Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps (left) receives the first poppy from Angus Stanfield, chair of the Victoria Remembrance Day Committee. The gesture officially launched the 2019 Poppy Campaign. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps receives first poppy, launching the 2019 Poppy Campaign

Poppies will now be for sale across the city to fundraise for veterans before Remembrance Day

The Canadian poppy flag was hoisted high over Victoria city hall on Friday morning, officially launching the 2019 Poppy Campaign.

Shortly before this, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps received the first poppy from Angus Stanfield, chair of the Victoria Remembrance Day Committee.

“For me it’s always a really moving event as is Nov. 11, to remember not only those who have served but those who are overseas serving and working for peace,” Helps said.

In addition to supporting the poppy campaign, for the 100th anniversary of Remembrance Day the City of Victoria will also unveil a series of new memorial plaques along Shelbourne Street, to match some already existing on the Saanich side of the street. The plaques will be unveiled on Nov. 8.

READ MORE: Victoria city council considers installing commemorative Remembrance Day medallions along Shelbourne Street

“It’s a significant thoroughfare to remember and mark the service of veterans, not only on Nov. 11 but all year round,” Helps said.

Funds raised from poppy sales help Canadian veterans in efforts such as hospital upgrades, health care needs, helping homeless veterans and training service dogs. In 2018, approximately $23 million was raised by Canadians for veterans.

ALSO READ: Victoria council to fund Remembrance Day ceremony; offers apologies to veterans

“Canadians are very generous and very supportive at this time of year. I think it is important on this one day, Nov. 11, for two minutes to pause and reflect on what the cost has been,” Stanfield said. “It’s a terrible price to pay, and a lot who came home didn’t come home whole. There’s a lot of injuries, and not all of them are visible.”

Poppies will now be available by donation throughout the city until Nov. 11.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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