Members of the local Royal Canadian Legion were in attendance for last night's meeting of Weyburn City Council.
The Southeast Military Museum was before Council, as they are looking to expand their banner program.
The banners commemorate veterans, and they would be up from the end of August to just after Remembrance Day, November 11th.
“We had seven communities on board last year. Estevan, Midale, Lampman, Stoughton, Carlyle, Redvers and Weyburn being the seventh,” said Craig Bird. President and curator of the Southeast Military Museum, based out of Estevan.
“We had tremendous outreach from the public in regards to this, I think it's important to honour our veterans, all the ones that perished during wartime, but as well as the people that continue to serve.”
“You have a lot of people in your community that served during the peacetime with the Canadian forces, and nobody knows who they are,” noted Bird. "A bunch of people that have come back to the communities, served on City Council ran businesses here in Weyburn, farmed, built these communities up to where they are today, and they get very little recognition, if at all, plus all our World War II veterans are pretty much gone. There may be a scattered one or two around here, and we're getting to the point where that generation is losing that information because it was their grandparents or great grandparents that had served. And that information is being, you know, stored away.”
"So the goal of our museum was basically, to keep those memories alive to archive that information so that it doesn't get lost.”
Last year the organization had help from the Weyburn Fire Department to put up six brackets for four banners.
Estevan, he noted had 22 banners up, “and there's no reason why we shouldn't have at least that many, if not more.”
He said they require the City to invest in the brackets and banners.
"Members of the military family can purchase brackets as well, but if the City can help out in any way, it would be greatly appreciated. It just gives us more flexibility. The brackets that are purchased by the City stay in the City. They get mounted on city light poles and. they stay here.”
Bird said the City could choose to use the brackets to display different banners throughout the rest of the year, including to celebrate graduates, or people going to provincial sporting events.
“If the City would be interested in sponsoring 10 brackets, the brackets are $300.00 each. They're a high-quality, 10-year guaranteed bracket. They would be mounted on the City’s light poles on the major intersections.”
Following a question from Councillor Morrissette, Bird said the museum maintains the banners, so they replace them if they’re destroyed by wind, for example. However, the banners have a 10-year guarantee.
Bird showed a sample of the World War I banner, which was double-sided, 30x36 inches.
Councillor Michel said they have several considerations, including the 2022 budget already being decided, and they wouldn’t be able to get the answer for Bird during the meeting.
Councillor Van Betuw said he was in full support of the idea, a sentiment then echoed by Councillor Corrigan.
He said he’d love to see 10 to 15 banners go up in Weyburn this year, and eventually 100 banners in Weyburn, as at the end of the day, it’s great not only for history but also for tourism.