A North Wales Poppy Appeal coordinator says all towns should be holding Remembrance Day services despite Covid-19 after a number cancelled events.
Rhyl organiser Richard Kendrick said he understands the fear surrounding coronavirus transmission but believes socially distanced services can be “held easily” across North Wales if there’s a will.
The ultimate decision on whether Remembrance Day will be officially marked by events at war memorials lies with town and community councils.
Rhyl town council will be organising a socially distanced service in line with current guidelines, but Llandudno
town council in Conwy county has cancelled its dedication, as has neighbouring Conwy town.
Welsh Government guidance is that outdoor acts of remembrance can take place at war memorials and cenotaphs on November 7 or 8 with no more than 30 people present, including organisers.
Mr Kendrick said: “I understand that councils are scared about Covid 19. We are fighting our own war against this virus.
“But we shouldn’t forget the men and women who sacrificed their lives for us.
“Every town across North Wales has lost someone. They should all hold a service to pay respects and allow others to.
“Socially distanced services can be held easily if you invite people and mark out areas to stand.”
A spokeswoman for Rhyl Town council said commemorations at the War Memorial gardens will be “considerably scaled back due to Welsh Government restrictions on limiting outdoor gatherings”.
She added: “Entrance to the gardens will be restricted to invited guests only for the service and wreath laying.
“We are then asking those wishing to pay their respects do so later in the day observing social distancing and group gatherings and adhering to lockdown travel restrictions.”
Maroons will be launched over the town at 11am as a mark of respect.
Meanwhile, in Llandudno, the service at the war memorial has been cancelled.
Mayor Cllr Angela O’Grady said: “We recognise the importance of this event to many in the town, but urge residents not to gather in large groups for their own safety.
“Instead, we ask that in these unprecedented circumstances, individual acts of remembrance take place.
“I will of course be laying a wreath on the day on behalf of the townspeople.”
The town council is inviting individual organisations to lay their own wreaths between November 8 and 11, but urge them to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
In Conwy town, where the service has also been cancelled, mayor Emma Leighton-Jones said: “After careful consideration and much thought, we have made the incredibly sad decision that we cannot run our Remembrance Events at the Cenotaph in Conwy or the Memorial Hall in Llandudno Junction.
“In line with national advice, we cannot safely hold any parades or official services of Remembrance on Sunday 8 November.”
Residents are being asked to observe the two minute silence at home and follow events on social media.
She added: “This year due to regulations in place we need to avoid a mass gathering and keep our community safe.”
Current status of selected events around North Wales:
- Rhyl – Socially distanced service at War Memorial Gardens. Public allowed to pay respects later in the day.
- Prestatyn – Service and parade cancelled. Public invited to honour fallen with two-minute silence on doorstep at 11am.
- Colwyn Bay – Public service cancelled but an online service is being broadcast on Zoom, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details of how to watch. Also there will be a Remembrance service broadcast by Bayside Radio from 10.55am, available on DAB and online at http://www.baysideradio.co.uk/.
- Llandudno – Service and cenotaph Remembrance ceremony cancelled.
- Llanrwst – No official wreath laying service at War Memorial but a service will be conducted from St Grwst’s church via Zoom. The public are invited to leave wreaths at the War Memorial during daylight hours on Sunday November 8, whilst observing social distancing.
- Mold – Having a small invitation-only wreath laying ceremony and asking residents to pay their respects on their doorsteps at 11am on Sunday November 8.
- Flint – Small services will be held on Sunday November 8 and Wednesday November 11. Town councillors ask residents stand with their neighbours on their doorsteps to honour the fallen.
- Caernarfon – Remembrance Sunday event will not take place on Castle Square this year. Town council will be filming a service a few days earlier, and will post that on its Facebook page. Anyone wishing to lay a wreath should do so between Wednesday November 4 and Saturday November 7.
- Llangefni – The town mayor, together with a handful of veterans, will be laying wreaths at the Cenotaph with a bugler present.
For details of ceremonies local to you check your town or community council website and Facebook page if they have one
Alternatively contact the North Wales district page of the Royal British Legion.
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