Emery Village honours heroes: Remembrance Day at Joseph Bannon Park

By Sean Delaney

Emery’s Joseph Bannon Park was a scene of solemn remembrance on Friday, Nov. 11th. A gathering of residents, politicians, and uniformed officers paid tribute to the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers, both past and present. The essence of Remembrance Day lies not only in honouring our fallen soldiers but also in acknowledging those still serving and their families.

Now in its 10th year, the Remembrance Day service around the Joseph Bannon statue welcomed numerous officers from 31 Division. The ceremony commenced with 31 Division Superintendent Andy Singh, alongside Peter Wallace, Community Response Manager, commanding a present arms salute. All attending officers stood in salute, followed by a poignant two minutes of silence.

The ceremony included the recitation of the poem, “In Flanders Fields” written by John McCrae and first published on December 8, 1915. Andrew Fiorido, Constituency Assistant at MPP Tom Rakocevic’s office, delivered this powerful piece.

An emotionally charged atmosphere enveloped the ceremony as Councillor Anthony Perruzza shared heartfelt words honoring the sacrifices of our service members.

“Thank you for joining us today to honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our beliefs and way of life,” said Perruzza. His message underscored unity and respect, urging everyone to come together in honouring the troops. He concluded his speech with gratitude, reminding everyone of the importance of reflection and appreciation on this significant day.

Representative Alida Trioni from MPP Tom Rakocevic’s office had the honour of laying the wreath at the base of the Joseph Bannon statue. This was followed by representatives from MP Judy Sgro’s office and TCDSB Trustee Ida Li Preti. Vittorio Mazzucca lent his expert trumpet skills to the ceremony, playing, “The Last Post” with stirring emotion.

Special thanks were extended to Rocco Di Giovanni, President of the North Islington Seniors Club, and club members for their participation in celebrating Remembrance Day and honoring all fallen heroes. Board members Joseph Montinero, owner of West Finch Bakery, and Anthony Teresigni of New Era Tool and Die were also in attendance. The presence of the Emery Senior’s Art Group, led by community cheerleader and instructor Lucy Catania, added a warm community spirit to the event.

Joseph Bannon Park stands as a tribute to one of Emery Village’s community champions. Born in Scotland in 1919, Joseph Bannon enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force and was part of the Canadian Forces that landed at Juno Beach on D-Day in 1944. His descendants continue to attend the Nov. 11th ceremonies, honoring their father and local hero.

The enduring presence of the Bannon extended family year after year serves as a testament to the deep-rooted respect and love for their father and grandfather. It’s a poignant reminder of the personal sacrifices made in wars and the lasting impact on families and communities.