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Legion kicks-off poppy appeal

Two veterans of the Second World War have helped kick-start the Bermuda Legion's annual fundraising Poppy Appeal campaign by presenting poppies to Governor George Fergusson.

Betty Vincent, who served in the Royal Navy, and Canon Thomas Nisbett of the Bermuda Militia Infantry handed the iconic emblems to Mr Fergusson and his wife at Government House yesterday.

Although the Second World War ended almost 70 years ago, there are still many Bermudians who served during that war and subsequent campaigns.

And according to a Bermuda Legion spokesman those who were once willing to serve their country and make the ultimate sacrifice are facing hardship in their old age.

“Many are in frail health and a considerable number don't leave their homes or are in care homes,” the spokesman said.

“And while Bermuda War Pensions were granted by the PLP Government in 2007, they have not increased. Meanwhile living and medical costs have risen by almost 50 percent.”

The organisation will be holding a Tag Day in Hamilton on November 6 and all funds raised will be used for the purpose of welfare on the Island.

“Nothing is invested or sent overseas,” the spokesman said.

“The Bermuda Legion recognises all war veterans and widows, and believes strongly that the last years of life should be as full of love and care as the first.

“Last year, we distributed more than 5,000 Bermuda poppies, and we expect to raise that figure in 2013. Poppy HQ is the Bermuda Bookstore, the excellent staff will be keeping supplies throughout the appeal. Poppies will also be available at the Anglican Cathedral, schools, churches and the Bermuda Regiment.”

Miss Bermuda Katherine Arnfield, who recently returned from the Miss World contest, will be the Legion's Poppy Queen and will be visiting some of the Island's nursing homes to deliver poppies personally to Bermuda's war veterans and widows.

The organisation's programme of school talks as been expanded from last year, and the spokesman thanked all the staff and students who are making this possible.

“Thanks to generous and welcome sponsorship, the Legion's Christmas programme is in preparation, and gifts and food will be distributed to nursing homes and veteran's houses during the holiday period,” the spokesman added.

A parade at the Cenotaph on Front Street to “celebrate, remember and respect those men and women who lost their lives serving in both World Wars” will start at 10.30am on November 11.

Members of the public are also welcome to leave tributes to individual veterans at the War Memorial in the Cabinet Grounds.

If you would like to help us collect funds during the Poppy Appeal, or if you are aware of a veteran or widow in need, please call 732 3748 or 293 3975 or e-mail: nosoldierleftbehind@hotmail.com

War veteran Betty Vincent pins the first poppy for the annual poppy appeal on Governor George Fergusson and Mrs Fergusson flanked by WO1 Sherwyn Richardson, poppy appeal organiser for the Bermuda Legion Carol Everson, and war veteran Canon Nisbett. (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published October 30, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 29, 2013 at 11:49 pm)

Legion kicks-off poppy appeal

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