The chairman of the Barbados Legion, retired Lieutenant Colonel Vere Springer, has made an early appeal for public support for this year’s poppy drive.
The annual event is held November to raise funds for former service men and women.
However, Springer told a Legion’s anniversary service, held at the St Matthias Anglican Church this morning, that funds collected from the drive are on the decline and Government has had to step in to lend support.
“With the funds collected from the poppy donations diminishing every year the Barbados Government has had to provide the Legion with an annual subvention in order that we can carry out our programme. We also have an arrangement with the Government where major repairs to the houses of indigent legionnaires could be accommodated,” he told the congregation, which included Governor General Dame Sandra Mason and Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw.
Currently the Legion is made up of over 350 veterans, with 21 members receiving allowances from the Poppy League programme. However, Springer said Barbadians continue to get involved in wars around the world and they too may need assistance in the future.
“There always will be a need for a body like the Barbados Legion to assist in bringing comfort to our fine men and women who in their youth put country first to serve or to be ready to service, to bring peace to this troubled world,” he said.
Assistant Chaplain of the Barbados Defence Force, Reverend Clement Paul, echoed the sentiments.
“We do not celebrate our heroes enough . . . . Barbados should be thanking God for the men who gave . . . those men went and they fought [and] they left their families behind,” the Reverend stressed.