, contact Deb Tardiff (250 954-3073; firstname.lastname@example.org.) The city’s website details the missing information, as well as the veterans listed on the cenotaph.