Remembrance Day ceremony at Chatham's Cenotaph, November 11, 2016 (Photo by Jake Kislinsky)

Local Church Plans 150-Hour Vigil at Chatham Cenotaph

As Remembrance Day approaches, a local church is recruiting businesses and organizations to stand vigil at the Chatham Cenotaph for 150 hours.

Christ Church in Chatham is planning an event called “CK Keeping 150,” which calls upon the community to stand or sit on guard at the Chatham Cenotaph from 6am on November 5 to 12pm on November 11. Reverend Mark Sceviour says the vigil is in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, as well as the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge and the 75th anniversary of the raid on Dieppe.

“I’ve been doing a lot of reading on those three topics over the past year and I realized that it’s not just soldiers, sailors, or airmen who have sacrificed to make us the country that we are. I thought there’s really been a lot of moms and dads, brothers and sisters, and businesses who have sacrificed and I wondered if there was a way we, as Chatham-Kent, could signify that,” explains Sceviour. “I thought, why don’t we do something around the Cenotaph to honour our past and those who did sacrifice and also, symbolically represent who we are now in 21st century Canada?”

According to Sceviour, four people are required to sit or stand vigil at all times during a shift.

“We’re not looking for people who have any type of military or polish style uniform experience. We’re asking people just to sit or stand vigil and be respectful of the place they’re at,” says Sceviour.

He’s confident that all 150 hours of service can be filled if the community comes together.

“If we have 50 organizations cover three hours that would give us the 150 hours. If you have an organization that has anywhere between eight to 12 people, you could easily cover that. You could have a shift of four people on and four people relaxing,” he says.

Sceviour says each organization needs a minimum of eight participants to cover at least a three hour shift. Each participant would stand or sit on guard for 30 mins before another team member takes over. If your organization has fewer than eight participants, the church can arrange for another small organization to help cover the time slot.

For the entire 150 hours, Christ Church will be open and plans to serve hot beverages and food to participants.

Any organizations or businesses that are interested are asked to RSVP to the Christ Church by noon on October 10.
Two information sessions will also be held at Christ Church at 80 Wellington St. W. on October 18 at 5:30 and 7:30pm.