Christmas Wreaths for Veterans
in the Field of Honour- Transcona Cemetery
By Peter and Audrey Martin
In 2016, there was a Canada wide program called “Wreaths across Canada” where all
Military Cemeteries received Wreaths to place on the graves of each Veteran.
The Transcona Cemetery had a benefactor in a large trucking company that purchased
Real Christmas wreaths. Our Branch participated and help to place the wreaths on each
Veteran’s grave. (325 graves).
In 2017 the complimentary wreaths were not available so we approached a local sponsor
(Geoff and Regan Archambault) who offered to pay for artificial wreaths that were then
placed at the beginning and end of each row of graves.
We did not want to see this tradition end so this year we decided to organize the event
with a slightly different twist to it.
We arranged for the Cemeteries branch of the City of Winnipeg to place wooden
32 stakes with hooks attached, at the start and end of each row in the Field of Honour.
We reached out to the community through social media, community organizations
and e-mail for individuals and organizations to ” buy or build ” natural wreaths and
to personally place their wreaths on a designated day. Our goal was to have 32 in total this
was quickly surpassed, we had a commitment of 70 wreaths. We had to add an extra hook on each
stake that could hold two wreaths instead of only one.
Saturday, December 1st at 12:00 noon was the day selected day to hang their wreaths.
Over 60 people attended and placed their wreaths on the hooks or on an individual grave.
Shawn Nason, our newly elected City Councilor, provided the much-appreciated refreshments.
It was really exciting to see so many people there, some had commented that they had never
been to the Field of Honour before. There are some members of our Community who did not know
about this event and who want to participate please feel free to place a wreath wherever there is a
vacant spot or on an individual grave itself. If you have time please feel free to walk between
the graves and read the inscriptions, you will recognize a lot of names with strong Transcona connections.
We would like to thank all those who participated (individuals, community groups and businesses).
The response was much better than expected and we are encouraged to do it again next year.
The wreaths will remain in place through the winter and I will offer to help the
City of Winnipeg Cemeteries branch to help clean up in the spring and might be
putting out the plea for volunteers.