Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 259 handed out awards for its annual Poster and Literacy contest recently, which had students submit posters, poems and essays for the competition.
Winners received cash prizes for taking top spots in their respective age groups, artistic mediums as well as branch and zone levels.
“It has to do with remembering and also to do with the poppy as a symbol of those who have fought—not only those who have died, but those who have come back injured with non-repairable injuries,” said Harry James, president of the local Legion branch.
“Beyond that too, it’s remembering the families of the people who lost their loved ones. Their families need support.”
James added there were 110 entries in the most recent contest, with a great deal of area students who saw success with their entries.
Primary winners in the Thompson-Nicola Zone were Braeden Osmond who received first in the Black and White Poster category and Lakaya Joesph who took first in the Colour Poster category.
Junior winners were Nylah Christensen who came in first for Black and White Poster, Keiro Mairs, who was a runner up in the Colour Poster category, and Brianna Reichert and Kalan Priede who were runners up for the Essay and Poem categories respectively.
At the branch level, primary winners included Braeden Osmond who came in first for Black and White Poster and Lakaya Joeseph who took first for Colour Poster.
Junior branch winners were Nylah Christensen who received first for Black and White Poster, Keiro Mairs who won first for Colour Poster, Brianna Reichert who got first for the Essay category and Kalan Priede who received first place in the Poem category.
Intermediate winner for Black and White Poster was Ivy Simms-Godwin.
“The idea is so the youth will understand the need for us to have armed forces and have people who are willing to fight to preserve our freedoms, which is what the Legion is all about,” James said.
“And to support those families who have lost loved ones or who have loved ones who come back with scars; it’s what the Legion stands for— to perpetuate the memory and make sure they don’t forget that these people fought for our freedoms.”
According to Inga Kruse, former executive director of the Royal Canadian Legion, B.C. Yukon Command, the Legion believes all young people are artists who are creative and talented beyond measure and the contest was also created to give them a chance to express what they have to say about Remembrance through art, video and writing.
“We are holding a free Youth Contest every November to celebrate the imagination and expression of students,” she said.