The first person to lay a wreath at the cenotaph on Monday, Nov. 11, will be the War Mother representative, Beulah Lind, in memory of her late husband Lawson.
Lind was selected to represent the mothers and wives whose loved ones went to war, for the Remembrance Day services to be held by the Weyburn branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.
“I was very surprised. I think it’s great,” she said of the honour of being asked to represent this group for the Remembrance Day services.
Her husband Lawson served as a firefighter for four years with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War, and they married once he returned back from Europe.
She also had brothers-in-law who served in the army, navy and air force, and they all came back from war service, “but I lost boys that I went to school with.”
The day will begin with the parade to the Legion at around 10:45 a.m., as usual, with the change this year that all of the ceremonies will be held indoors in the Legion Hall. The wreath-laying will take place inside at a memorial set up in the hall, with wreaths to be laid on behalf of the government, businesses and organizations from the Weyburn area.
After the wreath-laying ceremonies and the two minutes of silence, the dignitaries will be introduced, and Lind will have a place of honour on the stage for the main service, and afterward at the War Mother luncheon held downstairs.
The Legion chaplain, Marj McLeod, will introduce Lind at the service, and there will be greetings by MLA Dustin Duncan and Mayor Marcel Roy.
During the service, Weyburn writer Connie Regier will share her poem, The Story of a Soldier’s Child, then the Variations community choir will present a couple of songs, and the address will be given by pastor Victoria Mwamasika of Zion Lutheran Church.
Lind recalled that during the Second World War, she finished up school and then went to work with the Wheat Pool in Regina.
Lind will be turning 93 on Nov. 14, and grew up north of Creelman in the Gooseberry Lake area. She recalled when it came time for boys from the area to serve in the war, “it was a very sad affair, because we didn’t want our boys to go to war.”
During the war, she often checked the Leader-Post for the names of those killed in action or who had gone missing, and recalled one man she knew from home was shown in a photo after he had been injured badly in action.
They got used to the rationing during the war, but even afterward, after she and Lawson were married and had a baby on the way, she had to line up for certain food items because they were still being rationed.
“We were lucky that our family helped us,” said Lind. “The VLA helped us to buy land to help us get started. That was a wonderful thing they did.”
The young couple were able to buy land about three miles from her family’s land in the Gooseberry Lake area, which helped out greatly as they could share farm machinery for seeding and for harvest.
Lawson’s family were mainly located in the Tyvan area at the time, although now they are all gone from that region. He passed away in 2010.
Lind said this is a real honour to be chosen as the War Mother, as she feels it’s very important to continue to remember the sacrifice of veterans and of their families during wartime.
“I think it’s very important we keep remembering. It helps remind people what it was like in that era,” said Lind. “It’s nice the Legion will have a lot of those people who were in some service and keep the Legion going to help their members.”
She and Lawson had three children, daughters Diana Vanoene and Noreen Dammann, and son Doug Lind, along with a number of grandchildren. She is hoping to see several members of her family on hand for the Remembrance Day service and for the special luncheon afterward.
“I’m very honoured to be asked to do this,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”