Issuu on Google+

Serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra since 1984 WEDNESDAY January 2, 2013 Crazy costumes are part of the fun at the Penguin Plunge. Visit us online at to see great photos from this year’s event. Your source for local news, sports, opinion and entertainment: Passing the flag to a new generation After 40 years on the job, the longest-consecutive-serving sergeant-at-arms of a B.C. legion is ready to retire gotten his black shoes, a direct order came down from the sergeant-at-arms. “If you don’t get a pair of black shoes, I’m going to paint your feet black,” Braniff joked. hen Leo Braniff led his first One time, he was also tasked with Remembrance Day parade, removing a member from a meeting at there was still a large continthe behest of the president. gent of Second World War veterans, While some members were expecting and a sprinkling of First World War violence, Braniff handled the situation survivors. without incident. The veterans from the two wars In his four decades, he’s also observed would gather at the Port Moody legion the various ebbs and flows of legion life. after the parade to sing the old war Braniff noted the resurgence in the songs. interest of veterans and Remembrance “There has been a lot of good memDay from the general public. ories,” Braniff recalled. The air force vet believes it started When crowds gather for the next with the D-Day 50th anniversary celeRemembrance Day parade in Port brations, and has continued with a Moody, something will be missing. new generation of troops fighting in Well, not something, but someone. Afghanistan. For 40 years, Braniff “The public’s much served as the sergeantmore aware now than at-arms for the Royal Canadian Legion, “They asked if I would back in the 1970s,” he Branch 119. take it [sergeant-at- said. In that time, he’s arms] over for one he man taking run the annual parade, year — that was in over the role of looked after the colour sergeant-at-arms guard and kept order at 1972.” for the legion admits he legion meetings. has big shoes to fill. But this weekend, the “It’s a huge honour 77-year-old veteran will Leo Braniff — it’s also very scary,” be retiring from his dutPort Moody Legion said Tom Warwick, who ies, passing on the job joined the colour party to another member. more than 30 years ago. “They asked if I would “It’s a way bigger job than it seems.” take it [sergeant-at-arms] over for one Warwick even tried to convince year — that was 1972,” Braniff told The Braniff to stay on for another 10 years, NOW. to no avail. “I said, ‘Sure no problem.’ Basically, The new sergeant is also in awe of I’ve been doing it ever since.” his predecessor’s 40 years at the helm, It was a position that came naturally pointing out that no other sergeant-atto the former New Westminster police arms in B.C. has carried out a stint that officer. long consecutively. When Braniff took over, the legion’s “I just hope I can do it as well as colour party had just three members. Leo,” Warwick said. As he retires, it now has a full comA big retirement bash for Braniff is plement of 12. also in the works for the new year. The colour party basically handles Though he won’t be running the drill movements, flag protocol and flag parades, he won’t be straying too far drills. from the legion, adding he intends to “Might as well go out while you’re stay involved. still on top,” Braniff said, noting his But Braniff admits it will be a little moves aren’t quite what they were in weird to watch the parade from the the past. sidelines. He also leaves behind a march’s So, he’ll be available to offer advice to worth of memories, which included Warwick. days the job required him to get a little “I’ll be there if he needs me,” Braniff tough. At a gathering of vets on both sides of said. And judging by the legacy he leaves the border in Texas years back, Braniff behind, that help will likely be accepted was given the nod to run the parade. and appreciated. So when a member said he had for- Jeremy Deutsch W T Jeremy Deutsch/NOW Leo Braniff, right, prepares to hand over the sergeant-at-arms position he’s filled for 40 years at the Royal Canadian Legion’s Port Moody branch to Tom Warwick. Beginner/10km/Half & Full Marathon Starting January 15th! 12-16 Week Program - $119.95 + Free Shoes ($150 Value) Sign up at

Coquitlam Now January 2 2013

Related publications