On Monday (October 28) Portadown Branch of the Royal British Legion had their Poppy Appeal Launch.
The principal guest was the representative of the ABC Council, Deputy Mayor Cllr Margaret Tinsley and representatives from all the Regimental Associations, Loyal Orders and business owners who faithfully collect in their businesses for the Poppy Appeal year after year.
Also attending were the Poppy Appeal collectors who give up their time during the Poppy Appeal collecting period each year conducting door to door collections and manning stands in various locations in the local area, and also those individuals and organisations that were prize winners for the highest collections in their categories to receive their awards from the Poppy Appeal Organiser Mr Stevie Hoy.
Last year the Portadown Branch Poppy Appeal raised an outstanding sum of £46,514.54 towards the Northern Ireland total of over £1.3 million and the National total of over £50 million.
All these totals were records over previous years.
A Legion spokesman said: “This money is solely dedicated to helping veterans in need, many of whom are suffering from the effects of service in conflicts zones like Iraqi and Afghanistan as well as all the previous conflicts around the world since World War One. Service on our behalf which we must never forget.”
The evening was very much enjoyed by all who attended, where the President, Mr Philip Morrison, gave an update on Legion activities over the last year and the Poppy Appeal gave an update on last year’s fundraising and thanked all for their tremendous efforts last year and a look forward to this year’s plans to try and surpass the previous year’s record.
The prizes were awarded for the best fund raising results last year and the ABC Council, Associations, Loyal Orders and individuals made donations towards this year’s Appeal.
Several thousand pounds were raised on the night to launch this year’s Appeal.
Mr Steven Hoy was congratulated on his tireless efforts to make the annual appeal a success and on last year’s record breaking total raised.
Also thanked was his totally dedicated team of collectors and helpers without whom the totals raised would not have been possible.
The spokesman said: “Everyone across our communities is urged to buy a poppy to provide the funding to help those who need help because of their loyal service over the years on our behalf, many of whom are now in their latter years and increasingly in their early years from recent conflicts.”
Remembrance Sunday this year is on Sunday 10th November.
The Royal British Legion parade will form up in Thomas Street at 10.30am and parade to form up at the War Memorial at 10.45am for a short service before the Act of Remembrance at 11am wreath laying ceremony when wreaths are laid by HM Representative, ABC Council Representative, Military Representatives, PSNI, Associations, Youth Organisations and individuals.
A service of Remembrance will be held in St Mark’s Church conducted by the Reverend William Orr.
After the service the Legion will parade around the town and back to Thomas Street where they will fall out.
The PSNI will conduct traffic control before during and after the Remembrance Ceremony.